With impulse and novelty covered, your next port of call should be premium priced eggs. Says Hancocks’ Summerley: “A third area for independents to consider is larger shell eggs that are not the focus of supermarket price wars.”

Thorntons agrees that distancing yourself from the supermarkets’ offering is the way to go. Says managing director Barry Bloomer: “Focusing on premium and high- value eggs which are less promotion-driven will enable retailers to maximise sales of the overall Easter category.”

Thorntons offers a strong range of high-end eggs including Premium Collection, Classic Collection and Moments Easter eggs.

Mars also believes that there is a need for indies to stock premium eggs. Says Dhaliwal: “Luxury eggs aren’t on deal so it’s important to stock them to have a point of difference from the mults. People are happy to spend more [in a convenience store] on a premium gift for people close to them.”

Mars will be hoping to score on this front with the Galaxy Luxury egg, which is Rainforest Alliance certified as of this year.

Meanwhile, rival Cadbury is introducing a large gesture Cadbury Caramel Bunnies shell egg for 2011. Each pack will include a large shell egg, along with five Caramel Bunnies packs. Cadbury will be supporting the Caramel Bunnies brand with a £1m above-the-line investment.

Ferrero has a strong line-up for retailers wishing to add to their premium range. The Ferrero Rocher Egg comprises a chocolate and hazelnut egg, plus eight individual Ferrero Rocher, packaged in a ribboned box.

Timeless treats

One fail safe Easter option for c-stores could be boxed chocolates, as they have a shelf life beyond Easter. Thorntons has launched a tantalising deal for the convenience channel this year. “Retailers should benefit from Thorntons core boxes to trade consumers up and offer a point of difference,” says Bloomer. “In addition, retailers will have access to Thorntons Premium Collection 310g, a seasonal exclusive box available at a promotional price for key trade periods.” The chocolates’ rrp is £7.99, but they are currently available at £3.99.

With big brands having so much faith in the convenience channel, it’s a sure sign that there is plenty of opportunity for indies. But it’s not just a case of going for the most obvious choice retailers must take the time to hunt out novelty lines that will put a spring in their sales. As Irvine says: “While the mults will relentlessly march on, there’s a place for independent retailers who think outside the box.” 

Read more:

Cash in: Easter - Over-egged
Cash in: Easter - It pays to display
Cash in: Easter - Ones to watch