analysis confectionary

Three is the magic number in confectionery pricing - with many retailers ramping up their use of ‘3-for-x’ deals.

One Stop this month kicked off a 3-for-£1 promotion across its chocolate countline fixture - selling products with an rsp as high as 79p for just 33p. It’s a temporary offer, and the retailer is set to return to its long-term 3-for-£1.20 deals in the near future.

The One Stop activity is a reflection of the trade’s appetite for multibuy offers on countline confectionery. Across the top five, 3-for-x accounted for 62.3% of promotions on small chocolate SKUs (50g or less) in the week ending 13 February - up from 48.2% in the same period a year ago. And 2-for-x deals are also becoming more prevalent - up from 15.2% of offers a year ago to 30.3% this month.

Like sister retailer One Stop, Tesco has been running long-term 3-for-£1.20 offers on countlines, and accounted for 48 of the 77 3-for-x deals run by supermarkets last week. While Tesco’s 3-for-£1.20 activity spanned the major brands and suppliers, Asda is offering 3-for-£1 on a more limited range that does not currently include Cadbury lines, for example. Tesco, meanwhile, is running a handful of 3-for-£1 deals, primarily on Polish brands such as Alibi Max and Maciek.

And multibuy pricing goes lower than £1, with Waitrose last week offering 18g Freddo Sprinkles at three for 60p, while Kinder Maxi Snack bars are two for 50p in Asda and four for £1 in Sainsbury’s.

One marked difference with promotional activity 12 months ago is the disappearance of the ‘buy three get cheapest free’.

Waitrose ran a raft of such deals a year ago on products including 35g Green & Black’s bars but has now abandoned the mechanic.

The net result of changes in strategy has been a slight increase in the average price consumers pay for countlines in the big five.

While multibuys can offer substantial savings on certain individual lines, average depth of deal has fallen year on year from 33.2% to 26.9%.

Looking only at lines that were stocked in the supermarkets in the week ending 13 February and the same period a year ago, although base price has remained 59p on average, price after promotions has risen from 52p to 53p. Looking at prices of these products by supplier, the average price of Mondelez countlines has risen 5.3% to 52p between the two periods. Other suppliers to have seen average prices grow are Nestlé (up 6.1% to 47p) and Ferrero (up 4% to 43p). Meanwhile, the average price of MARS countlines has dropped 2.7% to 61p.