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Each year, the Easter weekend represents a significant opportunity for consumer spending. According to digital wholesaler ShelfNow, in 2021 UK consumers spent nearly £50m more on traditional Easter products such as chocolate Easter eggs and confectionery hot-cross buns than in the same period in 2020.
Ensure you’ve catered for vegan and dairy-free
Consumers are increasingly opting for healthier and more sustainable options, and this is even present in the indulgence category. The UK alone is responsible for launching almost one in five vegan chocolates between 2020 and 2021, and online searches for ‘vegan Easter eggs’ in the UK also rose by 79% during the same period.
Philip Linardos, co-founder and CEO of ShelfNow, said: “Over the past couple of years, we have witnessed significant changes in consumer habits and the types of unique products being introduced onto our platform and purchased by buyers reflects this. While vegan and sugar-free dominate the alternative Easter egg category this year, we predict that incorporating food and beverage trends such as CBD and superfoods will be the next big trend for Easter eggs in upcoming years.”
It’s not just Easter eggs that provide an opportunity for last-minute sales, as non-food trends can add to your average basket spend. Themed tableware, Easter egg hunt supplies and flowers help to make Easter special, so these are areas to focus on in the coming weeks.
Rachel Hewlett, sales business development lead at ShelfNow explained: “Retailers should consider going beyond confectionery with their product ranges this Easter. Many families and friends gather over Easter and there is plenty of opportunity for condiments, wines and cheeses, as well as the traditional confectionery and baked items. For non-chocolate eaters, we’ve found marshmallows and themed biscuits are extremely popular options to stock. Gift baskets are always popular for a last-minute purchase, and they are a great way of driving cross-category sales.
“We recommend optimising seasonal assets for store merchandising such as spring flowers as well as Easter shapes for simple and effective ways to make a store more inviting and vibrant, as well as creating height and interest in displays. By highlighting recommended Easter products with ribbon or Easter shapes to create a trail of Easter products it can entice and engage younger customers. They will enjoy spotting the products and being rewarded with treats which in turn boost sales.”
Promote your activities and products
Once you’ve got the perfect variety of Easter products that capitalises on the current trends, indie retailers will benefit from promoting their ranges across social platforms and window displays. Additionally, any Easter activities at your farm should take centre stage on your website and social media pages. After two years of restrictions, consumers will be keen to take the kids out and about this Easter, so there will be a captive audience looking for activities.
Emma Mosey, Yolk Farm and Minskip Farm Shop explained how she is promoting her Easter offerings: “We are harnessing the power of social media at Minskip Farm Shop, reminding customers where they can get the best produce for their Easter Celebrations. We will be running a competition nearer the time to drum up engagement. We are also running our first on-farm event - an Easter Egg hunt - to give customers another reason to visit our farm shop and restaurant during the Easter holidays and in the run-up to Easter weekend.”
Ensuring that you are catering for the whole family this season and promoting your offerings successfully will help you capitalise on Easter 2022.