With Easter the biggest chocolate opportunity in the spring season, Asian Trader discovers how independent retailers can make the most of the occasion.

Easter is the greatest peak for confectionery sales across spring, with total confectionery growing by +3.9% in 2018 (Nielsen).
A key driver of that growth in 2018 came from the Easter Eggs sector, which achieved value sales worth £370m according to Nielsen.
Easter is all about creating memories with your loved ones through treats and traditions.
Consumers are seeking more experiences during the season, both in experiential and consumption.
According to a 2017 One Poll of 2000 parents with children aged 0-16 years old, the top activities for consumers at Easter are: eating chocolate, seeing friends and family, gifting chocolate and going on egg hunts.
As the market leader at Easter (IRI), Mondelēz holds the leading share of shell eggs and the number one position in miniature eggs, and single serve.
Mondelēz was the number one manufacturer during Easter 2018 with 44% share of the market. 82% of the UK population ate a Mondelēz Easter product during the season with Cadbury Creme Egg being the number one brand.
Four Cadbury Creme Eggs were sold every second in 2018, bringing with it £57m in brand sales – up by 22%3 thanks to the hunt for Cadbury’s White Cadbury Creme Egg (IRI). In 2018, 157 units of Cadbury Mini Eggs were sold per minute.
Mondelēz drove the absolute largest value into the shell eggs category year-on-year and grew the subcategory by £10m year-on-year. It also remains number one in the single serve category with a 64% share.
For Easter 2019, Mondelēz’s ambition is to remain a leader of the season and help bring families together, through its cracking portfolio of brands and products, the company said in a statement.
The company is bringing new innovation to all segments and investing £10m during the season.
Marketing support began on 1 January with the launch of a national Cadbury Creme Egg promotion ‘Hunt the White Creme Egg’ – which involves a convenience channel exclusive promotion, where the retailer could win £1,000 if a White Creme Egg is found in their store. Plus, Cadbury Creme Egg hunting season will return to TV, supported by a far reaching digital media campaign.
Signposting the season
Two power brands will unite this Easter to bring the consumer a new flavour – Cadbury Oreo Egg. This new product aims to drive sales in the category incrementally, after it proved its success in Canada being 62% incremental to Cadbury Creme Egg.
Throughout February and March, shoppers are looking to buy gifts and sharing products for friends and family, especially their children, to enjoy during casual together time.
They are also looking to capture the spirit and tradition of Easter, while creating memorable moments through the egg hunt ritual, using a range of different products from brands their family knows and loves.
Sharing products, like Cadbury Mini Eggs and Cadbury Egg ‘n’ Spoon, are ideal during these times to help create special sharing moments at home.
At this time Cadbury will be organising egg hunts across the country, with a £6m campaign and Cadbury will be involved in public egg hunts, with the continuation of its partnership with the National Trust.
Cadbury Heroes favourite Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted, will be launching in a convenient bag format which will help to target shoppers who are looking for new products – £1.49 RRP, 94g, 10 packs per case.
Mondelēz’s number one Easter brand will introduce the Cadbury Creme Egg Mega Egg – £4.99 RRP, 209g, 6 packs per case.
Also new for Easter, is the Cadbury Heroes Easter Pouch – £5.69 RRP, 384g, 8 packs per case.
Traditions & memories
In the three weeks prior to Easter, consumers are looking to create and extend the unique spirit of Easter through gifts, while continuing to inspire memorable moments through the egg hunt ritual.
To meet this consumer need, it is crucial to stock family sharing and gifting products during this time, Mondelez says.
Gifting accounts for more than 60% of chocolate occasions, which demonstrates the importance of stocking shell eggs (Engage Research), as consumers are on the hunt for surprises and gifts for their loved-ones.
New to Mondelēz shell egg portfolio, and aiming to build on the success of the inclusion range, is the Cadbury Crunchie Inclusion Egg.
This NPD is part of the £40m Crunchie brand and offers a gift worthy, standout product to the shopper – £12.00 RRP, 570g, 4 packs per case. Cadbury Picnic shell egg will also be launching, which is the sub-brand’s first ever shell egg. £6.00 RRP, 274g, 6 packs per case.
