2020 brought about a slew of new consumer trends, and the desire for comfort food was one of them. In fact, according to the 2021 State of Treating report from the National Confectioners Association (NCA), “chocolate sales grew 4.2% during 2020.”
Easter is regularly among the top holidays for candy sales, which is why this year, candy brands like Cadbury, Peeps and Mars are tapping into the power of digital initiatives, strategic partnerships and popular social platforms to promote their newest Easter campaigns and candy offerings.
Cadbury Launches Virtual Easter Egg Hunt Through Google Maps
For Easter 2021, Cadbury took its iconic Easter Egg hunt virtual and created a pandemic-friendly search with the help of Google Maps. Consumers interested in taking part can visit Cadbury’s custom mini site, created for the virtual hunt, where they will fill out an online form with their email addresses. Cadbury will then send a unique link to the “Cadbury Worldwide Hide.” Once the link is received, participants can “hide” a digital Easter egg on Google Maps for a loved one, sending “personalized clues” to help find the egg.
By altering the idea of the traditional Easter egg hunt experience to fit into what many of today’s consumers’ celebrations will look like, Cadbury is engaging consumers in a relevant way and fostering a feeling of connectedness. “This year, we felt it was important for us to create something that would help people feel close, even when they cannot be together. There is something so generous in taking the time to hide an egg at Easter, and we wanted to capture that in a way everyone could do,” said Markéta Kristlová, senior brand manager for Easter U.K., Mondelez International.
Peeps Returns After Year-Long Hiatus With Two New Partnerships
After halting all production in 2020 as a result of COVID-19, Peeps is back in business, kicking off the Easter season with two strategic partnerships. First, collaborating with Build-A-Bear Workshop, Peeps launched a branded collection of “cuddly plush Bunnies and PEEPS-themed accessories that guarantee you'll have the cutest companion this Easter season.” Peeps is also encouraging consumers to create their own PEEPS Build-A-Bear Bunnies through the online Bear Builder, promoting the seamless buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS), curbside pickup and delivery options today’s consumers have come to crave and expect.
Second, the iconic Easter candy brand teamed up with cruelty-free beauty brand Hipdot to launch a “limited-edition makeup collection inspired by your favorite Easter treat [Peeps].” The makeup line – inclusive of an eyeshadow palette and sponge set – was featured on the Ulta and the Hipdot websites, selling out in a short period of time. “When you think of the spring season, you think of all things flowers, Easter and, of course Peeps Chicks and Bunnies,” said Jeff Sellinger, HipDot CEO. “With the Peeps Brand making its triumphant return to store shelves this Easter, we wanted to offer fans a way to enjoy this sweet seasonal staple, year-round.”
Mars Leverages Pinterest Platform & Tastemade Network To Promote New Products & Reach Larger Audiences
Mars is tapping into the wide consumer reach that both Tastemade and Pinterest hold in order to promote its newest Easter candies, the Dove Silky Smooth Promises and M&M Minis. Using the popular DIY trend to lure consumers in, Mars created a number of fun videos (in collaboration with Tastemade, and then promoted on Pinterest) for consumers looking to take part in fun – and safe – Easter activities, like at-home decorations, tricks for dying Easter eggs and new recipes for sweet treats.
Leveraging Pinterest for its Easter promotions this year is a smart move by Mars, with Pinterest users accumulating “229 million saved posts and 37 million searches related to the occasion [Easter],” according to Marketing Dive reporter Robert Williams. Williams notes that in 2020, Pinterest shared that “Easter generates significant interest among its user base, which last year  grew 37% to 459 million monthly average users (MAUs).” The at-home DIY theme promoted through the latest Mars partnerships should resonate with consumers seeking pandemic-friendly Easter activities, as holiday gatherings and in-store shopping for traditional Easter décor remains on hold for many people.
By engaging with consumers online through interactive digital initiatives, product offerings and original content, candy brands like Cadbury, Peeps and Mars are helping consumers feel connected during the Easter holiday, while increasing awareness and consumer interaction for their respective brands. Candy brands should continue to leverage the Easter holiday as a moment to connect with consumers early and often in order to capitalize on opportunities to reach shoppers ready to purchase sweet treats for their upcoming celebrations.
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About the AuthorMore Content by Carolyn Harding