The Easter market is currently growing at 5%, putting a real spring into grocery sales
11 March 2009 | 0
At a glance: EASTER
The Easter market is valued at €34.2m, with growth of 5% (statistic released by Nestlé)
Sales of Cadbury eggs account for 45.7% of the Easter market
Gateaux is the biggest selling cake brand in the Irish market (AC Nielsen)
Sales of Shloer almost tripled compared with average weekly sales, in the week leading up to Easter last year (Nielsen Scantrack Total GB Take Home: w/e 22.03.08 weekly sales units vs. 11wks w/e 15.03.08)
Nestlé has reduced the packaging of its Easter 2009 range by 25%; all packaging is now fully recyclable and egg fitments contain no plastic
Cadbury has made a 25% reduction in weight in medium and large Easter shell egg packaging and 60% of all packaging will be biodegradable
Lindt aims to raise over €100,000 for Temple Street Children’s Hospital this year
With the Easter market currently valued at €34.2m and enjoying growth of 5%, Easter represents a major opportunity for retailers to capitalise on confectionery sales. Recent reports by Mintel and Package Facts market researchers shows that the global market for premium chocolate looks set to remain strong despite a worsening economic climate. The reports predict that consumers will continue to treat themselves to premium chocolate in 2009. They will still want to indulge occasionally in small, affordable luxuries such as premium chocolate, say the researchers.
A recent survey conducted by the Metro newspaper group also confirms that Ireland is very much a nation of chocoholics. The group’s research panel of urbanites, that is over 1,500 readers aged between 18 to 44 in full-time jobs, found that 96% eat chocolate, with 20% eating some every day, 24% eating some most days and 30% every couple of days. The survey also found that male urbanites were only slightly behind females in their chocolate consumption, contrary to popular thought.
Consumer complaints in recent years about the amount of packaging wasted in the shell and display cases used for chocolate eggs has now been addressed by major confectioners. Announcements by Nestlé and Cadbury that they have reduced their packaging by a quarter, will no doubt be positively received by the growing numbers of consumers concerned about the environment and eco-friendliness.
And Although Easter represents a huge opportunity to increase children’s confectionery sales, the adults segment of the market is also performing well. Nestlé offers Black Magic, the number one dark chocolate assortment, and joined by After Eight and Quality Street Eggs as key gifting varieties for adult consumers. Meanwhile, Green & Black’s is the fastest growing luxury shell egg brand in the UK. What’s more, the adult soft drink Shloer found weekly sales almost tripled in the week leading up to Easter last year, as families and friends got together to celebrate the spring break.
Egg-citing adults and kids alike
Valued at €34.2m, with growth of 5%, Easter is a key opportunity for retailers to grow sales and Nestlé offers an extensive range of Easter lines for both adults and children alike.
Some of Ireland’s favourite brands are included in the teen egg sector, such as Kit Kat, Rolo, Yorkie, and Aero. An exciting new edition to Aero Bubbles this year is the Aero Bubbles Insider Egg filled with bubbly chocolate pleasure. Also, ideal for gifting is the range of mug eggs, including Yorkie, Rolo and KitKat and new this Easter, the Kit Kat Senses mug egg, following on from its successful impulse launch in 2008.
New to the kids Easter range is the Milkybar Hollow Cow, a fun treat made from Milkybar white chocolate. Nestlé also offers an added value range with the Smarties Decorating Mug, and the Milkybar Money Box in the shape of one of the Milkybar characters. These fun solutions will help keep kids entertained over the Easter holidays.
For adults, Black Magic is the number one dark chocolate assortment and is joined by After Eight and Quality Street Eggs as key gifting favourites for their loyal consumers.
Activation in store is key in order to drive sales and growth this Easter. Nestlé therefore has a range of shipper solutions for its teenage egg range, which are available to order now.
