Share and connect

Some social trends – such as the sharing economy or people opting for experience or activity holidays and then sharing them on social media – are part of a general trend towards greater openness and informality.

This behavioural change is also creating more occasions where consumers are looking for products for casual socialising with friends, family or partners. Confectionery is a good choice for these moments when people can ‘share and connect’ at the same time, says Nestlé International Travel Retail in underlining another key driver.

Ensuring that products and formats are relevant in travel

retail for this type of casual social sharing moments can drive sales, says the brand owner. With consumers travelling more often for pleasure and work, and families and friends living disconnected lives – whether by geography or time zone or both – when they meet they want products that give them time to connect.

The downsides in creating this offer are that formats may be cumbersome; flavours are not universally popular; and the fact that sharing has become widely available in categories like cakes and crisps means it is no longer a novelty.

Products for casual socialising with friends, family or partner - there’s always the perfect confectionery

Nestlé suggests that share-bags or boxes, pouches, pop-open boxes, tubs, wrapped and unwrapped products are packaging formats that work for sharing. Inside, products should be bite-sized with enough variety in one pack so that the shopper can please everyone.

For sharing that is focused on kids, novelty items are a way to pique their interest while appropriate flavours/tastes/textures – for example not dark or spicy – are more likely to elicit a positive response.

Couples can be targeted with more indulgent products using adult textures/flavours, while stand-out visual concepts with social media or Instagram appeal have greater resonance among pre-Boomer age groups.

The sharing target is broad, ranging from Family Enthusiasts, Gen Z/Millennials, Empty Nesters and two-person households. The product is usually consumed at home (not during a trip) unless it is bought for work colleagues.

Consumer insights

  • Significant numbers of travelling consumers regard snacking confectionery as a vehicle for bonding while gifting chocolate is perceived to create a connection
  • Close friends and family need products that are big enough and easy to share
  • Older couples regard premium products as less of an indulgence
  • Consumers are increasingly using food as a means of creating and strengthening social connections
  • Millennials are highly likely to want sharing products and will seek out distinct, social media ‘worthy’ experiences in connection with shared moments

Spotlight Series

December 2019

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