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Tis’ the season to be … busy!

2020/08/10

Here at 4Pack, though, we are casting our thoughts towards Christmas 2021…. yes, seriously.

Why? Well, we know that for you NPD folk out there that 2020 is so ‘last year’ when it comes to Christmas. September 2020 will see the briefs rolling in for the Christmas 2021 ranges!

Aldi have just announced their new 2020 Christmas range, and the whole world is on a knife edge, keenly awaiting an announcement on the launch of 2020 PSL (that’s Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, if you’re not in the know, the seasonal sensation worth according to Forbes > $110 million dollars). We think everyone will be looking forward to indulging in some foodie treats this year.
 

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Getting a Christmas range to market takes 9-12 months of concentrated activity. It seems that when you’ve finished one Christmas range, it’s almost time to start again.
And it’s tricky too, trying to keep products ‘on-trend’ when planning so far in advance. Not to mention making those deadlines, moving Christmas is kind of, non-negotiable.

Christmas is big business, especially here in the UK. 

Leading manufacturers of seasonal goods like Kinnerton, Park Cakes and BBF have busy periods of production to deal with. Kinnerton produces over 10 million chocolate advent calendars per year (as well as their other ranges). Park Cakes and BBF will be stealing a share of the > 700 million mince pies that us Brits are said to consume over the seasonal period.

But Christmas is just one season, many Product Developers, Retailers and Manufacturers are constantly juggling different seasonal and promotional periods. For sweet treats and gifting, Halloween is in there as well as the traditional festivals such as Easter. 

If you check your foodie calendars there’s a lot of potential for promotional buzz throughout the year! For example, Veganuary saw a 60% increase in popularity in 2020 with 400 thousand people signing up. That’s going to continue to be a key period going forwards for new meat-free and plant based NPD, especially with the current and growing interest in alternative sources of protein.

So, what’s this all mean?

From a marketing and sales perspective, it shows that the Scarcity Principle works. Consumers attribute more value to things if they are only readily available for short periods of time. Seasonal products and promotions are attractive, and they can be big revenue winners.

From an NPD, technical and artwork perspective, it translates to many concurrent product and packaging changes that need to be managed through the business. 

It also means that there’s going to be pinch periods throughout the year where seasonal changes overlap; for example, the requirement to start on the next Easter whilst wrapping up Christmas if you’re in the confectionery business.

This is the complex landscape of product and packaging change, and there comes a time when managing changes via spreadsheets just becomes frankly untenable where the time spent to update manual trackers becomes hours not minutes. 

If this is something that rings true in your company, we’d love to hear about your experiences.

About 4Pack

4Pack is a cloud-based digital system that helps you manage your NPD processes by automating workflow management which keeps people on task and allows you to manage your projects more effectively.

Within 4Pack, teams digitally co-locate and collaborate directly in a cloud-based platform, with instant access to project status and transparency of actions and responsibilities. 

4Pack speeds up projects and reduces risk by centralising the management of product specifications, packaging specifications, artworks and digital assets that are created and approved throughout the process. 

Please get in touch on contact@4-pack.co.uk or call 0207 491 1907 to speak to our team.

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4Pack exists to help Food & Beverage manufacturers and brands of all sizes to push innovative, safer products to market across channels quickly. If you want to turbo charge your product launch process, book a demo with one of our experts.