Consider the holidays. It’s the happiest – and the busiest – time of the year, not just for consumers, but for retailers, too. More than four in 10 people hosted a party last holiday season, according to the January 2016 THIRST survey by The Coca-Cola Company.¹ And approximately seven in 10 people attended at least one party.¹ But what’s a party without festive food and drink?
Consumers expect to be able to pick up everything they need to either host an event – or be a thoughtful guest – during their weekly trip to the grocery or superstore. Those attending parties are more likely to make a special trip to purchase food and beverages to take along, according to the THIRST survey.¹ Across all categories, the holidays continue to be the most important sales weeks of the year.¹
Capture the Holiday Crowd
How can retailers help ensure they have a seat at the holiday table? Retailers can help consumers planning events by providing recipe suggestions and decorating tips, as well as offering food and beverage pairings in convenient positions throughout the store to grab on the go.
“Shoppers are especially looking for sparkling soft drinks and salty snacks during the holiday weeks – these two categories have the highest weekly holiday display sales among consumable grocery categories,”² says Carrie Williams, senior manager, Shopper Insights, The Coca-Cola Company. “Coca-Cola® outsells its nearest competitor on display by 1.4 times during the holiday period.”3
Maximize Shopper Response
Sparkling soft drinks are so essential to holiday activities that they’re the number one trip driver to stores.⁴ Meanwhile, research indicates that holiday in-store displays centered on sparkling products can maximize shopper response.⁴ The Coca-Cola Company’s portfolio of sparkling beverages, preferred by shoppers, can help stores reach new audiences.
Glass Bottles in Holiday Merchandising
Retailers can focus on merchandising Coca-Cola® products throughout the store to help drive incremental purchases during the holiday season. Coca-Cola products served in familiar glass bottles and Santa Packs can bring in the sparkle and splash of the holidays. The distinctive design of the contour bottle was introduced in 1915 and speaks to the history of The Coca-Cola Company. The packaging has captured consumer demand for nostalgic, limited edition merchandise, and a plethora of beverage choices during the holidays.
Nurturing consumer beverage preferences, Coca-Cola® products meet the needs of savvy shoppers. “The holidays are a time when shoppers are more likely to turn it up a notch and splurge on ‘better’ brands – especially name brand beverages,” Williams says. “In fact, over half of shoppers say serving name brand non-alcoholic beverages is very or extremely important when hosting a holiday party or meal.”⁴
The holidays are also peak season for mixers like Seagram’s® Ginger Ale, Club Soda and Tonic Water – in addition to Coca-Cola® and Sprite®, Sprite® Cranberry is another brand winning over guests with its flavor and mixability.
Williams explains, “The key for a successful host is to have a full array of options so their guests can enjoy their favorite beverages with their favorite foods – at their favorite time of year.”
¹ THIRST survey, The Coca-Cola Company, January 2016
² Nielsen Planner, 2016 Holiday Operating Plan, Supers, Holiday 2015
³ Nielsen Scanning Data, Holiday 2016 Operating Plan, Total US AMC, 52 W/E April 2016
⁴ Nielsen Panel Data, Holiday 2016 Operating Plan
⁵ Acosta, Holiday Grocery Spending, December 2015 and Coca-Cola Omnibus THIRST Survey, December 2014