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Easy ways to exploit Christmas opportunities this year

It’s that time of year again. Christmas trees and lights are going up. Michael Bublé is playing on the radio. Everyone is feeling jolly. Well maybe not everyone… catering at Christmas can be hectic for many! It may only last for a short period of time but it’s a time that provides great opportunity for increasing customer spend. From Christmas dinners to staff parties, there’s lots you need to consider and plenty of opportunities to take advantage of.

To help you check off your Christmas list, I have pieced together some key things to consider for the festive season…

Snacking options are an easy win…

Snacking has developed from just leaving cookies and milk for Santa, to a great way of gaining incremental sales in the period. By stocking Christmas themed snack options, you add a seasonal touch to your offer. To encourage spontaneous purchasing, place products like mince pies, stollen muffins and Christmas pudding cookies by the tills; it’s a great way to increase spend per person,  particularly those consumers who are buying hot drinks and might fancy an accompanying Christmas snack.

This leads nicely to my next point, drinks…

Festive drinks are a must…

A fantastic example of how to do it right at Christmas would be how Starbucks do it. As soon as it gets to November, all I see on my social media feeds is that Christmas red cup and people getting into the Christmas spirit. November is too early for me… but it’s a great way of being part of the conversation on the build up to Christmas. Plus the free advertising helps their products and brand reach a wide audience, fully demonstrating the power of “Instagrammable” content.

Festive cups are great for adding a Christmas feel, but don’t overlook winter syrups and flavours for your drinks. These again have been massively popular for big coffee shop chains and have almost built up a consumer expectation during the season… it’s November now so consumers want a gingerbread latte (step aside Pumpkin Spice, your season is over). Make sure you don’t limit yourself to hot drinks as syrups are versatile and can be used to create festive cocktails (or mocktails!) for work Christmas parties. Plus, you can actually use syrups in food too. A winter syrup not only spices up your coffee offering but it also works really well in a bread and butter pudding, meaning your menu is packed with those flavours that are so synonymous with Christmas.

People are eating less meat so consider alternatives…

For way too long vegan and vegetarian options at Christmas have been so boring. It doesn’t have to be the case anymore. Nowadays people are eating less meat and actually 49% of meat-free alternatives are eaten by non-vegetarians!1  With this reduction of meat consumption, there’s been a huge rise in innovation for vegan dishes that are coming on leaps and bounds in terms of variety  and quality. It’s not just some vegetables put together anymore, there is a growing demand for “dirty vegan” food that is similar to meat dishes. Think how popular the Greggs vegan sausage roll was when it launched! For simplicity on menus, you can adapt existing vegetarian options to be a bit more Christmassy… try serving halloumi fries with cranberry sauce as an easy win.

It’s the season for sharing…

Due to a rise in popular high street brands offering personalisation, consumers expect an element of this in your offer. Also, consumers are using their lunch break for social eating, particularly later on in the week.2 This will only become more of an opportunity as businesses do more with employee wellbeing to promote taking proper lunch breaks. This increase in both personalisation and sociable dining provides a great opportunity to promote sharing options in your offering. Personally I’m a sucker for a tear and share camembert with cranberry sauce at this time of year.

 

So despite Christmas being a reasonably short time of year to cater for, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of to boost sales and increase customer spend. If you’re looking for specific product support then we have the perfect Christmas range for you. This includes all the new innovation you could need to keep your menus fresh. Have a great Christmas and a well-deserved break!

 

1 (Kantar World Panel, 2018)

2 (Daytime Diets and Meal Planning Research, Bidfood and ABA, 2018)

Date posted: 29/11/2019
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