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In many Asian markets, Chinese New Year signals the busiest trading period of the calendar for grocery retail. This year’s celebration, marking the Year of the Pig – representing good fortune, wealth and prosperity – was no exception, according to a brand-new report from international grocery researcher IGD Asia.
Shirley Zhu, IGD Singapore Director, says: “Retailers across Asia traditionally use this key trading period to boost sales with festive promotions and discounts, while suppliers come up with innovative ways to help drive brand awareness and sales at this peak time. IGD research has identified six key themes that emerged across Asian retailing during last month’s festivities.”
Shirley says: “With more people out and about shopping for groceries, Chinese New Year is a great opportunity for suppliers to capture attention and boost sales. This year, many suppliers used large, eye-catching graphics and celebratory messages to create displays showcasing their entire product portfolio.”
Shirley continues: “Retailers also add to the lively in-store atmosphere with cheery music, lanterns and flowers to enhance the shopping experience. Some retailers use a different theme each year, while others build on the same campaign over years to evoke a sense of familiarity.”
Shirley says: “Every year, manufacturers create beautiful, thematic packs for their flagship products. These limited-edition packs are very effective in attracting shoppers' attention, often linked to positive phrases and encouraging collection of a series, giving shoppers another reason to buy more.”
Shirley says: “Retailers also differentiate themselves from the competition during this New Year period with unique product offerings and giveaways. Collectible redemption gifts and valuable prizes are great ways to increase shopper spend and drive footfall. Items related to pigs were highly sought after this year.”
Shirley says: “Food is an integral part of the celebrations, but at the same time shoppers are becoming more aware of the need to manage their food intake. Manufacturers are offering healthy choices with reduced sugar or sugar-free options to help shoppers manage their diet. Health-focused products and supplements also play a role in promoting a balanced lifestyle, replacing indulgent snacks and alcohol in gift hampers.”
Shirley says: “As the lunar year begins, Chinese people enjoy trying their luck at games, as it is believed that good fortune will follow them if they start the year well. Besides giving away prizes in-store, retailers and suppliers are increasingly using digital games and integrating social media elements in their promotions. The prizes may also be tailored to target particular groups of shoppers.”
“Not everyone is able to celebrate the New Year and some retailers have made it very convenient for shoppers to donate to those who need help,” says Shirley. “Shoppers like giving back to the community to spread the joy, engaging them in a meaningful way and building goodwill for retailers who organise the activity.”
Shirley concludes: “There are some clear takeaways for suppliers and manufacturers to learn from during this critical trading period. Messages that revolve around attracting good fortune can be cleverly arranged in-store to magnify awareness of the range and drive appeal. Standing out from the crowd with innovative packaging ideas will also ensure that your brand stays visible.
“Suppliers can also offer a wider range of healthy food options, so shoppers can enjoy treats while also looking after their health. They should also consider the target shopper when offering prizes – tailoring the gifts can deepen engagement. And finally, giving shoppers the chance to help the underprivileged during this period will positively enhance your brand image.”
Download our free report on the top five trends shaping Asia’s retail market in 2019 and gain access to more insights at IGD Asia: asia.igd.com
For media enquiries, please contact Laura Roberts at [email protected] or +44 (0)1923 851986
Notes to editors: