Christmas: Our Quick Guide To Festive Hampers

By 'quick' we didn't mean short! Christmas is the busiest time in the retail calendar for selling hampers and there's lots to share to help you make the most of this golden opportunity.

In this article we'll give you a round-up of how to create the perfect Christmas hamper and give you top tips on how to boost sales and maximise profits during the festive period.

1. What to put in a Christmas hamper

Christmas is notoriously a time of over-indulgence. It wouldn't be Christmas without a hamper full of delicious food and drink to celebrate the holiday season. Christmas pud, boozy chocolates, buttery mince pies, stinky cheeses and tangy chutneys are just some of the mouth-watering treats customers hope to find inside a Christmas hamper.

Customers expect the very best variety and tastes available in their hamper. For many, gift hamper baskets are considered a luxury, a special purchase they splurge on for the celebratory occasion. They expect something over and above what they could pick up off the supermarket shelf. Also, no mere bite-sized portions please, Christmas is a time for spoiling friends, loved ones and ourselves!

The best food hamper gifts cater to most dietary needs and include alcohol-free options, so everyone can enjoy a gourmet food hamper.

Be sure to include options in your Christmas hamper range to accommodates families, couples and individuals. Our large 18 inch wicker hampers are big enough to accommodate a festive feast for sharing amongst groups, whilst our small wicker gift trays and 12 inch hamper basket are a good size for a personal gift.

An entire Christmas hamper can be curated with a specific recipient's interests in mind, for example a 'cheese lovers gift basket', a 'retro sweets hamper' and a 'gift for him' packed with savoury foods favourite with men, such as cured meat, pork scratchings and cider.

Hampers with Christmas packaging

2. How to arrange a Christmas gift hamper

Once you've selected the contents of your Christmas hampers the next step is to assemble your gift baskets in an appealing arrangement that will entice shoppers to take a closer look (and buy!).

Pre-assembled cardboard gift boxes and empty wicker hamper baskets will save you valuable time during the busy trading period allowing staff more time on the shop floor serving and helping customers.

Shredded paper is going to prop-up and hold gifts in their rightful places. As a rough guide, we generally recommend filling your gift boxes, gift trays and wicker hamper baskets half way to the top with paper fill, but how much you end up using will depend on the volume and weight of each item. Shredded paper is available in a wide array of colours; neutral cream, white and manilla shred are a popular choice as they complement gift packaging with even the most unique designs. Red, burgundy and dark green shred can be used to add some festive flare.

When deciding where to place the items in your hamper think about how you can create a 'wow' factor for shoppers and recipients. For a winning composition position the most desirable gifts in the centre of the hamper and larger items to the back. Arrange smaller items around the edges and distribute colour evenly throughout the hamper.

If you're packing gift boxes with windows then ensure there is good visibility of your products through the see-through lid and that all products are facing the right way! The same goes for card gift trays with clear lids, the products need to sit flush of the top of the tray and all be facing the same direction.

Wicker hampers and gift boxes with lids don't require additional clear wrap however a gold star or white dots print cellophane (we think it looks like snow!) is a lovely way to add a festive flourish to you Christmas hampers.

Person adding christmas packaging to gift tray

3. Make it clear how you're 'adding value'

There's an art to creating gift hampers successfully, where a balance of value and profitability is met. Here are a few pointers on how you can achieve healthy profits whilst delivering value and great customer service.

  • Plan ahead - Forecasting sales and planning your gifting range and promotions ahead of time can save you money and make your gift packaging budget go further. Buying your gift packaging supplies in volume allows you to take advantage of trade discounts and low unit costs, increasing your profit margin.
  • Use reusable gift packaging - Join the reusable revolution and create your gift hampers from empty gift packaging with longevity. We champion wicker hampers and cardboard gift boxes with after-use potential over flat-pack alternatives. Our bottle boxes, wicker hampers, wooden crates and cardboard boxes can all be repurposed and will stand the test of time adding value for the customers way beyond their primary use.
  • Calculate your costs - Do your sums before confirming your hamper prices, check your costs and calculations to make sure your margins make sense. Remember that customers place a high perceived value on the packaging that you use.
  • Stick to key price points - Offer hampers and gifts at price points that align with your customers' budget, if the price tag is too high your hampers will be harder to sell. Be realistic with your mark-up, if the price label doesn't match the value of the hamper you'll lose sales from savvy shoppers.
  • Bundle promotions - Giving customers discounts on items bought in a hamper bundle is a win-win for everyone; shoppers save money and your profits are boosted by encouraging customers to buy more than they otherwise would have.

4. How to display your Christmas hampers

A customer may walk into your store for a bottle of mulled wine and some mince pies, but there's no reason they shouldn't leave with a gourmet Christmas hamper full of festive delights!

Customers won't buy what they can't see so a well-designed counter-top display will make the all the difference to your hamper basket and gift box sales. It's a good idea to merchandise your hampers together in a store hotspot so customers can easily evaluate the selection and price points. If you've got the space then a market display cart is ideal for creating a striking 360° display with space to accommodate plenty of small and large gift hampers.

Display risers are just the thing you need when merchandising large gift baskets and small gift baskets together. You can use them in the centre or back of your display to create more merchandising space.

Don't forget the windows displays, you can't rely on customer intuition! A traditional handwoven wicker hamper, overflowing with indulgent delights, is something to marvel at so display them in your window and watch as the customers flood in.

Christmas shoppers are often stressed and pushed for time so making sure you highlight prices clearly. Use mini chalkboards or display clips to help customers quickly find the information they want and aid them to make a quick decision. If you'd like some tips on how to handletter stylish chalkboard signs then take a look at our helpful step-by-step guide.

If you're planning on selling your Christmas hampers online, then good presentation is arguably even more important. Take time dressing your hampers and take photos from every angle to clearly show what's included.

Hampers with Christmas Decorations

What makes a perfect Christmas hamper?

That's the million-dollar question! With over 150 years of experience under our hamper straps, we like to think we know a thing or two about what makes a perfect hamper.

Is it the best loved Christmas pudding? Or maybe it's top quality gift packaging?

The answer is simple: It's a gift hamper that exceeds customers' expectations of quality and value whilst being profitable for your business.

Hampers are a great year-round gift. Read out next article - Not Just Christmas! Year-Round Gifting Opportunities or browse the other guides in our Hamper & Gifting E-Learning Hub.