Easter set to offer major opportunity for global retailers amid challenging times

With the world enduring a particularly torrid time right now amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, wider economic turbulence and the pandemic stubbornly refusing to disappear, a little added time spent among friends and family for those who are fortunate to do so this Easter will be most welcome.

It’s clearly a time for reflection after an especially busy few months that have kicked-off 2022, with ISM and the State of the Industry Conference in the US being just two key highlights of a calendar which is already looking pretty packed, as the world strains to return to something resembling pre-pandemic times.

So, having the chance to grab a break from considering the many challenges that are before the industry feels fortunate indeed, and this year, as with most years, Easter is likely to feature chocolate in some form or another in my own household.

However, work it seems is never all that far away from sight – with this season being the second busiest of the year behind the Christmas period in terms of global confectionery sales for many markets around the world, so I am keenly aware that for many within the confectionery sector, it’s a very full-on time of year indeed.

As you will have seen from the pages of our April magazine, there’s been a broad range of product launches across classic eggs, bunnies, chicks, and a host of vegan alternative offerings that are posing manufacturers challenges in seeking to deliver an ever-greater array of treats for a demanding public.

With an array of healthier options and plant-based offerings to bulk out the shelves of stores around the globe being high on the agenda of many companies, these are certainly intriguing times we are inhabiting.

Indeed, it seems that these days, everyone wants a slice of the action and you don’t have to look far to find your fix of confectionery in even the seemingly most unlikely places. For instance, walking into my local branch of music store HMV in Kent the other week, the very first thing that greeted me was a huge wall of ‘sweet treat’ confectionery – not what I’d anticipated at all, and if I am honest, didn’t really see the relevance.

But in this ever-evolving world, it’s perhaps little surprise that retailers of all shapes and sizes are attempting to try something a little different to lure in prospective customers amid challenging times that have brought about a cost of living crisis that is set to put a major squeeze on many families within the UK, and indeed across the world. Let’s hope that the remainder of this year at least brings some potentially more settled times for us all.

Neill Barston, editor, Confectionery Production

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