Halloween & December Holiday
Candy Review

A look back at fourth-quarter seasonal sales and recommendations for building bigger and better sales in coming seasons
The year 2005 was a good one for Halloween and December Holiday candy sales, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI) data obtained from The Hershey Company and information provided by the U.S. National Confectioners Association. The data provides strong insights into seasonal candy sales, and, thanks to special analyses and custom databases provided by The Hershey Company, offers useful guidance into growing seasonal candy sales. The custom database (“defined seasonal aggregate”) employed by Hershey (and other players in seasonal who develop their own view) is important to comprehending seasonal sales.
Season20012002200320042005
Valentine-0.50%6.50%-7.60%-3.00%-4.00%
Easter-2.40%-2.20%2.20%5.50%-7.60%
Halloween0.20%-0.40%0.70%2.40%2.30%
Christmas1.70%-3.00%-1.40%-3.50%2.40%
Thank You to The Hershey Company
This article would not have been possible were it not for the fine cooperation of The Hershey Company in supplying IRI data as well as providing access to their proprietary databases. These resources help provide the comprehension, insights and illumination which can help grow sales at retail. A very special thanks to The Hershey Company.
IRI, in reporting seasonal sales data, only includes those items which are in seasonal packaging. Taking Halloween as an example, that means that all the Fun Size, Treat Size, multi-packs and bagged Miniature bars in year-round packaging sold at Halloween for Halloween trick-or-treating are not included in IRI’s definition of “seasonal sales” and this results in a gross underestimation of seasonal candy sales. What Hershey and the NCA (and other manufacturers) do is put the volume from the seasonal sales “lift” on year-round packages into the holiday figures. Indeed the data indicates that about 50 percent of all the snack size candy sold at Halloween is for Halloween. Said another way, everyday snack size experienced an estimated lift of 195 percent during Halloween 2005. Another example: in the Hershey-defined seasonal aggregate for Halloween, eight out of the top 10 best-selling Halloween items are everyday products, i.e., product not in seasonal packages. This “defined seasonal aggregate” methodology provides a much more accurate view of seasonal candy sales.
Seasonal Trends
Halloween is the leader in seasonal candy sales with about one-third of the total, Easter represents just under 30 percent, December Holiday candy is about 22 percent and Valentine candy is 15 percent of total seasonal. The net of all of that is that Halloween is a good place to have growth and Valentine the best place for a decline, if you must have one!
Confectionery Seasonal Sales
Season2005
Valentine$970M
Easter$1.8B
Halloween$2.1B
Holiday$1.4B
Source: NCA 2005 Confectionery Review based on IRI, NCA/CMA Monthly Shipment Reports, and U.S. Department of Commerce, January 2006
Halloween candy sales in 2005 were up for the third year in a row to an estimated $2.1 billion; the growth was 2.3 percent on top of growth of 2.4 percent the previous year. December Holiday candy sales grew 2.4 percent to $1.4 billion in 2005 after a disappointing decline of 3.5 percent the previous year. The 2005 December Holiday candy campaign saw more new items introduced in the form of Limited Editions, mint items and Private Label introductions, and this accounts for at least some of the growth. Easter candy sales were down 7.6 percent in 2005, due to an early Easter date in March instead of April, and Valentine candy sales were down 4 percent.
Halloween
Of the top 30 items in Hershey’s Halloween aggregate item sales ranking, 15 of the 30 were everyday items, suggesting a 50:50 split between seasonal and everyday packaging. But further analysis reveals that 70 percent of the dollar sales in the top 30 Halloween items are in everyday items. This suggests that it is not wise to reduce display space for everyday or year-round items to accommodate seasonal items. Display space for seasonal should come from discretionary space, not core item space.
Display and promotion for Halloween candy is important. The analysis provides an illustration of this by comparing the feature and display activity of top-selling accounts with the total universe of outlets. It is obvious that the top 5 accounts got to be tops in sales by increased feature and display activity, especially as the seasonal event got closer. This means utilizing point-of-sale signage, balloons and decorations to create excitement surrounding Halloween displays. Remember that Halloween needs to be a one-stop shopping season for time-constrained consumers. Candy, costumes and decorations need to be merchandised together. Speaking of costumes, remember that changing demographic spending patterns are creating a “grown-up” Halloween party segment past kids’ trick-or-treating. Keep these new potential customers in mind when selecting items for display.
Both Halloween and December Holiday candy have long “burn” rates at retail. Significant sales occur well before the holiday date. For example, almost 40 percent of Halloween candy was already sold two weeks before Halloween. Almost 50 percent of December Holiday candy was sold two weeks before the holiday date. December Holiday candy is less of a last-minute purchase and needs to be displayed early and throughout the season. Get product out of the backroom and on display ASAP; in the case of Halloween, right after the Back to School rush, and December Holiday candy, right after the Halloween candy disappears from the shelf. Remember that consumers need a visual trigger to know the season has started.
December Holiday Candy
Looking at the Top 30 December Holiday candy items, 17 of the 30 are in seasonal packaging. But closer examination reveals that of the Top 30, seven are assorted box chocolates and two more are mono-item box chocolates. Many of the box chocolate items are technically year-round items, but they enjoy a very large part of their sales during the December Holiday period and in this respect could be thought of as seasonal packaging.
Remember that December is a high display season for all merchandise. Adding a case stack of seasonal wrapped candy next to a general merchandise display creates a seasonal feeling for the consumer … which sells more of both the general merchandise and December Holiday candy. December is gift time, so focus on displaying best-selling and quality items.
Final Thoughts
Consumers have no free time. They want one-stop shopping, variety bags as well as small and convenient gifts … and candy fills that need. Give them a fun shopping experience that appeals to all of the senses. Make it fun-filled, with great merchandising and the nostalgia that reinforces the seasonal experience. Help to make it a happy and memorable holiday and retail sales will benefit. Seasonal candy can be thought of as “plus” business, and retailers should understand that a bigger plus is possible.
Halloween Item Ranking Report
RankItem 2005 Dollars
1Reese Eday Snack 11.25 oz32.8
2Snickers Eday Snack 11.18 oz28.7
3Kit Kat Eday Snack 11.39 oz21.3
4Nestlé Butterfinger Eday Snack 12.5 oz13.1
5Milky Way Eday Snack 11.24 oz13.1
6Hershey Milk Eday Snack 11.4 oz13.0
7Tootsie Roll Childs Play 60 oz12.9
8Three Musketeers Eday Snack11 oz12.0
9M & Ms Plain and Peanut HWN 14 oz10.1
10M & Ms Plain Eday Snack 11.17 oz9.6
11Hershey Asst HWN Snack 44.9 oz8.1
12M & Ms Peanut Eday Snack 11.23 oz8.0
13Almond Joy Eday Snack 11.3 oz7.2
14Nestlé Baby Ruth Eday Snack 12.5 oz6.9
15A/O Manf Brand Nonchoc/Nontraditional6.1
16Reese 8 ct Eday Snack 4.4 oz6.1
17Twix Eday Snack 11.4 oz5.8
18Skittles & Starburst HWN Snack 47.4 oz5.5
19Reese HWN Snack 21 oz5.4
20Brachs Candy Corn 12 oz5.4
21Snickers HWN Snack 22.55 oz5.2
22Hershey Asst HWN Snack 18.34 oz4.7
23Skittles Eday Snack 13.3 oz4.7
24Hershey Take Five Eday Snack 11.25 oz4.7
25Brachs Candy Corn 25 oz4.4
26Kit Kat HWN Snack 21 oz4.3
27Reese Harvest 13 oz4.2
28M & Ms HWN Snack 30 oz4.2
29Willy Wonka Mix Ups 40 oz4.2
30Hershey Kiss Harvest 13 oz3.9
Eday = Everyday packaging HWN = Halloween packaging
Source: IRI FDMx "Hershey Custom Confections Database" 8 we 11/6/05, Hershey-Defined Seasonal Aggregate

