Profile: Sir Charlie Mayfield

John Lewis Partnership Chairman

Cadbury and Mars push to boost chocolate sales in slow summer months

Cadbury and Mars are looking to generate demand around traditionally slow summer months with activity created to encourage consumers to purchase chocolate on different occasions.

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Cadbury is running several campaigns created to extend the appeal of its brands.

Chocolate marketers have previously dialled down their activities between April and August because of the warm weather and lack of festive occasions. Increased competition and the growing number of consumers staying at home in the evenings to save money, has pushed brands to look to new ways to target shoppers.

For Cadbury, this trend has paved the way for several new products such as Marvellous Creations and Dairy Milk Pebbles. It is launching activity for its Cadbury Heroes brand later this month, which also includes its first TV appearance since 2002. The brand is also rolling out a £1.3m campaign for its new chocolate-covered cereal Crunchum brand.

A spokesman for the brand says snacks consumed in the evening - are now worth £5.6m – with chocolate being the biggest category during this period. Previous off-limits summer gatherings such as BBQ are now seen as opportunities, he adds.

He says: “Summer is normally a quite time for us, but we’re targeting the BBQ market for the first time rather than our usual sales focus around the colder seasons.” 

Elsewhere, Mars is running a £9m marketing campaign over the summer to support its new Twix Mix range. The push will build up to wider activity in August and September that links to Mars’ wider “Big Night-In” initiative, which spans its entire Bitseize portfolio.

Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight for Food and Drink at Mintel says in the current economic climate, brands are looking for ways to extend the “season for chocolate”, by finding openings such as summer.

She adds:  There are two ways to leverage the positioning - by creating products expressly for the season… which parallels the seasonal advertising and marketing for more traditional seasonal chocolates (e.g. Easter or Christmas) or by creating a “new” occasion for eating chocolate (Summer) and new flavors or packaging to go with it.”

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