A series of government intervention including HFSS placement along with rising cost of living impacted confectionery sales last year as shoppers bought fewer sweets and chocolates, confectionery giant Haribo has stated.
The maker of Starmix, Tangfastics and Maoam said in financial documents that it pulled in record sales of £218 million last year, up £32m from 2021. However, despite this rise in sales, its managing director Jon Hughes warned that shoppers are cutting back across from the wider confectionery industry.
“The latter part of the year saw major changes to store layouts as retailers prepared for the new government restrictions on secondary displays of HFSS (high in saturated fat, salt and sugar) food and drink. The combination of Government restrictions, higher prices and the rising cost of living all contributed to the decline in category volume,” The Telegraph quoted Hughes as saying.
Total consumption of sweets in the UK was flat year on year, while chocolate volumes fell 3.2 per cent, the company said. It added that the value of combined sweets and chocolate sales had risen 3 per cent owing to higher prices.
Post HFSS placement restrictions that came into effect last year, supermarkets and larger stores had to shift sweets and other HFSS products away from prominent locations in their stores.
However, it is not just red tape and rising prices that are causing shoppers to pull back on sweets and similar indulgences, makers’ practice of reducing product size to cut costs is also being claimed as one of the factors for lower sales. According to a recent report by Barclays, eight in 10 shoppers are now worried about so-called ‘shrinkflation’ under which mainly packs and sizes of biscuits, chocolate, snack bars and crisps are slashed but prices remained the same or even rose in some cases.
A report by the bank said 70 per cent of shoppers had spotted examples of shrinkflation in June. Almost half of shoppers surveyed found examples of shrinkflation in chocolates while 42 per cent said they had noticed it in crisps. A total of 37 per cent said they had seen shrinkflation in the biscuit aisles and 32 per cent in snack bars.
The report adds that shrinkflation has influenced almost a third of shoppers to buy their favourite products less often, or to switch to brands which haven’t shrunk their products.