The sun is shining. It’s hot and humid. The beach beckons. Which can only mean one thing in the world of retail, it must be summer and therefore, time to get ready for Christmas!

Getting your products and promotions wrapped ahead of the festive season is key to capitalising on this great window of opportunity. For producers associated with the food and drink category, this is the time of year that represents huge potential for enhanced sales. Not only are consumers more likely to increase their food and drink spend for home consumption and entertaining during the Yuletide celebrations – specialist food and drink purchases also represent the perfect gifting solution for a broad and varied audience.

Preparation is key. Start as early as you can to develop your Christmas sales strategy. Here are some pointers to consider:

Identify your hero products for the season and use them to drive people into your store / to the website. These don’t necessarily need to be new additions to your range, products that enjoy a loyal following are equally important

Invest in Christmas themed photography. Trying to sell a ‘Christmas’ story with the same pack shot or lifestyle photography that you use year-round will never generate the best results

Develop appealing festive serving suggestions or Christmas themed recipes to inspire consumers

Consider a special Christmas gift box offer – these will not only enhance the appeal of your product as a gifting proposition but can also represent an excellent mark-up opportunity

Work hard to raise awareness of your Christmas collection. In long-lead media terms, Christmas coverage is first collated in July so you may be lucky to still secure coverage in a long-lead title but are now more likely to hit the shorter-lead publications, eg nationals, weeklies, online … Put some effort into the way in which you present your Christmas information and don’t forget, journalists love to sample goods before they write about them!

In these socially distanced times, Christmas events are likely to be few and far between, so you need to work your PR and social media even harder to attract attention to your products. Look at organising some Christmas promotions to generate tactical controlled and guaranteed coverage of your key messages

If you have a website, make sure you change your content to reflect your Christmas messaging and ensure you have a strong call to action – this may be a discount, the chance to earn loyalty points or even entry into a prize draw. If you don’t have a website and your product fits the deli shop / farm shop market, speak to The Food Marketing Experts about getting your brand online via

Research potential third party collaborations whose customers replicate your own target audience as a low-cost means to attract new consumers

If you need any additional support to plan for Christmas, The Food Marketing Experts are always on hand. We’ll certainly give Santa’s helpers a run for their money!!