Easter sees UK leading the world in chocolate innovation
While there has been an explosion in Easter chocolate innovation, the same is not true for chocolate innovation as a whole; it's remained virtually unchanged, increasing just 1% over the last year. Meanwhile, innovation for seasonal chocolate as a whole increased 5% over the same period. Overall, Easter innovation accounts for a sweet 41% of all seasonal chocolate launches, the research discovered.
When it comes to regional launch activity, the UK is officially top of the chocs leading the way in Easter innovation globally. Over the past year, the UK was responsible for an impressive one in eight (16%) Easter chocolate launches, leaving British chocolate lovers spoilt for choice The research also suggest that Easter innovation hhas grown almost 40% over the past two years.
Across the globe, the top five Easter chocolate innovators are the UK (16%), France (9%), Germany (8%), Brazil (8%) and the US (6%), collectively responsible for almost half of global chocolate innovation.
Marcia Mogelonsky, Director of Insight, Mintel Food and Drink, said: “Following several subdued years of Easter celebrations, chocolate lovers are set to enjoy an impressive array of chocolate eggs and novelties this Easter. As the world becomes more relaxed about social gatherings, celebrations will be more plentiful, sparking improved revenue for seasonal chocolates, especially those linked with an interactive component, like Easter egg hunts.
“Multiculturalism is set to grow opportunities for seasonal confectionery. Beyond the egg, there is room to broaden the range of seasonal confectionery. Increased travel, immigration and the changing dynamics of migration across the globe will expose consumers to a range of new cultures and holidays. For example, seasonal confectionery has room to grow around holidays like Eid and Diwali as consumers embrace multiple nationalities and traditions. Perhaps the earliest example of a holiday with confectionery traditions that have spread successfully is Halloween. Originally a Celtic harvest festival, it is now celebrated around the world.”
But with inflation and rising commodity prices, UK shoppers could find traditional chocolate Easter egg prices to be higher than a year ago.
Cocoa futures prices have spiked in recent weeks due to high demand and reports of low bean arrivals, as well as concerns over contracts not being fulfilled, data analysts Mintec has reported.
Since the beginning of February cocoa and sugar prices have increased by 7% and 5% respectively, and the grocer.com also reports that shop price inflation hit a new high in March, with the British Retail Consortium warning earlier this week that prices of other sugary favourites like sweets and fizzy drinks are also on the rise ahead of Easter.
“Companies such as Lindt are well aware of the higher cocoa beans market price, which will add to input cost inflation this year,” Bloomberg research analyst Diana Gomes told the magazine. “The increase in cocoa costs typically takes about eight to 12 months to filter through due to hedging and stocks previously bought at lower prices. This was helpful in 2022 when sugar and milk powder, the other key chocolate ingredients, were much more expensive, so cocoa helped by slightly smoothing chocolatiers’ cost inflation. That said, companies are watching very carefully how their market share moves with price increases.”