Twitter Q&A – making the most of Christmas trading – check out the chat!

We were delighted with our inaugural Q&A on Twitter last night. By popular request, we have posted the conversation below for anyone who wasn’t able to be there…

First question… Christmas packaging – is full on festive or more subtle better? #xmasfoodies

Olive Branch ‏(@enjoyoliveoil): Interesting question – full on festive looks good on the shelves; but different in the gift receivers hands.
Relish (@Foodmktgclub): Agreed – hints, festive colours, recipes, etc can be enough – allows u (& retailer) longer to sell thru stock #xmasfoodies

Olive Branch: To elaborate my thoughts: keep the product packaging consistent with the brand & let the retailer take care of festive deco
Relish: You make a v good point – when they’re using it in Jan it, the holly or santas may not quite work! 🙂 #xmasfoodies

Olive Branch: Unless it is an outright Christmas food item (like Christmas pud) of course 😉
Relish: Well yes, Christmas pud may be exempt there! 🙂 #xmasfoodies

Relish: Anyone else have a view re pckg style for Christmas? What about ‘Winter’ vs ‘Christmas’ design? #xmasfoodies

Laura Campbell ‏(@thepurplelaura): Something relevant to your brand is important…
Relish: Great point Laura – shoe-horning Christmas into ur brand if doesn’t fit can just look false…. 🙂 #xmasfoodies

When do you start work on Christmas? #xmasfoodies

Laura Campbell ‏(@thepurplelaura): Too late I know!
Relish: Never too late but always good idea to review Xmas in Jan to see how you can improve the planning for next year #xmasfoodies

Relish: Interesting feedback from deli owner! Start analysing xmas sales Jan, complete orders by end of Summer. When do u sell in? #xmasfoodies

Westlands BBQ ‏(@westlandsbbq): We breed our own Christmas Turkeys saddleback pork etc. We need to start planning nearly a year out
Relish: Ah yes, good point. When do you begin selling in? #xmasfoodies

Westlands BBQ: Mainly a week or so prior to #xmas but if people preorder we can arrange turkeys for #thanksgiving or for dinners in December

What’s the most unusual Christmas success you’ve had…? 🙂 #xmasfoodies

Butcher Baker ‏(@DomesticJules): Does accidently using some of my husbands most expensive whisky in a Christmas pudding count?
Relish: Absolutely – bet that was one good Xmas pudding!

Butcher Baker: Price wise it gave Heston’s a run for its money. I’d used a peaty whisky so was a bit strong for me, but all the men loved it.
Relish: Hey, differentiating from norm key at time when lots of competition so maybe worth repeating! 🙂 #xmasfoodies

Butcher Baker: I’ve been banned from going near husband’s whisky collection since! It’s worth repeating though with more appropriate whisky!

Have you done any joint Xmas promotions with other food producers – have they worked? #xmasfoodies

Cindy Cheung ‏(@missiecindz): YES! Project collaborations are key to product development. Great way of brand awareness, learning new things & sharing skills.
Relish: Couldn’t agree more – also great way to attract new consumers to try your product

Top tips for turning sampling sessions into sales? #xmasfoodies

Love2Spice (@Love2Spice): samples… keep covered for food hygiene plus means only those who might buy get offered a freebie. Found I was giving 2 many away b4!
Relish: Good point re the food hygiene. Do you collect email addresses of all samplers? Good way to start building a relationship with them

Love2Spice: Ooh not thought of that! I keep meaning to encourage people to find me on FB too!
Relish: Another good idea. Maybe ask them to post on FB what they liked best about the sample they tried?

Love2Spice: Right – I’m at Harrogate tomorrow, I’ll try that one out straightaway! Thanks

NewTrition (‏@NewTritionHQ): Good tips… hoping to try my hands at markets soon 🙂
Relish: Let us know you you get on – lots more advice on the Relish site about making the most of markets

NewTrition: Thanks will definitely have a look and soak up all the tips and advice 🙂
Relish: Don’t forget – any questions – just drop us a line and we’d love to help

So there it is!

What would be your top tips for a successful Christmas season?

For more tips on tackling the tricky Christmas scenarios, check out our advice in Speciality Food Magazine this month (Nov 2012 issue) here.