Insight & Opinion



March 13th, 2024

February Retail Highlights

Love was in the air in stores this month, more so than previous years, engaging shoppers with Valentine's gifts and romantic nights in ideas. We spotted some great initiatives by brands, from supporting the independent retail sector and branded bays, to break-up pizzas and sustainable cocktail making!

Romantic Nights In

"A lovely tactical partnership on many levels, leveraging the key Valentine's period. Successfully doing exactly the job it needs to, in creating engaging visual merchandising. Right message, right partnership, right time, right display…” - F&BM View

Ferrero Rocher teamed up with Oyster Bay to offer shoppers the perfect chocolate and wine pairing for their Valentines celebratory gifting and moments.

  • The joint display incorporated an off-pack promotion inviting consumers to scan the QR code for a chance to win a romantic night in prize worth £100, via a prize draw
  • Each prize consisted of a bundle of vouchers; £25 film e-voucher, £25 Sainsbury’s e-voucher and a £50 takeaway voucher
  • Promotion ended 14th of February
  • Captured in Sainsbury’s, Brookwood and St Clare’s

The Gift of Bliss

"Lindt is perfect for any gifting occasion. This campaign offers consumers the chance to spoil or impress that special someone with the gift of pure bliss. The iconic heart-shaped boxes and distinctive brand colouring makes it the perfect way to say ‘I love you’!" - F&BM View

Lindt went bold in-store with a cleverly crafted 3D heart bay header display of its gifting product range, complete with CTA.

  • The brand’s iconic liquid chocolate imagery enticed shoppers, showcasing the smoothness of its truffle filling
  • The supporting aisle fins are designed using visuals from ‘Do You Dream in Chocolate?’ Lindor commercial
  • Captured in Sainsbury’s St. Clare’s

Going Polyamorous!

"Love the way that 19 Crimes has embraced the zeitgeist this Valentine's Day, whilst staying true to their brand essence. I particularly like the barbed wire detail in the key art, showcasing 12 relationship types. Who knew there were 12?!” - F&BM View

19 Crimes leveraged the Valentine’s event by celebrating relationships that break convention, with a limited-edition heart label on its red wines. The idea was born out of insight from street the brand conducted.

  • This found that 2 in 5 of the 2,000 18-42yr olds spoken to have either been in a committed polyamorous relationship or are considering it
  • True to the brand’s disruptive nature, it unveiled its limited-edition Valentine’s Day label to challenge consumers, featuring a list of 12 relationship types to profile themselves against

Sweet Treats

"Pairing fun messaging with an on-trend, spin-to-win mechanic promises to drive brand and product awareness, especially offering the chance to win from a variety of great prizes - without the need for a proof of purchase!" - F&BM View

Gü Desserts launched a  ‘Love is…’ on-pack promotion, to inspire the nation’s couples to look for small ways to show their love, from a sweet text to a sweet treat.

  • On-pack messaging includes ‘One in a Zillion’, ‘You Melt My Heart’ and ‘You’re the Zest'
  • Consumers scan the on-pack QR code and spin to win prizes such as Virgin Experience vouchers, Majestic Wine gift cards and meal kits. Running until 10th April
  • Supported by a social media campaign featuring consumers’ stories of what love is to them
  • Captured in Waitrose Guildford and Sainsbury’s

Bundle for Beer Lovers

"Bundles are a great opportunity for brands; cross promoting your products with others. This one appeals on multiple fronts and with the value proposition of a range of treats, it’s perfect for a couples Valentine’s night in!" - F&BM View

Beavertown Brewery created a beer and chocolate bundle for beer lovers to share to celebrate Valentine’s nights in, available on the brand’s site. It was both GQ and The Sun’s top choice, also one of Marie Claire’s favourite Valentine’s Day gift ideas.

  • For £30, the bundle included; 7 can selection of beers, Joe & Seph’s Caramel & Belgian Chocolate Popcorn, Montezuma’s Giant Buttons, special Valentine’s glasses – a pint and half pint glass

Goodbye Pies

"This creative idea helped Pizza Hut stand out, got people talking on social media, and connected well with consumers at an emotional time. Hopefully it didn’t serve to upset anyone! Shame it only ran for the short Valentine’s Day occasion and in just New York." - F&BM View

Based on the insight that the build-up to Valentine’s Day is a peak time for break-ups, Pizza Hut ran a campaign in NY, offering consumers fee deliveries to ex-lovers’ addresses, complete with customised messaging on the delivery box!

  • YouGov polling revealed that 45% of people believe its best to end troubled relationships before February 14th
  • Available via, the limited-edition Hot Honey pizzas were perfect, whether the senders’ intentions were sweet or salty!

Date Escapes

"This was a fantastic way to inject Kraken into the Valentine’s Day occasion, giving it a role with brand authenticity. A well thought through activation to generate awareness, but perhaps it could have been extended to select non-SOS pick-ups too!" - F&BM View

Kraken Rum hosted a motorbike service for Londoners to rescue them from bad dates on Valentine’s Day.

  • Those wanting to make swift mid-date exits, sent an SOS message to ‘The Date Escape’ with their name and location and within minutes a Kraken-branded motorbike and driver roared to their rescue, whisking them away to a Bike Shed in Shoreditch, to share complimentary Kraken Rum cocktails
  • Picks ups were available from 5pm – 10pm, with pre-booking spots available for those wishing to plan their escape in advance!

