Sir: With Christmas over, attention turns to Easter (‘Easter eggs go off the boil’, 12 January). However, I fear it’s fast becoming a lost season when it comes to own-brand offerings.
I’ve noticed a sharp decline in requirements for own-label Easter egg packaging. There’s a reliance on selling multiples of basic branded eggs at low prices. Five years ago, we were working with the likes of Tesco on products such as hollow chocolate Easter animal figurines. Go into a supermarket today, and you’ll find this type of product line replaced by offerings from Cadbury, Nestlé and Thorntons.
You can hardly blame retailers for taking an austere approach. It offers a safety net in a challenging market. Consumer attitudes have changed, too. It’s become a season to cut back on. There’s also a growing trend to choose alternatives to traditional confectionery, such as toys.
I’d like to see a more open-minded approach from retailers. There’s still a market for premium Easter products and I believe some retailers are missing a trick. Take a trip to the ISM trade fair in Cologne and you see some truly innovative confectionery and realise how much the UK is lagging.
Now’s the time to take risks and increase the offering to the consumer. With more choice, we could see a retail resurrection at Easter.
Stephen Shortland, MD, New Vision Packaging