The company yesterday announced the seasonal launches via its website for UK retailers.
Xmas TV spots and Thorntons support
Ferrero will invest £8.2m ($10.6m) in UK Christmas product launches.
This includes a £4.1m ($5.3m) investment in premium brands Ferrero Rocher and Raffaello, including a TV ad in the lead up to Christmas.
It will add two boxed chocolate flavors to its ‘Ferrero Golden Gallery‘ range: Tenderly Biancoretti, white chocolate praline with a crunchy almond filling and Delicious, a dark chocolate in a crispy shell in 206 g and 389 g boxes.
Ferrero said its core seasonal boxed chocolates range - Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Collection, Raffaello and Thorntons – grew +13.6% last Christmas (17 weeks to Christmas Eve) to £119m ($153.4m), according to Nielsen data.
The company is this year supporting Thorntons - which it acquired in 2015 - with £3m ($3.9m) over Christmas.
The investment will go towards a Thorntons TV ad and a dark chocolate variant for boxed chocolate SKU Thorntons Continental, as well as two new boxed chocolates: Thorntons Seasonal Selection and Thorntons Christmas Selection.
Capitalizing on premium advert calendars
Ferrero will also introduce Thorntons The Snowman and The Snowdog advent calendars under a character licensing deal.
The confectioner will further strenghten its calendar range with Kinder Mix Advent Calendar for a recommended retail price of £5 ($6.44), containing Kinder Chocolate Minis and Kinder Chocolate with Cereals Minis.
The company said overall market sales in the premium advent calendar segment grew +41% for the 17 weeks up to Christmas Eve last year amid growing consumer choice for chocolate and non-chocolate options.
Levi Boorer, customer development director at Ferrero, said: “2016 was one of the biggest Christmases ever.
“Falling on a Sunday, there was a double peak in sales across the industry across Friday and Saturday, and we foresee a similar trend this year with the big day on a Monday.”
Diwali: Untapped season for UK retailers
Ferrero is separately urging retailers to engage with Asian festivals Diwali and Eid.
The chocolate maker’s own research surveying 1,000 retailers in 2015 indicated 71% do not participate in the seasons - despite boxed chocolates being commonly bought as gifts during these occasions.
Diwali - on October 19 this year and a five-day festival for many - is celebrated by around 800,000 Hindus and 500,000 Sikhs in the UK.
Ferrero has partnered with some UK retailers such as Supersave to install point of sale fittings labelled ‘Celebrate Diwali with Ferrero’, featuring the chocolate makers boxed range.
It hopes to install the fittings at more UK retailers.