FOR the last two years, it has become one of the most popular Christmas presents in the country: a personalised tin of Quality Street.
Shoppers have been able to choose their own selection of sweets and get their own name on the lid.
Celeb fans have included Holly Willoughby, Tamzin Outhwaite and Vicki Pattison all boasting of bagging their own tins.
But these pick ‘n’ mix tins have only been available at John Lewis department stores.
And, at peak moments, the queues to enter the pop-up Quality Street shops have stretched to two hours, as desperate shoppers waited to fill their tin with just green triangles or just toffee pennies, or whatever sweets they most liked.
Because of Covid-19, John Lewis has dropped the Quality Street concessions from department stores this year.
The retailer was concerned that the crush of Strawberry Delight fans would make social distancing impossible.
But Nestlé, the Swiss chocolate company that makes Quality Street, has come to the rescue, opening an online shop.
Here, you will be able to not only personalise a metal tin with your name, but also choose your own selection of favourite sweets.
The company says the online shop (www.qualitystreet.co.uk), due to open today, will be open 12 months a year.
How to cut the cost of your grocery shop
MONEY.CO.UK has shared some top tips with us to help you keep your supermarket spend down to a minimum.
- Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
- Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
- Never shop hungry – You are far more likely to buy more food if your tummy is rumbling
- Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
- Use social media – Follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
- Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
- Check the small print – It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
- Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards
Shoppers will no longer need to queue in a department store, they will be able to personalise their tins from the comfort of their sofas.
There is a catch, however. The fancy tins will cost £15.99, slightly more than they were last year at John Lewis, when the personalised boxes cost £15.
Plus, there is a delivery charge of £2.99.
There’s more bad news: the tins have shrunk from 1.2kg last year to 1kg this year.
This is the latest example of shrinkflation – when consumers get less food for the same price – to bedevil the Christmas chocolate market.
An ordinary plastic tub of Quality Street has steadily fallen in size in recent years from 1kg in 2010, to 820g in 2012, to 750g in 2016 to 650g this year.
A similar shrinking has happened to tubs of both Celebrations and Cadbury Roses.
The 650g tins of ordinary, rather than personalised, Quality Street cost £4 in most supermarkets – so shoppers are paying a substantial premium to receive a tin with their own name and own selection of sweets.
But many superfans will not be deterred by the high price.
If you are desperate for nothing but 1kg of coconut eclairs (are you mad?) this is the only way to get them.
Ellie Dent, from Quality Street said: “Quality Street is the number one seasonal brand, and we’re incredibly proud of that, but it’s also the perfect gift at any time.
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“That’s why we are making it easier than ever to create and personalise your Quality Street experience.
“For instance, does your family vie for the Green Triangles and Caramel Swirls while Toffee Fingers are left in the tin?
“Now you can avoid debate this year and create a mix that everyone will love.”