Giant Tubes are a key area to stock up on from November. “The giant tube category performed well in the convenience channel last Christmas with value sales up by 7%,” says Walker. Key lines from Nestlé include Smarties, Milkybar, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, and Pick n Mix. Munchies joins the line-up for 2011, too.

Mars is taking advantage of tubes’ popularity with a Milky Way Magic Stars variant and an M&Ms tube. Kinder is also entering the fray with festive-themed packs of Kinder Chocolate Minis. The individually wrapped chocolates retail at £1.50.

Leaf is another newcomer with the Chewits Chewb. Packs contain four stickpacks from the two best-selling flavours Strawberry and Xtreme Sour Apple rrp £1.

Hancocks has expanded its giant tubes range to 14 products this year. It has worked in partnership with a number of key brands to introduce some popular new varieties including Wham Minis, Swizzels Drumsticks, Barratts Blackjacks, and Cadbury Animals. “All of our tubes retail at £1 and make ideal token gifts, stocking fillers or treats to share,” says Summerley. Hancocks will be running its Christmas two-day extra discount event on November 6 and 7.

With so much npd available, choosing what will work for you is no mean feat. “Each retailer will have their own interpretation of how to stock the seasonal offerings versus the traditional lines,” says Werther’s’ Mutton. “Retailers have an understanding of their shopper demographic so should use this to stock brands that shoppers are more tuned into such as Bendicks in affluent areas. It’s all about balance it is important to ensure you are stocking the firm favourites that consumers love, mixed in with the new and exciting products which will offer them something different at Christmas.”

And, of course, timing is a crucial component, says Walker. “If retailers focus on the right range at the right time for the right shopper mission, they can anticipate a profitable season.”

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