Key Grocery Seasonal Promotional Themes

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Walmart Canada - Key Grocery Seasonal Promotional Themes

After thorough research and analysis of the request and information available, an overview on key grocery seasonal promotional themes for Walmart in Canada has been provided. These promotional seasons include Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, and Halloween/Valentines Day/Easter/Canada Day. Unfortunately, Cinco de Mayo, while being celebrated in Canada, is not considered as a big promotional season for groceries at Walmart.

Cinco de Mayo

Although Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Canada by many retailers and establishment regarding grocery related items, this does not include Walmart, as there are no big promotional campaigns for the specific holiday related to grocery items. During Cinco de Mayo, Walmart promotes products and items such as toys, costumes, games, fun teaching materials, and other related items. For this reason, we can conclude that Cinco de Mayo is not a big marketing opportunity in Canada for Walmart, especially for grocery items.

Walmart key grocery seasonal promotional themes in Canada

Christmas Promotional season

During the Christmas promotions Walmart guarantees low prices on Christmas day every year. During this promotional period people are able to find all the necessities required for Christmas day from Walmart. Among the list of the many promotional items, groceries are being promoted in the forms of recipes.

When customers choose to view the recipe, a list of the groceries required in the recipe are promoted on the side of the recipe, including other related promoted grocery products and the promotional price for each item. The recipes that have been provided below have been chosen as they are the first 4 on the promotional list.

Christmas Promotional recipes

1) Savoury Cheese & Leek Scones
2) Hearty Turkey Soup
3) Herbed Prime Rib
4) Hot Balsamic Asiago Dip

Christmas Promotional grocery items

Thanksgiving promotional season

The fact that Thanksgiving is so heavily associated with eating suggests that this promotional season is a key season for Walmart, especially in promoting grocery-related items.
According to Walmart, they have everything required to make a Thanksgiving amazing. Items being promoted during thanksgiving include gravy & stuffing, cookware, dinnerware, bake ware, kitchen linens, household supplies, and recipes.

Similarly to the Christmas promotional season, the Thanksgiving season promotes a variety of grocery items through promoting recipes containing lists of ingredients with the prices for each ingredient included, as well as, promoting other grocery related items people might be interested in purchasing.

Thanksgiving Promotional recipes

1) Traditional Stuffed Turkey
2) Citrus herb-roasted turkey
3) Signature Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Promotional grocery items

1) Kraft Stove Top Turkey Stuffing Mix
2) Franco American Beef Gravy
3) Club House Sea Salt Grinder

New Years promotional season

The New Year's promotional season can be considered to be one of the busiest promotional seasons for Walmart. They have a wide variety of items being promoted such as food ideas, party themes, party ideas, decorations, and games.

During this promotional season, Walmart puts a lot of effort and emphasis into promoting dinner parties, emphasizing on the fact that Walmart is the right choice for people to shop in order to make their dinner party great. This suggests that New Year is a key promotional season for the giant retailers to promote grocery items.

New years promotional grocery items

The list contains grocery items, which were specifically stated as being on promotion during this season:

2) Cheeses

Halloween/Easter/Valentines day/Canada day promotional seasons

These 4 promotional seasons have been grouped together as they promote the same grocery item products in the same fashion during the respective seasons, which is candy/chocolate/chips.

Halloween/Easter/Valentines/Canada Day are all key promotional season for Walmart, considering that they all have tons of items being promoted during these respective promotional periods. Promoted items include costumes and costume accessories, cards, toys, and candy/chocolates/chips. To ease health conscious parents, Walmart states that they have plenty of healthy treats as well, such as fruit snacks, fruit cups, and trail mix.

