Confectionery: sweet thoughts during Covid

Confectionery.
Confectionery.

The past 18 months has seen a significant shift in shopper behaviours. In response to rolling lockdowns and restrictions in various cities, shoppers are spending less time in-store.

Instead, some are turning to the growing number of online grocery delivery and click and collect options, while others are heeding the advice of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian – writing a shopping list and not browsing in-store.

Given the confectionery category’s highly impulsive nature, how has the shift in shopping behaviour effected confectionery brands? And what are they doing to keep front of mind?

A spokesperson for Darrell Lea says confectionery spend is growing on e-commerce platforms, but perhaps not as drastically as other key FMCG segments.

“Focusing on digital marketing and how we constantly connect the consumer/loyal brand shoppers to the shopping baskets of retailer online portals needs to be top of mind,” says the spokesperson.

“Key social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn are great ways to drive engagement but also link consumers back to retailer pages.”

Ferrero Australia Category Development Director Sheri Juchau says impulse categories were challenged by in-store footfall changes and the growth of online.

“That said, the category is performing well and we’re seeing trends such as in-home treating deliver strong growth for our products,” she says.

“Our brand teams are working with retailers to unlock opportunities online and create excitement for the online shopper to drive share of basket.”

According to Mars Wrigley Australia Category Director Kathryn Pearce, the high impulsivity of confectionery means it rarely makes it onto a shopping list, “so getting into the online basket is critical”.

“We have seen a change in the mix of our portfolio online,” she says. “Larger formats for family and social sharing and chocolate sharepacks are gaining traction online.”

She adds that although shoppers have changed their shopping behaviours, how they consume media has not seen such a dramatic shift.

“We continue to invest in reaching consumers and shoppers through the most effective and efficient media channels and optimise our plans to the platforms that will deliver us the audience we focus on for our different brands.”

Robern Menz has found retailer customer marketing activities to be a crucial tool in navigating the online retail landscape.

“Promoting your products via retailer-owned platforms gets your brand in front of the right shoppers, whether they’re in store or online,” says Marketing Manager Polly Love.

“Work on understanding the online purchasing behaviours, and create multiple touchpoints across owned, earned and paid media online.”

Read more on the confectionery category in the August issue of Retail World.