Seasonality in Confectionery – by Tom Parkinson

3rd July 2018 | Posted by Bex Peoples

Ok, where to start…Andy and Paul asked me to come upstairs to their office one morning, so off I went wondering what they might want. When I went in Paul said to me, “we want you to write a blog about the seasonality in confectionery”. My initial thought was, “what the heck does that even mean!” I’ve been thinking about it for a few hours, days now and the truth is that I’m still not sure.

 

So let’s start at the beginning of the year! January, when most people are returning from a week or two away from the office, it’s a time when we like to ease ourselves back into the routine after consuming too many sweets and drinking too much wine, although I don’t necessarily think there’s such a thing as “too much” when it comes to sweets and wine. In the world of promotional confectionery however, it’s straight back to it!

 

Exhibitions

The early part of the year is when we start preparing for the exhibitions, a time where the folks in sales can escape the office and get the chance to show off the great new products we have for the year, for example our new Protein Balls, which are great for the beginning of the year when people want to hit the gym to try and shed some of that extra holiday weight. We can also continue promoting the existing products that are still going strong, for example the 55g bags of jelly beans! This product is like the Rolling Stones of the sweetie world – it keeps on being a favourite! Other great products to take to exhibitions are the Bottles of Water or the Flowpack Sweets. Spending hours walking around an exhibition can be tiring, so as people are passing by they can grab a bottle of water or a handful of sweets to carry around with them, which makes these products great promotional tools.

 

Valentines

Throughout January, we are also keeping busy with the season of love. The time of year when we are all trying to find the best way to say I love you to the people we care most about. Valentines is so big nowadays that people even buy presents for their pets! One of the most popular ways to show our love and something we all know that nobody can resist is the classic box of chocolates. The first box of chocolates for Valentine’s day was introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868 and it is still the favourite choice. Why not check out our awesome little 2 Choc Butterfly Boxes. Other ways of showing our love is with the no end of heart shape products and at Coronation we have many, like Lollipops, Tins or the delightful Red Foiled Chocolate Hearts. These really are a great product that can be had in bulk, packed in a clear bag with a label applied or my favourite, the Organza Bags with a swing tag. This is a classy product! I actually did one of these for my girlfriend this year and that was all I needed to be “the best boyfriend ever”! The power of chocolate is strong.

 

Easter

Once Valentines has passed there’s no stopping as we dive straight into the next season. Easter, in my opinion is one of the bigger players of the seasons and we generally start preparing for this one around the same time as Valentines. It’s a fantastic time of year for confectionery lovers and there’s usually a lot of chocolate involved. It’s said that in the US alone, they produce 90 million chocolate bunnies for Easter, and interestingly for some reason, 59% of people eat the ears first.

Probably the most popular product at Easter is Chocolate Eggs. The egg has long been a symbol of fertility and rebirth and it is said that Christianity adopted this idea to symbolise the rebirth of Christ. Eggs quickly became associated with Easter and in the early 19th century the first chocolate eggs were produced. Nowadays in the UK, 80 million are made each year and the shops are flooded with them, with full aisles dedicated to the massive selection available. Here at Coronation we have a large selection of Easter chocolates like our Foiled Mini Eggs, Easter Characters, Egg Cartons, and Bunny Lollies (be sure to eat the ears first).

 

 

Summer

After Easter, the sun starts to come out and everyone’s off to the seaside to chill on the beach and take in some sun. During the summer months’ chocolate tends to take a back seat due to the heat which gives other products the chance to shine. Travel tins are a great one for summer as people start hitting the road to explore the world, having these tins in your backpack is always a good idea.

 

A classic summery seaside product here in the UK is sticks of rock. Although as a promotional product rock is quite popular all year round, I think during the summer months this traditional handmade product really starts to take off. They are a great way to say ‘My Company ROCKS!’. The advantage of the sticks of rock is that you benefit from a full colour label. There’s also the rock sweets, which sit nicely in bowls at the front desks in receptions or are a good option for giving away at events and shows.

 

Summer is also quite a popular time to get back to the gym to start sculpting that perfect beach body. Enter the Protein Balls! I’ve already mentioned these but they really are awesome! They’re tasty and you can feel the muscles grow just by eating them!

 

As the summer draws to an end, we start preparing for the Goliath seasons, certainly in the confectionery world! We have Halloween followed by the almighty Christmas. I tend to group these seasons together because although Halloween comes before Christmas, Christmas is such a huge monster that we start preparing for them at the same time.

 

Halloween

Before getting too deep into the world of Christmas, we have Halloween! For me, even though it is a one of the “big ones”, Halloween lives in shadow of Christmas and doesn’t get the attention it could. It’s the time for terror, pumpkins and of course sweets! Confectionery is the biggest category of sales at Halloween and more sweets are sold at this time of year than at any other – I remember reading an article that said in the US, over 270,000 tonnes of confectionery are sold every year at Halloween which is equivalent to the weight of over 5 Titanic ships!

At Coronation Promotions we have some pretty cool products for Halloween. The bags of jelly skulls or jelly brains are some of my favourites, they have a jelly filling that oozes out when you bite into them which is a little disturbing but very delicious. I don’t think I could end this section without giving chocolate a mention, it always manages to find its way into the seasons with products like the mini chocolate pumpkins and the Halloween chocolate lollies.

 

 

Christmas!

Now we’re onto Christmas which I feel deserves a blog of its own. It’s a season that some people love and others hate, taking up a third of the year, it’s never too soon to start preparing. It seems like anything goes this time of year and people start to get really creative and so we end up doing some very interesting and unique products, which for me is the best thing about the season. Last year we fulfilled an order for a few hundred ridiculously large Christmas crackers filled with Quality Street. It was like doing an order for a dinner party of giants – everything was supersized. Finding a way to ship these was a fun challenge for me as the crackers themselves were quite fragile but also quite heavy due to the considerable amount of Quality Street they contained. it ended up leaving on 5 or 6 pallets but arrived safe and sound.

 

One particular product that stands out for me at Christmas is the Desktop Advent calendars. From the beginning of September to very end of November (sometimes into December) these things consume our days. What I do love about them is that you can personalise the whole box which gives a lot of room for creativity. The real beauty though is that when you give these out, you know that they are going to be on someone’s desk for 24 days (presuming they eat one chocolate a day), so that’s nonstop promotion for the month. Sales for promotional advents goes up every year and I can certainly understand why.

 

Other great and unique products for this time of year include the boxed mince pies, which are insanely yummy! I would happily live off these for an extended period of time. We also have the candy cane cards, which is a cute little 12g cane attached to a fully personalised backing card. If you prefer more cane and less card, then there’s always it’s big brother, the 28g candy cane sail.

 

Of course we see the return of chocolate and some of the products we have for Christmas are the chocolate baubles, chocolate Santa’s, chocolate Neapolitans plus so much more. Until writing this blog, I never really realised how much chocolate we actually go through.

 

Once we get into December the Christmas season for us starts to slow down and it’s when the last minute shoppers stop by. It reminds me of when I used to work on the deli counter of a popular supermarket. We would start to clean up around 10 minutes before closing and without a doubt, there was always someone that would come in one minute before closing and ask for 10kg of ham as finely sliced as possible. Here at Coronation Promotions this is welcomed. There’s always a solution to any problem and we do like a good challenge!

 

So there we have it, the ‘seasonality in confectionery’.

 

Tom

 

 

 


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