The summer heatwave put a dent in chocolate sales and has added to the pressure to get volumes on track for the fourth quarter.

This month, Stockwatch studied chocolate-based multipacks found on the main fixture. A sector average of 66 sku’s per store was recorded, of which 12% were on promotion.

Asda offers a wide choice to satisfy its demographic profile and, perhaps because of this, is the worst choice for consumers who want to buy on promotion at peak shopping times. Higher footfall and basket size purchase are factors here. We recorded 47% of promotional lines at risk, double the market average and eight times higher than the top performer, Morrisons.

Morrisons offers the fewest products on promotion - just 7% of the category. While this situation is often a cause of out of stocks, we found only 6% of promotional sku’s affected by poor availability. Non-promotional products are more at risk here - with 11% of lines very low on stock.

Sainsbury has 15% of the category on special offer - the most this month. Shoppers here will find poor availability affecting nearly 28% of promotional lines. In contrast, 11% of normal lines were at risk. Who says Sainsbury’s shoppers don’t buy deals?

Somerfield carries the smallest range. Its availability figures are slightly higher than the retail average this month: 24% of promotional lines are at risk and 11% of normal lines.

Tesco has a high number of promotional offers to choose from (13% of lines) and availability is better than average for products on and off promotion, at 17% and 9% respectively.

Safeway carries the largest choice, has the fewest number of normal lines at risk of going off sale and its at risk levels for promotions - at 19% - is below the retailer average. Safeway no longer has the worst availability for promotional products since The Grocer Stockwatch research began this year - the worst is now Asda.