Easter sales promising for confectionery players

Posted by Editorial on 8th April 2009

Australian shoppers are not prepared to give up on a touch of indulgence this Easter, with the Confectionery Manufacturers of Australasia reporting robust sales ahead of their most important time of year.

“This year our craze for Easter eggs is as strong as ever,” Trish Hyde, CEO of the Confectionery Manufacturers of Australasia, noted. “Australian and New Zealand manufacturers of Easter eggs are reporting good sales, especially compared to last year. In 2008, Easter was much earlier and it was still very hot, so sales were down a little. This year the weather is easing and things are looking much better, with sales returning to 2007 levels.”

On average, one-third of shoppers spend up to $20 on Easter eggs, one-third spend up to $50 and one-third spend up to $100.

The broader range this year is also providing a boost, as new and varied products entice the chocolate lover to spend. “There’s a huge variety of Easter eggs now in the shops, you can buy eggs that are dairy free or organic and the customary milk chocolate is now complemented by milk chocolate and dark chocolate of varying grades. Then there’s chocolate bunnies, bilbies, caskets and eggs with added treats inside, the variety is almost endless,” Ms Hyde commented.

Recent IBISWorld research from the US suggested Easter sales would be under pressure this year, with confectionery sales forecast to drop by 10%. Supermarkets were expected to be a rare winner due to a trend toward eating at home that could see food sales rise 3.5 per cent during the period. Australian consumers, however, appear more resilient, with the stimulus package and the later Easter date likely to cushion the impact of the downturn.