Now is the spookiest day of the year — and it is one of retail’s lightest and tastiest. After the children crash from sugar overload, the final cobweb is swept up along with the witch’s hat is wrapped up until next year, Halloween is officially over, and you will finally break.
But wait. The elves do not have the time to sleep. From the time shops open tomorrow, November 1st, candy canes, eggnog and gingerbread houses will be on full display. It is the story of this Holiday Creep.
We are seeing Halloween teased in August, Christmas tunes played in October and Valentine’s Day candy hearts shortly after New Year’s.
So how do the food and drink industry maximize this approach and delight their clients?
Holidays can come twice a year
The idea behind early installations is about maxing seasonal earnings. So what better way to do this than to promote return visits and repeat purchases? Consider it this way: how many times has your household bought Halloween candies for trick-or-treaters and consumed half the bag prior to mid-October? Probably a lot. And in that situation, the customer must return to the shop and pick up another bag. It is a win-win. The consumer receives the decadent candy treats and Halloween fun, and you get double the earnings.
But let us think about how to optimize these return visits for a second. Consumers aren’t likely to need to return to the same thing. So how can retailers promise variety without needing to create dozens of different screens?
Straightforward: inspiring — and varying — recipes. For Halloween, how about spiderwebs with orange Oreos? And do not even get me started on the chances for Christmas goodies! In my family, the whole month of December is marked by heaps of”Pretzel Cookies.” Again and again, we will come back to the supermarket for more holiday-themed Hershey’s Kisses. Inspire your consumers with different recipes that inspire them to return and recreate — and new ones to try for next time.
Santa’s elves work all-year long — so if you
Each year, Christmas is on December 25th, Valentine’s Day is February 14th and Thanksgiving is the last Thursday of November. Knowing this, the moment a vacation passes, you have just 365 days before the holiday rolls around again.
With all these constants, your lead time for a merchant is continuous, too — and it is something to use to your benefit.
Start thinking about ideas for next year the second you start this year’s screen. Keep an eye on what competitors do. Get inspiration from Pinterest and other online spaces for the best tendencies. Create variation in your screens to check what works. When you know that the holidays are coming down the pipeline, you are able to budget both time and money.
A continuously exciting shop experience
Holiday displays are fantastic for many reasons: they are a convenient one-stop store for customers, they get customers into the holiday spirit and they are a terrific place to promote products that are exciting.
But they’re also restricted. A shopper who only needs Peeps for Easter knows where to go and will not have to navigate the rest of the shop. That is why grocery stores will need to extend the party throughout the sales floor. Needless to say, your entire store should not scream Easter, but give shoppers a reason to walk through.
What better way to maintain the Easter spirit and encourage customers to research than using a scavenger hunt for special deals? Or through Saint Patrick’s Day, exhibit recipe cards in the holiday section that help customers make a traditional Irish meal using ingredients found throughout the store.
Anything could create holiday spirit
There is more to the year than just vacations. Football season, the Summer Solstice, soup period — all these are opportunities for motivated food screens.
Host a unique popsicle and slushy segment for the longest day of the year. Display rotating winter soup recipes with all the fixings you require.
The unsung, uncelebrated times or minutes of the year are ideal times to inspire customers. Shoppers expect to see the Christmas sections as well as the Valentine’s Day décor. But they will be amazed by the unexpected seasonal exhibits — especially for holidays which are not generally related to food.
How about a screen of organic, natural foods for Earth Day? A table of pleasure pies for March 14 (aka Pi Day)? Or a special promotion on create and V8 for Eat Your Vegetables Day (yes, it is )?