Seasonal NPD
Levi Boorer, Customer Development Director at Ferrero, comments: “Mother’s Day and Easter fall later in 2019, extending the trading period and giving a greater window for seasonal sales. Ferrero has a wide range of seasonal and limited edition products joining the core line up to appeal to each occasion individually, and we are investing in media campaigns to support retailers at Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter.”
Ferrero is introducing a number of egg products to appeal to a wide range of shoppers.
The Thorntons range will be bolstered by the introduction of three new luxury eggs, featuring strong colours and a premium look and feel to appeal to younger, affluent shoppers.
The premium eggs will be available in: White Chocolate & Raspberry, Milk Chocolate Almond & Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate & Orange.
The popular 212.5g and 275g luxury Ferrero Rocher eggs saw sales increase by +70% YoY in 2018, with the larger egg ranking 3rd overall in the Luxury Eggs category (Nielsen).
Both products will receive a makeover for 2019 to provide greater stand out on shelf, whilst also highlighting the quality of the products inside.
The Ferrero Rocher range will be supported across multiple channels at each occasion throughout spring.
For Kinder, two new 220g Surprise eggs are being launched to follow on from the success of the 100g in 2018 – where value sales grew by +21% and it was the number 1 performing SKU in the kids confectionery category (Nielsen).
The Kinder Surprise eggs will drive further growth in the category, with bigger toys and relevant licences (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Powerpuff Girls) having a wide appeal.
The Kinder range is being refreshed with a host of new products and line extensions. The five-strong range of Kinder Surprise 36g hollow figures will sport seasonally relevant characters and designs, likely to support early season sales for self-treating.
The entire Kinder portfolio will be supported by a media campaign across all key channels and haloing the full seasonal range.
Focussing on the key differentiator of Kinder Surprise products – the toy – the campaign will drive relevance with parents, showing the variety of the products and toys available while demonstrating the excitement they can bring.
For shoppers seeking more luxury, the new Ferrero Rocher mini eggs drive sales early in the season when seasonal sharing is at its peak.
The two Ferrero egg products (Hazelnut or Cocoa, 100g) are set to capitalise on the growing popularity of mini eggs, with the launch being supported by sampling activity at high-footfall areas to drive awareness across the UK.
Bolstering the range of novelties further is the introduction of the new Ferrero Rocher Squirrel.
The 90g product scored highly for likeability in development, with 63% of shoppers saying they would purchase as an additional item.
Completing Ferrero’s range of new products for Easter 2019 are new bunny figures from Thorntons.
Two new 200g bunny products (one milk chocolate and one white) are being launched this spring, having scored highly in consumer testing with 82% of shoppers saying they would be happy to give one as a gift.
Ferrero will also be supporting retailers across Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day through range extensions, limited edition product formats and seasonally relevant packaging, all underpinned with multi-channel media support.
The value of Thorntons boxed chocolate grew year on year at both occasions in 2018, at +12%6 (£3.1m) and +15%7 (£4.2m) respectively. The limited edition ‘With Love’ boxes make a return for Thorntons in 2019, with updated packaging to drive more interest and underline the premium product inside.
For Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Collection and Raffaello the core range leads sales as shoppers trust the product and recognise it as a high-quality option when looking for a gift for their loved ones. Ferrero Collection will have two seasonally relevant packs for Mother’s Day, one ribbon pack and one “Just for you” sleeve pack.
Raffaello saw retail sales value increase by +22% (Nielsen) in 2018. A New T8 80G Matchbox pack is being launched in 2019, featuring versatile designs to cater to multiple occasions all year round.
The special edition T14 heart also returns for spring 2019, after a +134% volume increase in 2018 (Nielsen). Ferrero will be supporting the line up with a digital campaign coupled with one of the UK’s biggest sampling activities ever, set to reach five million potential consumers and provide three million samples.
“Confectionery is one of the few categories where shoppers are willing to spend money on products they love, especially at key seasonal trading spikes such as those throughout spring,” adds Boorer.
“We always strive to offer retailers and shoppers the right balance of seasonal specials, which drive awareness and interest to the category, with our established core range, which helps to drive sales all year round. We’re committed to investing in media campaigns alongside our significant NPD to help retailers capitalise on the peaks in consumer demand by carrying the right mix of products,” Boorer concludes.