Finally, Nestlé continues to lead the way in reducing packaging with a 25% reduction of packaging across the Easter 2009 range. All packaging is also now fully recyclable including new egg fitments that are fully compostable and contain no plastic.
Making Easter sweet for Temple Street
The Lindt Gold Bunny is on his way to make Easter sweet for Temple Street. Once again, Lindt has teamed up with Temple Street Children’s Hospital to raise much-needed funds. Dundrum Town Centre will play host to the Lindt Gold Bunny hutch where well known Irish personalities will be on hand to help a great cause, on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March. Last year Lindt raised over €75k for Temple Street and this year the aim is to break the E100k mark in order to purchase vital incubators for the neo-natal and intensive care units.
Lindt has given thousands of 10g Lindt Gold Bunnies which will be available to chocolate lovers for a donation of €1 in Dunnes Stores nationwide and a selection of Shopping Centres across two weekends coming up to Easter with every cent going to Temple Street. Dunnes Stores collection dates are: Thursday 26, Friday 27 and Saturday 28 March; and Thursday 2, Friday 3 and Saturday 4 April.
Wrapped in luxury
Sales of Cadbury eggs account for 45.7% of Easter sales and Cadbury grew the total Easter market in 2008. As market leaders, Cadbury is taking the opportunity this Easter to shrink its environmental footprint by reducing excess packaging. As a result, there will be a 25% reduction in weight in medium and large Easter shell egg packaging and 60% of all packaging will be biodegradable.
In line with the growing consumer trend for organic offerings, there are six luxurious eggs under the Green & Black’s organic chocolate brand available for 2009. To date, Green & Black’s is the fastest growing luxury shell egg brand in the UK. This year large eggs will be availa ble in milk and dark chocolate varieties and medium eggs will be available in dark, milk, maya gold and butterscotch chocolate. Green and Black’s Easter range also focuses on using sustainable packaging, with all eggs boxed in recycled card, wrapping up the ultimate premium gift in line with growing consumer trends.
Wispa was relaunched in October 2008 and to date sales have been phenomenal. From October to December 2008 alone, there were over 10 million bars sold and according to AC Nielsen, in the same period, Wispa was the number one selling chocolate bar. Following this unprecedented success, Wispa will be available in large shell egg format this Easter for all those Wispa lovers out there.
Lily O’Brien’s is one of Ireland’s best-loved and most successful premium chocolate brands, boasting over 20% market share within the premium chocolate sector. Sales growth has been particularly strong year-on-year during the Easter season for the past number of years, with its range significantly outperforming every other premium chocolate brand across the market during Spring 2008. With Easter hampers in a variety of sizes, luxury Easter eggs, and children’s Easter bunnies available, the company ’s “affordable luxury” positioning makes it well-placed to perform strongly over the coming years. Lily O’Brien’s is distributed nationwide by Tennant & Ruttle.
Mad for mallows
The chocolate season is upon us again and, one of Ireland’s best-loved brands, Gateaux is the biggest selling cake brand in the Irish market (AC Nielsen). Premier Foods Ireland continues to support the brand through a range of in-store and marketing activities and this Easter time is no exception.
The popular Easter Mallows are back on the shelves this year, combining soft white mallow enrobed in a chocolate flavour coating. Available in a 28 pack.
In April, the ‘Gotta Getta Gateaux’ television advertisement is back on air, showcasing a variety of performers singing the well-known jingle. And keep an eye out for a new ‘Gotta get the Lyric’ road show which will also visit shopping centres nationwide running from March to May. Customers can sample Gateaux product and have a go at performing their own version of the jingle, with a little bit of help from the ‘Snoop Log’ and ‘Rock n Swiss Roll’ characters.
A little Easter sparkle
“The spring bank holiday period and Easter, in particular, brings a huge seasonal uplift in sales of Shloer,” says Amanda Grabham, marketing communications controller for Shloer, the sparkling adult soft drinks brand.
