Easter confectionery enjoyed a resurgence in 2014 – aided by a longer season. How will it tackle a tighter timeframe in 2015?

Shelling out

Kantar Worldpanel breaks down exactly how the key Easter subsectors have performed

Own-label challenge

Own label is increasingly big business at Easter – what are the factors driving its growth?

Small is big

How Mondelez is streamlining products that serve the same occasion, and other great NPD

By Jove, they think they’ve cracked it. Confectioners are universally upbeat about Easter 2014, and with good reason. According to data exclusive to The Grocer, retailers and suppliers built on 2013’s slight value and volume gains to boost their 2014 spring growth by 14.4% in value on volumes up 11.7% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 27 April 2014].

All sectors apart from hanging bags have taken a piece of a category-wide value sales increase of £34m, and brands (up 12.2% in value) and own label (boasting 37.3% value growth) are both looking springy. Customers weren’t put off by the higher prices, either.

Some were persuaded by own-label goods, though, as Waitrose and Sainsbury’s offered their valuable featured space to own brands.

The improvement in sales figures isn’t unexpected – with Easter arriving late last year, allowing for a fortnight of extra sales, the category was expected to hatch something special. Unfortunately, the calendar is not so kind in 2015 as Easter Sunday falls on 5 April. Will seasonal confectionery be able to achieve continued success in a tighter timeframe?

With shell eggs traditionally purchased close to Easter and self-treat products favoured earlier in the season, snack-friendly mini and filled eggs benefited from the extra trading time. Filled eggs have gained 22.9% in value on volumes up 18.2% [Kantar], with minis equalling this value growth on volumes up 14.7%.

Cadbury, the major driver of growth across Easter 2014, smashed the chocolate ceiling with its 2013 launch – Egg n Spoon. Growth of 114.7% brought it to £14.4m, a shade under the sales value of the second-biggest shell egg, Cadbury’s Creme Egg [IRI], while Cadbury Mini Eggs outperformed their category with 16.6% value growth.

“It was an absolutely incredible Easter for confectionery,” says Steve Chick, Mondelez brand manager for Creme Egg. “Because it was a longer season we saw a growth in penetration among self-eat and sharing products.

There was also huge growth in sharing novelties, which was almost exclusively driven by the success of Cadbury Dairy Milk Egg n Spoon, which doubled in size in 2014.”