With over 40% of sales happening between October and January, batteries come into their own in the darker months of the year as business builders in retail. When it’s gloomy out there, torches and flashlights are important household items, but Christmas is the real peak time. Nor must we forget the growing army of homeworkers buying AA’s to power their computer mice, wannabe healthy people buying AAA’s for blood pressure monitors and the rest of us wanting power for our gadgets, from shavers to electric corkscrews.

The common thread is, increasing numbers of consumers are opting to give their loved ones electronic presents such as battery-operated toys, handheld gaming devices or high tech gadgets, but many forget to purchase the batteries to go with them, hence the all too familiar red faced dash by Mum or Dad or whoever to find a local shop on Christmas Day.

Batteries present a valuable opportunity for distress purchases and impulse buys for supermarkets and their satellite C-format and forecourt stores, says James Tuck, Marketing Manager for GP Batteries UK. One of the top five global manufacturers, GP Batteries produce over four billion primary and rechargeable batteries a year, including single use and rechargeable batteries for a large variety of products and appliances, such as electronic toys, handheld video games and electronic gadgets and specialist batteries for watches, car keys, hearing aids and smoke detectors.

GP Ultra alkaline batteries come in AA, AAA, C, D and 9V sizes. Specially designed for the most popular portable electronic devices, they have an extended operating time in all kinds of devices and a shelf life of up to 7 years.

Appealing to eco-conscious consumers, GP’s ReCyko+ rechargeable NiMh range are some of the best performing rechargeable batteries on the market, offering 11 batteries in AA, AAA, D, C and 9v sizes. With an incredibly long service life, they are not only cost efficient, but much kinder to the environment.

Available in standard sizes AA, AAA, 9V and CR2 and CR123 for digital cameras, GP’s Lithium batteries offer a shelf life of 10 years and come with a built-in safety mechanism. The GP Lithium range is lighter weight and suited to extreme temperatures, unlike alkaline batteries.

GP’s button cell batteries are used for a wide-range of devices and come in a wide range of sizes. Button cells are found in watches, hearing aids, car key fobs and other devices. More recently coin cells have been used in some of the last few years’ must-have Christmas toys like Fingerlings.

GP are due to launch an improved range of rechargeable batteries at the start of 2020, following their new Discovery range of torches and head torches in 2019. GP continue to invest in their new and existing retail partners to ensure their POS drives sales in store and champions GP as the world’s largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries.

Varta offers a range of power banks in different capacities to charge devices such as smartphones, tablets, cameras and smartwatches. Their multi USB sockets can charge two devices simultaneously while their slim and light design makes them portable and perfect for on the go use.

Varta’s Slim Power Banks are available in 6000 mAh, 12000 mAh and 18000 mAh. Varta’s Long Life Max Power Batteries, their most powerful alkaline batteries, are also essential for using gadgets and electronics on long spells and come in AAA, AA and C, ideal for remote controls and digital cameras.

As devices get smaller, so do batteries, and Varta has an array of sizes to fit the job, whether for a car key remote or to capture memories on a digital camera. Finally, for consumers who hate being stuck in the dark, Varta’s 5 Watt high performance LED torch is two meter drop tested and water resistant.

Varta’s outdoor sports torch comes with 3 C batteries and the added bonus of a built in bottle opener and attached lanyard, the ideal present for Christmas or any other time for sports people, drivers, action heroes and anyone else who wants a decent torch among their belongings. Varta is one of the world’s biggest producers of batteries and power sources, from traditional AA and AAA batteries to specialist electronic and power banks, all made in Germany.

For Tatiana Wijeyaratne, Duracell UK’s Marketing Manager major battery trends over the last couple of years include the internet of things, connected households and – crucially – miniaturisation, which she sees fuelling demand for formats like the coin battery.

With our greater reliance on devices from home hubs and smart meters to wearable technology – and these devices getting increasingly smaller, demand for lightweight, compact, high performance power sources such as Lithium Coins and Alkaline button batteries has increased. These are growing at +11.15% versus the broader category, which remains strong at +3.5%. “With Lithium Coin batteries becoming increasingly prevalent in our homes,” says Tatiana, “we also have a category-wide responsibility to ensure children can’t access them when they’re in the home. That’s why we have more safety features than any other brand and can guarantee that while our batteries are in their original packaging, no child can access them.”

The other trend that’s continued to grow is our continued reliance on devices; driving us to be connected, responsive and ‘always on.’ Research shows that, in line with this shift, consumers are now concerned about the implications of losing charge; 50% of people worry about their smartphone battery at least once a week and 41% of consumers are missing phone calls due to a dead battery. Yet, with only 37% of smart phone users owning a Powerbank, there is still a huge gap between Powerbank and smart phone penetration. This represents an opportunity for a leading brand like Duracell to help meet a consumer need while leveraging the established equity and trust for Duracell.

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