December Holiday Candy Ranking Report
RankItem 2005 Dollars (in millions)
1Russell Stover 16 oz Pres Box19.4
2M & Ms 14 oz Hldy Milk17.9
3Hersheys Kisses 13 oz Hldy Milk17.9
4M & Ms 14 oz Hldy Peanut13.0
5Hersheys Pot Of Gold 12 oz12.8
6Whitmans Sampler 16 oz10.9
7Reeses 13 oz Hldy10.3
8Ferrero Rocher 5.3 oz7.9
9Queen Anne Choc Cherries 8 oz6.8
10Hersheys Kisses 10 oz Milk6.7
11Hersheys Kisses 22 oz Hldy Milk6.7
12Hersheys 13 oz Hldy Astd6.4
13Russell Stover 32 oz Pres Box6.1
14Andes 4.67 oz Mint5.9
15Hersheys Kisses Ltd 11oz Frt5.7
16Snickers 13 oz Hldy5.7
17Ferrero Rocher 7 oz5.3
18Hersheys Kisses 12 oz Hldy Almond5.2
19Lifesavers Sweet Storybook 7.2 oz4.7
20Hersheys Pot Of Gold 7.2 oz4.4
21Bobs 6 oz Hldy Cdy Cane4.4
22Hersheys Kisses 12 oz Hldy Caramel4.3
23Reeses 22 oz Hldy4.1
24Reeses 10 oz Hldy4.1
25York Peppermint Patty 13 oz Hldy4.0
26M & Ms 11 oz Hldy Mint4.0
27Reeses 7.2 oz 6-Pk Hldy4.0
28Nestlé Butterfinger 13 oz Hldy Pnt Btr3.8
29Hersheys Pot Of Gold 10.2 oz Caramel3.7
30Hersheys Kisses Ltd 12 oz Hldy Mint3.6
Hldy = Holiday packaging
Source: IRI FDMx "Hershey Custom Confections Database" 10 we 1/1/06, Hershey-Defined Seasonal Aggregate


VIEW TABLE


VIEW TABLE