From chocolate bunnies to marshmallow Peeps, it was a bumper year for Easter treats as, according to new research from Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), launches of new seasonal Easter chocolate products increased 19% over the past 12 months.
While there has been an explosion in new Easter chocolate product innovation, the same cannot be said for chocolate innovation as a whole, which increased just 1% over the last year. Meanwhile, innovation for seasonal chocolate increased by 5% over the same period. Easter innovation accounts for a sweet 41% of all seasonal chocolate launches.
"As many as two in five (41%) Americans buy Easter-themed chocolate/candy, making it the second most popular seasonal chocolate/candy following Valentine’s Day (45%). As the world becomes more relaxed about social gatherings, Easter celebrations will be more plentiful, sparking improved revenue for seasonal chocolates, especially those linked with an interactive component like Easter egg hunts," said Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight for Mintel Food and Drink.
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According to the research, the United Kingdom saw the largest spoke in global Easter chocolate innovations, with 16% of new products launched in the U.K. France was second with 9%, followed by Germany with 8%, Brazil with 8% and the United States, which ranked fifth among global Easter chocolate innovators, responsible for 7% of Eastern chocolate new product innovations.
“Looking ahead, Multiculturalism is set to grow opportunities and broaden the range for 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," added Mogelonsky.
While the confectionery industry continues to respond to a number of sustainability issues, Mintel found that consumers are not as enthusiastic about sustainable attributes. Only 10% of US consumers are interested in purchasing chocolate that is considered 'fair trade', according to the data. Similarly, in Canada, just 25% of consumers are interested in purchasing chocolates that have ethical claims, according to Mintel, while 22% are interested in purchasing chocolates that have environmental claims.
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“Confectionery has many sustainability pain points. For manufacturers, the sourcing of raw ingredients leads to discussions ranging from fair treatment of workers to growing conditions. Sustainable packaging concerns include not only types of packaging materials but also a focus on how much packaging is too much. Looking ahead, manufacturers and brands must commit to more sustainable practices in a category that thrives on fun and indulgence. While consumers will continue to expect manufacturers to provide sustainably sourced products, they will also have to take action by stepping back from unsustainably produced products,” Mogelonsky added.
This article first appeared in Convenience Store News Canada