DS Smith team up with Thorntons to bring Santa’s Grotto to shoppers

DS Smith has been awarded bronze at the 2014 POPAI awards for bringing Christmas to life in supermarkets across the UK with its Santa’s grotto front of store display.

Thorntons has been making chocolate and confectionery for more than a century and celebrated its 100th birthday in 2011. It is a famous British brand, well-loved at times of celebration and famous for its personalised icing.

With retailers and brands battling it out at Christmas to promote their products, Thorntons joined forces with DS Smith’s packaging division to create the ultimate Santa’s grotto experience in store. 130 grottos were produced and featured in 112 Co-op stores and 18 Thorntons retail stores across the UK.

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The grottos featured in stores for eight weeks in the lead up to Christmas in 2013 and were also seen in shopping centres as part of a Thorntons pop up shop display.

The grotto was designed to deliver an innovative and market leading point of difference over Thornton’s competitors and secure premium front of store locations. The tunnel function meant that it was a truly interactive experience for children and families shopping in the lead up to Christmas and the unusual display drew attention to Thornton’s new product ranges.

The challenge for DS Smith packaging was to create a unique and eye catching display that provided additional selling space and allowed for products to be displayed effectively.

Tony Foster, sales and marketing director, at DS Smith Packaging UK commented “The Thorntons Christmas grotto is a brilliant example of the impact of store display. It invites customers to engage with the product in a new and exciting way whilst also providing an opportunity for the Thorntons brand to be seen as soon as customers walk into their local Co-op. This is where the design really comes into it’s own, creating a one-off store display that allows a brand to stand out from the crowd whilst maintaining strong brand equity and ultimately selling more products.”

Tony continued “It was a pleasure to work with an iconic brand such as Thorntons and create a one-off complex design. The success of this product shows that with the right print and packaging, brands are able to deliver the same customer promise throughout the whole supply chain process. We are thrilled to have won for our 2013 campaign and with the 2014 theatre display just hitting stores, we are anticipating similar success.”

Eve Roberts, Head of Customer Marketing at Thorntons Plc said “DS Smith were pivotal in the development of this challenging display that hadn’t been done before. With the high level of anticipated shopper interaction, it had to be rigourously tested for stability and longevity in store. Needless to say, it passed with flying colours.”

Eve continued “We would certainly use front of store seasonal display packaging again, as not only did it draw customers to browse the full range of wonderful Christmas products that Thorntons had on offer but it also helped us build a relationship with leading supermarket Co-op.”