Confectionery, particularly boxed chocolates, remains the largest gifting sector, as it covers the entire spectrum from impulse to wow factor.
Manufacturers are now exploring personalised products. Stewart Rose, sales controller at speciality foods company Lomer Fine Foods, says: “The key contributor to revenue is our bespoke gift service that allows clients to design a product to their own specification.”
Boxed bite-size brownies company Coco à Moi offers home delivery and the option of personalising greeting cards. “People love to individualise gifts with a message,” says Jane Milton, founder and MD.
Green & Black’s, the leading organic confectionery brand, recognises the opportunity to expand gifting through both its boxed chocolate range, such as its Praline Collection, and bars. “The majority of our sales are through bars, so our idea is to increase the activity of giving them as an informal gift,” says Katie Loines, senior brand manager at Green & Black’s.
There will always be a place for boxed chocolates, but the brand has plans to encourage men to purchase a bar of chocolate as a gift and wrap it with a ribbon or add a card.
Jamie Milner, senior brand manager at Green & Black’s, adds: “In 2007, we will take gifting to the next level.”
Packaging will always be crucial, particularly to the premium gift market. Coco à Moi’s Milton says: “The same product can be suitable for different times of year simply by changing the packaging.”