Companies worldwide are introducing new flavors and ingredients to their product lines to enhance consumer engagement during this cold wintery season.
When it comes to confectionery, packaging makes a difference in sales. Chocolate and candy that surround holiday themes tend to sell more. According to Nielsen, Halloween leads in candy sales by five percent of annual sales. Chocolate is at its highest around the Christmas and Hanukkah season with 5.8 percent of total annual sales, with Easter at 5.2 percent.
“The opportunity [in the seasonal category] is maximizing reach and participation in each one of the need states for each season,” Martin Spencer, vice-president, Strategic Demand, at Mars Wrigley Confectionary, told Food in Canada. “For example, when we think about Easter, we think about what formats could work for Easter morning, what formats could work for sharing and what formats could work for single or personal consumption.”
The 2020 winter holiday season is shaping up to be very different from previous years, but that hasn’t stopped confectionary companies from introducing new treats. Here’s a list of five confectionary brands introducing innovative products this holiday season.
With many families looking for ways to celebrate this year’s holidays, Meiji is looking to spread the joy by using sporty pandas. Hello Panda is debuting the fun, bite-sized treats with a smooth chocolate cream center in a crunchy shell in winter holiday-themed packaging.
This repackaging will be the second seasonal Hello Panda product released after Halloween.
“The seasonal market provides a tremendous opportunity for us to introduce our unique, interactive snacking experience to new consumers,” said Geoffrey Guilfoile, in a statement. “The iconic, hexagonal box is not only a great display at retail but also the perfect package to express the brand’s fun nature. We are thrilled to celebrate the winter holidays and upcoming seasons with our adorable pandas!”
2. Baskin Robbins
The Rosette Christmas Tree Cake is a new addition to the lineup of festive treats at Baskin Robbins. Every month, Baskin Robins releases a flavor of the month. For December, the flavor is Winter White Chocolate. This is a swirl of cherry ribbon and bits of a cherry dipped in chocolate-flavored coating with white chocolate-flavored ice cream.
Additionally, the brand is bringing back its famous peppermint ice cream flavor. This is in addition to eggnog-flavored ice cream with hints of rum, nutmeg and butterscotch crunch.
“We’re excited to share a taste of the season with our collection of customizable holiday cakes and festive ice cream flavors,” said Shannon Blakely, VP of marketing at Baskin-Robbins US and Canada, in a statement. “We also invite our guests to order a treat for themselves or send a surprise to a loved one through our delivery partners DoorDash and Uber Eats – or with an e-gift card ordered through our app.”
Reindeer Cake, Snowman Cake and Winter Wonderland Cake are all the types of cakes that can be ordered via the app. During the pandemic, many stores were struggling to provide consumers with their favorite delights, but Baskin Robbins has had ongoing efforts to help keep guests and restaurant staff safe and are working through the pandemic by providing drive-thru, take-out and curbside pick up services at select stores.
While not a confectionary company, Baileys is tapping into holiday baking by bringing the Baileys Holiday Baking Club together. They are helping expert bakers to teach not-so-expert celebrities and viewers how to make the perfect holiday treats. The club brings the Baileys Irish cream flavors together with timeless traditional holiday cravings.
Throughout December, three episodes will air on Bailey’s official Instagram page and will feature step-by-step instructions so viewers can follow along at home while watching celebrities and bakers make holiday favorites.
“Throughout the years, Baileys has always been at the center of holiday celebrations amongst loved ones, whether its enjoyed neat, on the rocks, in coffee or baked into a treat,” said Stacey Cunningham, director of Baileys & Liqueurs, in a statement. “While the holidays may feel a bit different this year, we hope that the Baileys Holiday Baking Club will bring a sense of togetherness and joy that will help people uphold traditions of connecting over their favorite indulgences, even if while virtually.”
Baileys will support local bakeries around the US by featuring their products on the show and will also be donating $75,000 to various charities that are close to each baker’s heart on the segments.
Ferrero has produced a line of seasonal holiday products that include Ferrero Rocher’s 24-piece holiday glamour gift box, tree, star, an assortment of premium dark chocolates, and an assortment featuring Raffaello, Rondnoir and Ferrero Rocher. This is in addition to Kinder chocolate holiday mini-figures, Nutella Mini jar, Nutella DIY breakfast kit and a lot more.
Ferrero has been creating products for many generations, catering to a wide range of audiences. They are producers of Tic Tac, Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, Kinder and Fannie May chocolates. Ferrero has lined up seasonal products for everyone to enjoy their favorite items and get inspired by visiting their Pinterest page to find creative ways to celebrate.
Additionally, Ferrero Rocher is inviting consumers to join a campaign that features a new ad spot and consumer activation. They are inviting fans to share photos of their holiday traditions for a chance to win $500.
“Whether it’s the cherished holiday stories being told by the fireplace, the personalized gift exchanges, or the gorgeous holiday décor, it’s our traditions that we share with those we love most that make the holidays so special,” Alessandro Rapali, senior VP of Ferrero North America, said in a statement. “In a year when many of our traditions are changing to address the challenges of this particular holiday season, Ferrero Rocher is looking to inspire people with safe, beautiful ways to transform and enhance those experiences to create unique memories and to ensure the magic of the season continues on this year.”
Lindt has released a limited-edition Candy Cane truffle to their white chocolate range. The chocolate is filled with peppermint candy cane pieces and filled with a rich delectable center.
@kevssnackreviews managed to try the truffles and review them on an Instagram post. “There are crunchy candy cane pieces in the shell atop the classic smooth filling, it’s nicely minty but the white chocolate tempers the flavor so it’s not too overpowering,” reads their review. “The chocolate melts in the mouth nicely leaving little crunchy candy cane pieces.”
Additionally, this season, Lindt launched a vegan milk chocolate line in the UK. Lindt’s new vegan chocolate is oat-based and categorized under a HELLO collection brand name. The new vegan chocolate will be available in cookie, hazelnut and salted caramel flavors and wrapped in 100 percent recyclable packaging.
While lockdowns and social distancing orders will surely affect what the holidays look like for most families this year, consumers are still likely to enjoy seasonal confectionary products. These holiday-favorite brands have focused their product releases on giftable treats that can bring people together even as they’re staying apart.