Everybody loves chocolate – especially at Easter when we just can’t get enough. Research shows that we’re treating our loved ones more than ever, but it seems we’re also buying more chocolate treats for ourselves too. Here are the chocolate trends influencing Britain's baskets right now …
Remember Easter when you were young? If you were lucky, you got a standard chocolate egg packed in a lorry-shaped box with a couple of Yorkie bars and you were happy. Since then, Easter has become a celebration of all things chocolate – and it’s not just the kids that enjoy a confectionery treat at this time of year.
So what products are we actually buying? Are we all insisting on 75% cacao or is milk chocolate still our treat of choice?
In total, Co-op sales of confectionary at Easter 2013 were up 1% on 2012, with shoppers particularly hungry for shell eggs. Recent market trends have seen the larger premium eggs grow in popularity.
But it’s not just about the spirit of giving. Smaller treats, the ones you might buy for yourself, like mini filled eggs, have been increasingly snapped up too. In fact, sales of self-treats were up 16.1% in 2013 with shoppers increasingly tempted to pick up an egg for themselves.
Buying own brand
When it comes to Easter eggs, own brand is important, with shoppers looking for the same things as in any purchase; they need to have confidence in the taste and the quality of the product.
Quality is key
Chocolate, of all qualities, is a treat and a product is most often picked for its flavour.
Fairtrade and traceability are increasingly important, but in reality they still come further down the list for most shoppers.
The big milk debate
Plain dark chocolate is the top choice for chocolate buyers overall, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, also for those who say they only eat the best.
Co-op Truly Irresistible Chocolate has a particularly high treat status, and The Truly Irresistible Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa is the chocolate bought most often. However, when asked to rank current varieties in order of preference, it was the Truly Irresistible Creamy Milk, which came out on top.