The Making of The Booths Christmas Book 2018

Written on October 30th, 2018


It’s finally arrived into our stores and festive displays abound – The Booths Christmas Book! We’ve been delighted to see so many fabulous comments likening it to the John Lewis ad or the Coca-Cola truck for kick starting your Christmas. Last year, for the very first time, we shared with you an insight into the creation of our much-anticipated festive book, and you enjoyed it so much that we’ve decided to do it again. And, as always, the story begins with you, the most important person in all of this – the customer.

Introducing: The Christmas Project Team

Did you know we have a dedicated Christmas Project Team that meet year round here at Booths? Composed of representatives from every area of the business from logistics to marketing, these are the stewards of Christmas at Booths; responsible for ensuring their teams bring you the absolute best of festive food and drink every year.

December 2017 – The Market Research

Our market research for 2018 began. We listened to your thoughts on our live Christmas campaign, from the book, the in store experience and the website, to our festive events and everything in-between.

January – March 2018 – It’s All About You

Decision time! We conducted our own Christmas review internally (we call it a ‘wash-up’!), and in consideration with the market research, started to shape what Christmas 2018 would look like. From buyers and our own brand team deciding on their festive ranges, to the marketing team developing a creative brief for the book.

This year was a first for the history of the current Christmas book series; from concept to copy creation, the book was entirely produced by our in-house team.

April – June – It’s All A Matter of Taste

tasting panel

The tasting panel isn’t all about food – the non-food items in the book are also discussed.

Once the festive range choices were made, the tasting panels began to decide which products would feature in the book. As they are every year, the range choices were made based on popular items from previous years, requests from customers, trends in the marketplace and of course ensuring everything is of the highest quality and delicious. Being part of the Christmas tasting panel is one of the absolute joys of working in food, and being involved in the panel is a much-coveted position!

Our Creative Designer Laura was hard at work sketching, creating layouts and photography concepts, working closely with Marketing Manager Helen to design the flow and journey within the book. Every last detail was considered, from the feeling the book would evoke in the reader to how practical it would be to use.

team planning
The team have regular planning sessions.

You might have noticed a bit of a change this year; we’ve become ‘Christmas at Booths,’ rather than ‘The Great Northern Christmas.’ We’ve consciously made this choice as although we still champion the absolute best of Northern food (and always will!), we also believe in bringing you the best of the best, whether that’s salami from Italy, port from Portugal or butter pie from Lancashire.

The Cover

One of the biggest changes this year has been the cover and so it deserves its own section. The decision to change to an image rather than our traditional foil patterned cover was heavily influenced by our customers. You told us that you’d like to see a more foodie cover on the book and so we have embraced this wholeheartedly and made the change – which we love. Paired with a classic festive red and gold colour scheme we think it’s our best cover yet! We enlisted one of our favourite foodie partners, The Boho Baker to create the cover recipe, and to run demonstrations in stores on just how to make the perfect gingerbread house. If you’d like to go along to these free events, find more details on our events webpage here (opens in a new window).

After the design concepts were finalised, the photo shoot took place in June after an intense period of planning – it’s not easy to get a turkey or a fresh mince pie in June!

photo shoot 1
The team having fun with Santa hats in summer, ‘the family’ casting session, it’s snowy on set, Laura preparing the fireplace.

This year we wanted the book to be all about festive fun, with a family, homely feel. And so for the very first time we included a family! Whilst they are models, they are a real Northern family, which meant they had great warmth and natural chemistry on camera.

photo shoot 2

This year’s book includes in store features as well as supplier features. Left to right: Helen and Laura at Bleikers, photo shoot at St Annes store, photo shoot at Cuckoo Gin distillery, Laura at Kirkby Lonsdale cheese counter.

July-September – Concept Becomes Reality

The photography was complete; the range decided, copy written and so the artworking of the final book began. Overseen by Laura and Helen, the final piece took shape before being proofed, spell checked then proofed again. It then began its finally journey, the printing, overseen by Helen, our artwork team, and our Brand Manager as it rolled off press.

the book comes off press

Laura supervises the very last photo for the book, the book is carefully checked as it comes off press, the cover is checked as it comes off press.

October – It’s Here

The first copies arrived with us and were quickly devoured by the teams who worked so hard to bring it to life – every area of the business was involved in its creation and are very proud of the finished version. The book was released this year in stores on October 19th– we hope you’ve got your copy!

christmas book displays

View the online version here.

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