Emotional Support Sauce

"Heinz has emerged as a leading pioneer in quirky and unconventional campaigns, exemplified by their latest - emotional support sauce. Capitalising on trends is their forte, and whilst I can't envision myself sporting a bottle of ketchup, it’s undeniably memorable, which is what makes it Heinz!" - F&BM View

Heinz launched a limited-edition bottle kit in the US, called the Emotional Support Ketchup Bottle (its take on the emotional support water bottle), designed to be kept on-hand in case of an ‘emergency’ application! It helped to position the brand as the season’s must-have culinary travel companion and ‘energy gel’ for sauce lovers!

  • A social media campaign on Instagram and TikTok supported sales via Amazon
  • The acronym BYOB was tweaked to BYOK  (Bring Your Own Ketchup)!

Clink with Pink

"Special editions inspired by and dedicated to ‘the power of friendship and the love it brings’ are on the mark to draw younger consumers. Add crafting by Jama, and the coup of potentially partying with her, to ensure they ‘Clink with Pink’ this coming season." - F&BM View

Gordon’s is leveraging its Premium Pink partnership with Maya Jama, to offer consumers the chance to win 1 of 4 pairs of tickets to an exclusive Maya Jama Party in London in July ’24, plus £800 spending money (for transport etc.).

  • Limited-edition bottles are emblazoned with Maya’s signature / phrases e.g. ’Cling Cling, My Honeys’
  • The partnership positioning is about being unapologetically yourself, bringing people together and having the best time with friends
  • Text to win, proof of purchase required. January – April
  • In Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Co-op stores

Making Meal Occasions

”Love Pizza? I absolutely do and with so many prizes, there’s a good chance of winning here! I enjoyed the simplicity and excitement of the big red button and ‘Push it’ CTA. However, whilst purchase isn’t necessary, consumers have to download the app and create an account to take part.” - F&BM View

To enhance the brand’s positioning as ‘magical meal moment’ makers and support shoppers during challenging times, Coca-Cola is running an on-pack promotion, offering consumers the chance to win 25,000 x £20 Domino’s Pizza vouchers, plus 1 of 4 exclusive city escapes to Naples to enjoy the Pizza Village. 

  • Entitled ‘Love Pizza? Win a Pizza’, the free prize draw is running for 8 weeks (from end January) and will award roughly 450 wins per day
  • Entry is via the Coke App, accessed via on-pack QR code
  • Supported by influencer, digital, video-on-demand and OOH campaign, plus pop-up activations

Branded Bays

There’s a build of branded bays being secured in BWS. Here are some of the latest including Guinness in 96 Tesco stores and Jack Daniels in Asda.

A big win, win

”This dual promotion is a rich offering for both consumers and trade, certain to engage, but it is particularly strong for the wholesale channel. Cash incentive, simple QR entry mechanic and most notably, bold, clear messaging from case to POS display.” - F&BM View

Pladis is supporting it’s Jacobs Mini Cheddars consumer promotion with an impactful trade offer to win cash, both using a simple buy, QR code scan and win mechanic.

  • An ‘every pack wins’ proposition will hook the consumers in, with a 3-tier travel-themed prize pool of European trips, experience vouchers and MONP coupons this March – June
  • The trade proposition to ‘Win cash and give your shoppers the chance to win’ is now live and proving to secure high impact in C&C stores
  • The QR code and entry details are featured on the side of all cases

Cadbury Celebrates 200 Years

The Cadbury brand has a history of working with and supporting trade businesses and to celebrate 200 years, it is inviting retailers to share their best business tips with their peers, for rewards.

  • Entry is via a form on Mondelez’s trade-focused advice site
  • The best idea will win £5,000, the next 10 will win £1,000 each etc.


Pepsi Rebrand

Britvic has launched an initiative for retailers called the ‘Pepsi Max Thirsty for More’ competition, to coincide its rebrand

  • The brand is inviting retailers (Feb – Mar) to explain why they need help with driving their soft drinks range sales
  • 5 winners will receive a one-to-one visit and tailored planogram from a member of Britvic’s category team


Diageo One

Diageo has transformed its ‘Diageo One’ platform aimed at supporting independent retailers, which was previously only available to the on-trade.

  • 1,000 independent operators were engaged to establish their needs, challenges and ambitions
  • Free to use it provides advice, critical insight and tools

Sustainable Cocktails

"This challenge exemplifies global engagement and eco-innovation. It’s a commendable effort to promote sustainability in the bartending community at this scale. The 'mixing it up worldwide' headline is fun and memorable and the botanical branding effectively reinforces the brand's eco-credentials" - F&BM View

Flor de Caña Rum once again forged new links with bars around the world running the third edition of its Sustainable Cocktail Challenge competition. True to the brand’s historic commitment to sustainability, the initiative set new standards in the on-trade across the world.

  • Over 30 countries participated, inspiring the bartending community to create spectacular cocktails using sustainable ingredients and techniques
  • The final took place last month in Nicaragua, following local finals in Miami, Austin and LA
  • The title of ’World’s Most Sustainable Bartender’ was awarded with the prize of US$10,000

'Steal' Artois

”As cash-strapped students, we have all pilfered the odd glass, wrapped in a beer towel, hidden in a traffic cone... right? Stella have brazenly given the green light for us to continue our on-trade crime spree but to do so in style. Collector's items in the making.” - F&BM View

AB InBev-owned brand Stella Artois has embraced the consumer habit of pilfering its iconic chalice glasses from pubs and bars, by launching a limited-edition line  of clothing named ‘The Steal Artois Collection’, crafted to make the task less conspicuous!

  • The collection consists of 5 branded garments including jeans, jackets with capacious pockets and a bucket hat that doubles as a bag
  • A supporting digital, OOH, social media and print campaign includes ads showcasing inventive ways to conceal a chalice