4 Tips to Make Your Holiday Gift Baskets a Slam Dunk

Diffuse customers’ holiday stress with show-stopping ready-made gift presentations

While those select type-A consumers have already started ticking gifts off their holiday to-do list, the majority of us will wait until the last minute. (We’ve got plenty of time right? Right?!) We’re not simply justifying our procrastination — it’s fact!  

A 2018 survey by the National Retail Foundation found that 4 out of 10 consumers plan to start their holiday shopping November 1.  Although dragging our heels gives us more time to sip gingerbread lattes and munch on homemade cookies, procrastinating can make the holiday gift hunt even more stressful. You can be the remedy for customers’ holiday stress, while encouraging repeat business. 

The solution — holiday food gift baskets. Gift baskets are the complete gift package – unique items gift recipients will enjoy that are fully wrapped, and ready to give. Customers will love the bonus of eliminating extra steps that are time-consuming and costly; finding boxes and bags, buying wrapping and ribbon, and fumbling with scissors and tape. Pro tip: Use signage to highlight the time and $ savings for your customers.

You’re not great at gift baskets? Follow our 4 tips to create stellar presentations that would make Santa proud!

Designate a Theme

Most holiday shoppers are in a rush. You only have a few precious seconds to pique their interest.  By selecting a basket theme, customers instantly understand the contents and can decide if it fits the profile of a person on their shopping list.

Don’t stress over themes. We recommend crafting baskets to fall into one of the following 3 categories:

  • Activities
  • Product type
  • Color

Activities: Everyone likes a streaming binge or movie night at home. A basket with a variety of theater boxed candies, gourmet popcorn, and chips will have them happily munching to the final credits. For those ‘Martha Stewarts-in-training’, a gourmet cheese board basket featuring hard-to-find crackers, fruit spreads, nut mixes, and even gourmet chocolate bars will have them jumping for joy. For most of us, the weather’s chilly during the holidays, so a hot chocolate basket full of gourmet hot chocolate and a variety of artisan marshmallows, and other fixings will bring a night snuggling by the fire to another level. For groups or families, try a game night basket loaded with some sweet and some salty snacks. Mix and match the suggestions above and add in a card game, Mad Libs books, or even a board game.

Product Type: Offer smaller containers with a few hard-to-find items. A grouping of like items, whether it’s the same product or color can also make an impactful presentation.  For the chocolate lovers, a  basket of gourmet chocolate truffles  or chocolate covered pretzels are elegant and well received. If they’re nuts about peanut butter, a basket of assorted gourmet specialty candy filled with peanut buttery goodness will score bonus points.

Color: While most customers are seeking gifts for someone specific, others like to have gifts on hand for parties they may attend, or to present when they receive an unexpected gift. That’s where gift baskets filled with all red, green, or blue and white candy will be a real lifesaver. They take on the holiday theme without needing to know the intended recipient.

Layering is Key

Layering — no, not to stay warm (while we agree with Mom on that advice, we’re talking about design here). A great basket has big, bold, visual impact. Layers are an important design principle for creating gift baskets. You want to create different layers to give your baskets depth, dimension, and texture.

When starting to build a basket, collect all the products you would like to include and group them from biggest to smallest. Then, look at the size container that you plan to use. You may want to select baskets that are smaller in size to give the impression the basket is overly abundant without adding loads of product. Once you’ve decided on your container, the biggest items should be placed in first.  This establishes a focal point for the basket. Fill in around the large items with medium size, and working back to front, add in the small items. Then around all the items, you’re going to need filler to give the basket a professional edge, give the tall items a stable foundation, and fill in any holes. Instead of going with the traditional excelsior or shredded paper, try using smaller bulk foil wrapped candies to add extra color and interest to your display. Not only will customers appreciate your efforts to be sustainable, it also adds more value and interest to your basket.

Get Personal

You’re putting in all the work to make spectacular holiday gift baskets — you should get some of the credit, right?  Adding in personalized drinkware, bags, aprons, or other items with your logo let those receiving the gift know where to purchase those delicious goodies again. As most gifts are given at larger get-togethers, there is also the potential that your business will get even more exposure.

Gift Basket Back-Ups

Don’t have the time or the design skills to achieve a picture-perfect gift basket? Don’t fret – there are options out there for you.  Gift sets give your customers glitz and glamour, and you don’t need to be a design master.  We like AmuseMints Hot Cocoa Kit, Wonka’s Gingerbread Pal kit, or for some international flare, Popin’ Cookin’s Tanoshii donuts from Japan.  Make it even easier for your customers and have these items already gift wrapped so they can purchase and immediately give. Kkeep one item aside unwrapped on display so customers can see what they’re purchasing.  If you have any kits left over at the end of the season, simply unwrap and sell.

Wrapping it Up

Whether they’re pre-planners or last minute Lucys, all customers are in search of that easy yet perfect gift presentation.  According to market research firm Packaged Facts, in 2018 54% of those who purchased food gifts for friends and family in the last 12 months, purchased them for the winter holidays, so you know they’re in the market for your goods.  By playing with themes, colors, and product, you can create gift items that are easy to sell, ideal to give, and even better to receive.  As for pricing – add up your retail prices of the contents and wrapping (if any), then factor in your time to determine a fair price. And, as we mentioned above, show customers their savings in both time and money to seal the deal.

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