Data from Mintel shows a 45% rise in Easter product launches in 2012 compared to last year.
‘The old reliable’
While droves of new products will grace store shelves over the seasonal period, director of insight for Mintel Food & Drink Marcia Mogelonsky, told ConfectioneryNews.com that consumers will tend to stick to brands they know.
“They are looking for familiar chocolate brands ‘done over’ for Easter, e.g. Galaxy, Dairy Milk and Dairy Milk Caramel.”
“When the economy is uncertain, as it is now, consumers tend to look to ‘the old reliable’ and ‘comfort brands’,” she said.
Winners and losers this Easter
In this respect, Mogelonsky said she expected the likes of Kraft/Cadbury, Mars and Nestle to do well.
“But they will have to contend with private label, which is gaining ground,” she added.
She also warned that the big brands may not perform as well as they would like due to higher price points.
Leatherhead Food Research analyst Jonathan Thomas told this site: “Price continues to be a major driver of consumer behaviour –, a large proportion of Easter eggs bought in the UK are now as part of some kind of promotional deal.”
Global product launches of premium products declined 10% between 2010 and 2011, according to Mintel with the UK, US and Australia leading the way.
Mogelonsky put the decline down to volatility in the cocoa market. However, in Japan new premium introductions soared by 71% over the same period.
Region sales growth
Mogelonsky said she expected Easter confectionery sales to grow in the US, the UK and Brazil, while Thomas added Australia to this list.
The US is the largest Easter confectionery market worldwide, with sales worth $2.15bn in 2011, according to Leatherhead estimates.
The UK market for Easter confectionery is the largest in Western Europe with high eggs sales last year.
Leatherhead noted in its recent ‘Innovations in the Global Confectionery Market’ report that over 85% of Easter eggs sold in the UK in 2011 were purchased on promotions. “ A trend which is expected to hold back value growth within this segment,” it said.
Mintel has also spotted a surge in seasonal NPD activity in Canada, up 89% from 2010 to 2011.
However, concerns over obesity have led to significant declines in global seasonal launches aimed at children aged between 5 and 12.
Mogelonsky said: “This change is not enough to affect the overall market in any significant way, but could suggest that manufacturers will be paring down their efforts to introduce seasonal products aimed directly at children in the next few years.”