Mars has ramped up promotions across its range of confectionery ahead of the festive period.

There were 240 featured space promotions on Mars products in the four weeks ending 18 November 2018, which is a 12.2% increase on the previous four-week period and a 25.7% increase compared with the same period last year [Promo Dynamic Brands].

In contrast, Cadbury has slashed the number of deals in the mults compared with last year and last month. Nestlé has also cut promotions compared with last month, but is offering 107% more deals than last year.

“Of the top 10 most-promoted brands, Mars was the only to show an increase in promotional activity both month on month and year on year,” says Assosia director Kay Staniland.

Mars bars were the brand’s most-promoted products, with 52 featured space promotions in the mults in 2018 compared with 36 in 2017, but there were also significantly more deals on Twix, M&M’s, Snickers and Revels than last year.

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“Mars bars and fun-size packs continue to be the most promoted products, accounting for almost 22% of total Mars products on promotion,” says Staniland. “Twix and M&M’s both account for 11.7% of promotions this period - up from just over 7% in 2017.”

Skittles were also “heavily promoted”, she adds. “Skittles had double the amount of promotions year on year, up to 12 this year, accounting for 5% of total Mars activity.”

Mars products almost exclusively use single-point mechanics, which accounted for 96.7% of the deals (3.3% used x for y).

Despite a slight dip in average savings to 34.6%, Mars is offering deeper deals than Cadbury (31.9%) and Nestlé (31.3%).

It comes as the total number of featured space promotions across the mults have fallen by 13.6%, with own label showing the biggest decline of 28% compared with a 12.4% reduction in branded promotions.

Average savings are also down year on year, by 1.9 percentage points for brands to 30% and two percentage points for own label to 29.2%.