Retail research finds UK luxury Easter eggs sales tumble amid cost of living crisis

Latest retail research has found that financially hard-pressed shoppers are buying almost twice as many cheaper Easter eggs as 47% more sold compared to luxury offerings, which have seen a 37% drop, according to the Reapp intelligence group, writes Neill Barston.

As previously reported, while the $110 billion market has traditionally been one of the strongest occasions in the global annual calendar, the rapid increase in confectionery rises – which saw a 50% upturn in costs ahead of Christmas in the UK, has impacted on consumers choices this year.

Analysis by retail data experts Reapp has found that bargain-hunting Brits have snapped up just under 450,000 eggs in the affordable price range across two major supermarkets already this year – accountable for nearly 20% more than what sold in 2022. This is amid the continued cost of living crisis that has seen many supermarket retail prices rise by more than 20% in the past twelve months, including within confectionery.

The picture remains challenging around the world in terms of retail prices, with costs going up for manufacturers around the globe, but as reported this week by Confectionery Production, the market in the US in particular, appears to be relatively stable, approaching sales values of $5 billion, indicating more economic confidence among consumers.

As for the UK, while British inflation figures were reportedly starting to settle this month, according to latest ONS data, retail inflation is still standing at around 5%, with the situation for chocolate confectionery being particularly impacted by the ongoing crisis within cocoa shortages – which has seen the cost of the key ingredient rise to a staggering $10,000 a tonne this week.

Consequently, sales of premium brand Easter eggs have fallen year-on-year, to a sales volume of 278,000, with the average price of luxury Easter eggs has increased by 15% in 2023 (£1.35 per unit) with inflation affecting key decision making in Brits’ average weekly shop.

Easter eggs in the more affordable price range of £3.00 saw a slight decrease in price Y-O-Y by 5%, with Easter 2023 the first chocolate filled bank holiday under HFSS regulations, retailers have had to adapt sales techniques to minimise leftover stock at the end of the Easter period.

Reapp Commercial Director James Lamplugh said; “As HFSS regulations have rolled out across major supermarkets in the UK, retailers have had to adapt in how they can influence sales amongst products that are now less visible to the consumer.

“The data reflects that category wide inflation is playing a key role in decision making over the luxury for the more affordable, especially this Easter as many families shop for chocolate treats.”

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