Halloween/Easter/Valentines day/Canada day promotional grocery items

Items provided in this list have been selected for being the best rated products promoted during the respective promotional seasons:

1) Rockets Candy Rolls
2) Hershey's Kisses Solid Milk Chocolate
3) Easter Bunny Gift Basket
4) Great Value Regular Rippled Potato Chips


In conclusion, Walmart Canada focuses primarily on 7 key promotional seasons specific to grocery-related item promotions. The 7 key promotional seasons include Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Halloween, Valentines Day, Easter, and Canada Day. The main way Walmart is promoting their grocery items is through their recipes, where they promote the ingredients to said recipes, as well as promote other grocery-related items that people may also be interested in purchasing. However, the Cinco de Mayo season is not as important to Walmart, especially for grocery related items, because Walmart does not do any promotional campaigns for grocery-related items. They rather focus on promoting toys, costumes, games, fun teaching materials, and other related items.
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Metro - Key Grocery Seasonal Promotional Themes

Metro has key promotions centered around a number of themes: Christmas and New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, St. Patrick's Day, Spring, Summer, Fall (Autumn) and Winter. Although Metro offers products and special offers for Cinco de Mayo, and this holiday is celebrated in Canada with promotions centered on restaurants and bars, there is no indication that Metro considers this to be a key marketing opportunity.

Below you will find the results of my research.


Metro's website lists the key holidays that they target, with links to articles and recipes themed around those holidays. The following holidays are specifically targeted:

1. Christmas and New Year's Day (Dec 25 - Jan 1)

Metro provides articles to help with preparation and party giving, as well as recipes. Cranberries feature heavily.

2. Valentine's Day (Feb 14)

Metro's articles are themed around fun and health, rather than concentrating heavily on romance. Chocolate features heavily in both the recipes and articles.

3. Easter (Mar-Apr)

For Easter, Metro has chosen to focus their promotions on family, with articles that cover crafts as well as food.

4. St. Patrick's Day (Mar 17)

Metro's promotions for St. Patrick's Day are traditional in theme, but with modern presentation and updated twists on themes such as "Fish and Chips".

5. Mother's Day (May 13)

As with Easter, Metro has chosen to promote Mother's Day with family themes including looking after and displaying flowers and plants, rather than simply focusing on food.

6. Father's Day (Jun 17)

To promote Father's Day, Metro has chosen themes that focus on the outdoors, with recipes heavily featuring meat dishes.

7. Thanksgiving (Oct 8)

As well as promoting Thanksgiving with traditional turkey meals and tips to make cooking easier and less time-consuming, Metro has included articles that cover vegetarian dishes and side dishes.

8. Halloween (Oct 31)

Metro promotes Halloween with fun horror-themed recipes and ideas for using traditional fall staples such as pumpkin in new ways.

Metro also promotes the seasons directly, with recipes that use seasonal vegetables and themes that fit the traditional seasonal activities: Spring, Summer, Fall (Autumn) and Winter.

Additionally, Metro has targeted articles to cover a number of special occasions including Kids' Birthdays, Girls' Get-Togethers and Game-Day Parties.


Although Metro has promotions centering around Cinco de Mayo, this is not listed among its key holidays. I did further research to discover whether this celebration is a large part of Canadian culture and found that it "is mostly ceremonial south of the border [while in Canada] the holiday has been co-opted as [an excellent] excuse to throw a tequila and taco-fueled fiesta." The main celebrations are found in Toronto, where it is promoted by bars and restaurants.

After searching for past promotions, current promotions, and reputable media mentions and finding little information regarding Metro's Cinco de Mayo celebrations, I have concluded that this is not a big marketing opportunity in Canada for Metro.


To wrap up, Metro has a number of key promotional themes centered around the seasons and holidays. Although Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Canada and promoted mainly by restaurants and bars there is no indication that Metro considers this to be a key marketing opportunity.

Thanks for using Wonder for your research needs! Please let us know if we can help again in the future.
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Sobey's - Key Grocery Seasonal Promotional Themes

An archive of Sobey's flyers was used to gauge seasonal promotions for food products. There are four styles of fliers for different regions: ON, Atlantic, Urban Fresh, and West. The frequency of the promotion and how many pages it took up indicates the level of potential Sobey may have in promoting or seeing a return on the celebration related sales.

