Blog: Dean BestWill Easter treats sweeten tough times?

Dean Best | 9 April 2009

With the key Easter trading period upon us, many in the food sector will be watching chocolate sales for an indication of just how deep the global financial crisis is.

Early reports are mixed – with headlines from the US to Australia and South Africa hailing bumper Easter sales, while the UK and other parts of Europe seem to have hit a more downbeat note.

In recent years, growth in the premium chocolate sector had outpaced the overall market. But the expansion of premium sales has been slowed by the recession. 

While the chocolate category was initially hailed as “recession proof”, as the downturn intensified over the first three months of this year, it became clear that although consumers are continuing to buy chocolate, they are increasingly turning away from more expensive premium products.

This has benefitted the likes of Cadbury and Nestlé and left upmarket rivals struggling.

Indeed, only last week Lindt & Sprungli warned that it is likely to see a drop in full-year earnings. The company will certainly be hoping that sales of its iconic Easter bunny hold up and that consumers continue to buy premium “special occasion” chocolate.
 
The question on everyone’s lips then is whether consumers will continue to shell out on Easter eggs.

I for one will be tucking into some Easter treats this long weekend. just-food will be closed for business from tomorrow (10 April) but we’ll be back at our desks, refreshed and rearing to go, on Tuesday.

For all of you who will be taking a break over Easter – enjoy.

Katy Humphries, deputy editor


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