This Easter is expected to be a bumper year for Easter treats, according to new research from Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) as launches of new, seasonal Easter chocolate products have increased by 19% over the past 12 months.
While an ‘explosion’ has been seen in Easter chocolate innovation, the same is not true for chocolate innovation as a whole. Innovation for seasonal chocolate as a whole increased 5% over the same period, and Easter accounts for 41% of all seasonal chocolate launches.
In terms of regional launch activity, Mintel’s research shows the UK is top of the leaderboard in Easter innovation globally. Over the last year, the UK was responsible for one in eight (16%) Easter chocolate launches as it has come in leaps and bounds, growing by almost 40% over the last two years.
Across the globe, the top five Easter ‘chocolate innovators’ when it comes to new product launches are the UK (16%), France (9%), Germany (8%) and the US (6%), collectively responsible for almost half of innovation.
“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,” explained Marcia Mogelonsky, Director of Insight, Mintel Food and Drink.
“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.”
The importance of social and environmental responsibility in chocolate has been evidenced, as over the last year nearly three in five (57%) Easter chocolate launches globally carried an environmental/ethical claim, up from less than half (48%) the previous year.
While the confectionery industry continues to respond to sustainability issues, consumers are not as enthusiastic about sustainable attributes, Mintel says, as ethical certification (9%) does not rank highly among chocolate purchase factors compared with a favourite flavour (37%) or interesting texture (16%).
“While consumers have some concerns about end-stage sustainability—for example recyclable packaging—our research shows they are not as concerned about how the cocoa is produced. Currently, ethical certification is not as important for chocolate buyers as criteria such as a favourite flavour or interesting texture,” said Marcia.
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