We reviewed all flier publications for 2017. We've excluded featured holiday or seasonal promotions not focused on food products, such as Earth Day. Each holiday has at least one link that best features what a typical ad would look like. When regional fliers differed greatly we included description on the different formats.

Cinco De Mayo

Cino De Mayo was featured as a seasonal promotion. It was published in multiple regional fliers. However, the pace dedicated to the holiday, one page, would indicate it is a minor promoted holiday. The promotion included mostly produce and no brand name goods in the ON flier. In the West flier, the promotion featured Branded food items like Old El Paso, Casa Fiesta canned goods, and others.

Sobey's website did include two featured articles on Cinco De Mayo foods, but these are outdated. This reflects a small promotional opportunity compared to other holidays or seasonal promotions.

Other holidays

New Year: Party platters and finger foods (same as award show promos) as well as drink mixers and various snacks.

Christmas: December in its entirety was filled with holiday deals and foods of every kind on sale or promoted. It is one of the longest and most encompassing seasonal promotions of the calendar year.

Holiday Deals: Dominated throughout November issues were non-specific "holiday treats" or deals that encompassed the entire flier throughout and covered all ranges of food from ingredients, treats, to prepared goods.

Halloween: October saw a lot of deals throughout the month on sweet goods, naturally one big item being candy. There were also specials on party type foods like pizza, soda, party platters, and baked goods.
Diwali: A page was dedicated to Diwali featuring produce, spice packs, yogurt, naan and other traditional Indian staples. While it did appear in several regional fliers, it is a relatively small promotion compared to others.

Canadian Thanksgiving: Crackers, platters, meats, cheeses were the big focus here. But a large range and multi-week promotions made this a big ticket promotion for the Sobey's chain.

Chinese Moon Festival: Chicken, honey, Asian spice imports, and Asian produce were featured in anticipation of the Chinese festival. It's regulated to just one page meaning it is not a large seasonal promotion.

Dragon Boat Festival: Similar items to the Chinese Moon Festival in both offerings and size of promotion.

Mothers Day: Wide range of items and heavily promoted. But like many holidays the offerings are not brand specific. Published and promoted over several weeks with flowers, steaks, candies and alcohol featured.

Easter: Food promotion was centered around meat (mostly ham), vegetable sides, pastries, and candies. The easter theme is reoccurring through many pages and multiple weeks of April indicating this is a relatively large holiday for the grocery chain.

St Patrick Day: Fruit, meats, and store decorated pastries are featured throughout this period. The holiday promotions are only on a few pages and not heavily emphasized. A small holiday promotion.

Awards Time: Promotion for the red carpet Oscar viewing parties with cheese, wings, pizza and pastries one on page spread. Another one features finger foods, platters, and dips. It is also limited to just one page indicating a minor season promotion.

Valentine's Day: Promoted across several weeks and all issues, this is a major holiday. Features promotions on multiple pages around fine quality meats, branded candies, and pastry assortments.

Game Day: Multiple pages in every issue features many platters, chips, drinks and baked goods for a game day viewing. Some promotions include brand name goods,

Chinese New Year: One of the few international holidays not originating from Western culture that is given multiple weeks of promotion. Focused around Asian produce such as dragon fruit, brand name sauces, rice, and meats among others. It is one of the bigger promotions the company highlights, but moderate in scale. It has a particularly large scale promotion in their ON flier, indicating a bigger targeted audience in this region.

Football Favs: Nachos, dips, pickles, wings... all the fixings of a football viewing. These specials get a one-page spread in multiple regional fliers and are published across multiple weeks. A moderate promotion.

New Years: Party platters, finger foods, chips, meats, drinks, breads... the list goes on. The fliers are geared pretty frequently throughout to push for prep of a New Years party with just about every food category represented. Not many branded food items. Seems like a large promotional window for the company.


Sobey's has many seasonal promotions throughtout the year that are tied largely to Western holidays and entertainment events. There are a few additional holidays associated with other cultures but are often not very large promotional windows. Some of the promotions feature brand name foods, while others do not and feature produce or food produced by the chain itself.

From Part 03