Thorntons turned 50 last year. But there wasn’t much to celebrate

thorntons ad

Last year: 61 ▼

Sales: £103.0m (-25.1%)

Thorntons turned 50 last year. But there wasn’t much to celebrate. Its £34.4m loss, driven in part by lower prices for the once premium brand, is the fourth greatest decline of 2016.

Still, new owner Ferrero marked the brand’s milestone year with a £4.8m campaign and new category strategy, revealing plans to steer the brand away from a marketing and promotional approach based on sharing, and instead to focus on gifting.

Ferrero invited retail customers to its Shopper Experience Centre at the supplier’s HQ in West London. It featured a 3D studio, virtual grocery stores and a PoS showroom, and was part of a multichannel celebration of Thorntons’ “authenticity, ingenuity and intricacies” - and of its new Collection Eggs in Nuts & Praline, Fruit, Toffee, Fudge & Caramel and Mint flavours. Then a TV ad - the first for Thorntons in six years - aired in November, to put Easter in shoppers’ minds.

“Extensive consumer research demonstrated a widespread appreciation for Thorntons as the number one brand for product excellence and creativity,” says Levi Boorer, customer development director at Ferrero UK & Ireland.