IRI tracked chocolate sales in UK convenience stores - such as McColls, Spar and independent grocers - for the 52 weeks up to September 13,2015 compared to the same period last year.
It found sales for Mars’ Maltesers brand grew 1.9% and 8.1% for its Galaxy brand, making it the number two bestselling UK c-store chocolate.
Driven by Maltesers NPD
“Mars as a manufacturer has always been strong in the convenience channel so no surprise that this channel is showing strong growth for them," Martin Wood, head of strategic insight – retail at IRI UK, told ConfectioneryNews.
“This has been driven by NPD especially regular and seasonal countlines and the growth of sharing formats (the Maltesers heartland) including big sales of pouches to complement the original boxes,” he continued.
Mars introduced bar format Maltesers Teasers in March 2013.
Cadbury Dairy Milk sales drop 14.8%
Sales for Mondelēz’s Cadbury Dairy Milk dropped 14.8% to £156.8m ($238m).
It follows wholesale chocolate price increases led by brand owner Mondēlez.
Top 10 chocolate brands in UK C-stores
KitKat sales fall
Nestlé’s KitKat, the number five UK c-store chocolate, registered a 6.9% decline.
“KitKat has been declining steadily as a single purchase countline,” said Wood. “I also believe the four-stick move from foil to plastic wrapper had a big impact.”
However, he added that the brand had grown sales for two-and four-bar multipacks, which had been heavily promoted.
IRI found hanging bags – which account for just under 10% of c-store chocolate sales – were up 8.7%, driven by promotions and a proliferation of premium share bags.
However, sales for traditional single serve bars (countlines) declined.
This was driven by UK retailers simplifying portfolios and cutting the number of confectionery items in store and a move to push confectionery away from checkout impulse areas in favour of ‘heathier snacks’, said Wood.
IRI also found C-store chocolate costs UK shoppers 32% more than chocolate purchased in supermarkets, at £12.22 ($18.85) per kg.
*PLEASE NOTE - IRI originally claimed Maltesers had overtaken Cadbury Dairy Milk as the top UK c-store chocolate over the period, but it later issued a correction after failing to include all Cadbury Dairy Milk brand variants.