“In the week leading up to Easter last year, for example, sales of Shloer almost tripled compared with average weekly sales, and this wasn’t just a one off (Nielsen Scantrack Total GB Take Home: w/e 22.03.08 weekly sales units vs. 11wks w/e 15.03.08). The pattern is the same every year with Easter being the second biggest sales period for Shloer after Christmas.
“It’s a natural and regular sales uplift that we need to ensure retailers are aware of so that they can make the most of the opportunity, firstly, by increasing their stockholding of Shloer in the lead up to the holiday period, and secondly, if they tend to stock only one or two of the available six flavours (White Grape, Red Grape, White Grape Raspberry & Cranberry, White Grape & Elderflower, White Grape Mango and Passionfruit and Apple) on a regular basis, Easter is also a perfect time to expand the range they offer.”
As an added sales incentive, Shloer is being promoted this Easter with tailor-made promotional activity, and consumers will also have the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win a very special Easter-themed hamper by visiting the Shloer website www.shloer.com. Details of how to enter the prize draw will also be included in the Shloer spring newsletter emailed to 23,000 consumers who have signed up to receive regular updates from Shloer. The brand will also benefit from extra exposure during this key sales period through a new consumer press campaign due to break in the lead up to Easter.
Grabham says: “People tend to associate Shloer with social occasions, which is why the brand sells particularly well at this time of year when there’s plenty of opportunities for friends and families to get together. We’ve created a co-ordinated marketing campaign which will reach consumers via press and their email-box right through to point of purchase in-store.”
To support the drive in-store Shloer will be offering retailers a range of free POS materials via the Shloer POS Hotline (phone 0044 800 9173450). In addition to general Shloer POS items which are available throughout the year, a series of themed and event specific items for occasions such as Mother’s Day will also be developed to support the ‘Shloer for every social occasion’ programme.
Cadbury pretax profits up 30% to €626m
British confectionery group Cadbury recently met its forecasts with a 30% rise in 2008 profits. Cadbury saw 2008 underlying sales rise 7% but tempered its 2009 view, expecting sales growth this year towards the lower end of its 4% to 6% medium-term target.
Chief executive Todd Stitzer said the group was "recession resilient not recession proof, with our own performance set to be resilient in a world of reduced growth."
The London-based group posted 2008 pretax profits of £559 million (€626m), in line with an analyst range of £525m (€588m) to £580m (€650m) and compared to a consensus of £552m (€618m).
Stitzer added the group had seen good growth across all its businesses with chocolate sales up 6%, gum 10% ahead while candy increased 6%. Its emerging markets, nearly 40% of its business, saw growth of 12%. The 2008 dividend rose 6% to 16.4 pence a share.
Cadbury, which spun off its North American beverage business Dr Pepper Snapple last May, agreed in December to sell its Australian beverage business, complete its exit from soft drinks, and focus exclusively on confectionery.
Premium chocolate sales to stay sweet
The forecast for premium chocolate looks good despite a worsening economic climate, according to new market research. Mintel and Packaged Facts market researchers have predicted that consumers will continue to treat themselves to premium chocolate in 2009, even though they may choose value lines elsewhere.
In a report on premium chocolate in the US, Packaged Facts said: “Sales of upscale chocolates are expected to advance at a rate more than fives times that for chocolate overall by 2012.”
According to Mintel, manufacturers of mid-range chocolate will start to feel the pinch, as consumers choose everyday value products, while allowing themselves the occasional upmarket treat.
Mintel’s director of research Joan Holleran said: “The middle market will increasingly be squeezed and is going to have to prove its worth when faced with competition from newly improved basic lines.”
Mintel said that consumers will mostly be trading down to value brands, but will “indulge in small, affordable luxuries, like premium chocolate, designer sunglasses or a favourite moisturiser.”
The company’s research found European sales of premium chocolate this side of the Atlantic have doubled in the past two years, with sales in the UK alone reaching £86 billion last year.