aisle and the produce case, but in the deli counter, too, as evidenced by
Hormel’s fall lineup featuring Jennie-O Cranberry Sage Turkey Breast.
“Jennie-O Cranberry Sage Turkey Breast is great in the traditional ser-
Spooky Eyeballs Ready to Roll
vice deli or grab-and-go areas of the store, but what makes it a favorite
as a holiday limited-time offering is its versatility,” says Brent Koosmann,
director of marketing at Jennie-O Turkey Store, a division of Austin, Minn.-
based Hormel Foods Corp. “Its unique blend of sweet, savory and fruity
flavors makes it the perfect complement to any holiday charcuterie plate
or at a holiday party.”
Koosmann notes that limited-time offerings help bring excitement
to the deli counter. “Consumers are looking for new and exciting flavors
to try, and the deli is the perfect place for them to find authentic and
bold new items. The limited availability,” he continues, “also creates an
urgency for consumers, driving them back more often to purchase their
favorite item. Delis can take advantage of this throughout the year and
cement their statues as the ‘go-to’ stop for grocery shoppers. The holi-
days are a great time for limited-time offerings because it gives people
something new and unique to bring to parties or gatherings.”
Hormel Cinnamon Apples are another seasonal product with which
the company has found success. The versatile product can be served
as either a side dish or dessert, topped with ice cream and granola,
Of course, from Valentine’s Day hearts to chocolate bunnies and giant
bags of “fun size” Halloween treats, the candy aisle has always been a
mainstay for limited-edition products. However, in recent years manufacturers have added even more excitement with limited-edition flavors and
shapes for their flagship brands.
The Hershey Co., for instance, is rolling out Reese’s Peanut Butter
Spooky Eyeballs for this Halloween, along with Cadbury Harvest Mix
Solid Milk Chocolates with a Crisp Sugar Shell, along with a new Hershey’s
Gift Cubes line that company officials say will re-invent holiday gift giving
with festive four-sided graphics and an easy-to-peel, resealable lid.
“We suggest creating themed point-of-sale to showcase limited-
edition products and drive impactful merchandising,” notes Mike
Rabinovitz, senior brand manager, Halloween/Valentine’s Day at The
Hershey Co. “Exciting signs and stands make any new product known
and encourages consumers to engage with the product. The key is to
use the brand news to drive merchandising and excitement for the entire
line of related products.”
John Kerr, director of marketing at R.M. Palmer Co., based in Reading,
Pa., suggests retailers merchandise limited-edition chocolate products in
several areas throughout the store, including the seasonal aisle, end caps
and free-standing displays in complementary sections including party
goods, household goods, baking and the dairy aisle.
For Christmas, R.M. Palmer is introducing Stocking Puppies in lifelike
foil Golden Retriever and Dalmatian graphics; Caramel Jingle Bear with a
caramel filling; Christmas Bars, Double Crisp bars wrapped in Santa and
Snowman graphics; and Santa’s Holiday Mix, featuring six assorted items.
Kerr recommends retailers put out holiday items as early as possible.
“Merchandising early leads to increased sales over the span of the holiday season,” Kerr says. “Shoppers make purchases which they consume
prior to the holiday and therefore need to replace.”
Breaking Out of the Pumpkin Shell
Over at Mars, the M&M’S characters are coming out of their pump-
kin shells with the introduction of M&M’S Brand White Pumpkin Pie
Candies Harvest Blend. “Pumpkin pie is one of the top four flavors con-
sumers desire in the fall season,” says Larry Lupo, VP of sales – Grocery,
Convenience & Drug Channels for Mars Chocolate North America, based
in Hackettstown, N.J. “This new item will drive incremental sales for the
M&M’S Harvest portfolio, and seasonal packaging and product coloring
will extend and maximize sales throughout the season.”
In addition to limited-edition flavors, Mars offers limited-edition
packaging for most of its brands to celebrate all the major holidays,
and even for summer. “Unique holiday graphics entice shoppers to
celebrate with their family and friends in new and different ways,”
Lupo says. “For Halloween, seasonal confections should be displayed
September through Thanksgiving, while stores should set for Christmas
by November 1,” he adds.
Stocking Holiday Scents
Limited-edition products are also quite the rage in nonfoods – especially in the air freshener section.
For its Febreze line, The Procter & Gamble Co. is introducing Fresh Pressed Apple, Fresh Cut Pine, Fresh Twist
Cranberry and Fresh Fall Pumpkin in Air, Fabric, Plug, Car,
Candle, Wax Melts and smallSpaces formations.
“Fall/holiday represents the biggest time of the year
for air care category sales,” says Mandy Ciccarella, communications manager at P&G Home Care, based in
Cincinnati. “There are more shoppers, and not only are
they going to the store more often, but they are also
buying more each trip. Display Air Care is an impulsive
category, so display is critical to capitalize on growing
seasonal sales. Seasonal scents are distributed incrementally so that current buyers can still find their tried
and true products and scents,” she says, adding that P&G
will be promoting the limited-edition scents by several
means, including in-store, public relations and digital.