chocolate easter eggs bunnies

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  • The confectionery category suffered a £29.1m drop versus the same week last year

  • A rise in meat sales was put down to more barbecuing and scratch cooking

  • Lamb didn’t fare as well as other meats, with sales down £3.6m over the Easter week


Locked-down Brits spent £55.3m less on Easter chocolate and confectionery this year - but splashed out millions more on booze and meat, exclusive data reveals.

Sales of Easter confectionery took a dramatic plunge - a 19.1% fall - over the six weeks to Easter Sunday [IRI 6 w/e 12 April 2020 vs 6 w/e 21 April 2019]. Over the crucial Easter week, the category suffered a £29.1m drop versus the same week last year.

And confectionery wasn’t the only casualty as Brits locked themselves down: sales of seasonal cakes were down £2.9m over the six-week period, and £1.7m over the Easter week.

But it wasn’t bad news for every category. Fresh meat and BWS sales grew £118.9m (17%) and £177.3m (11.8%) respectively over the six weeks, with gains of £9.8m (6.9%) and £1.8m (0.6%) over the Easter week.

There were numerous factors at play, suggested IRI commercial director Tim Dummer.

“We have all been stuck in our homes and the weather has been nice, so a lot of meat sales will be down to barbecuing. There is a lot more scratch cooking.

“Meanwhile because movement is restricted people might also be cutting back on things that are unhealthy.”

Within BWS, beer was the biggest winner, with a £71.7m (20.7%) increase on last year’s Easter period, Cider, meanwhile, grew £9.6m (13.9%). Spirits and wine were up a whopping £48.2m (12.2%) and £49.1m (7.5%) respectively. However, over the Easter week itself, wine sales were down £10.5m versus last year.

In fresh meat, meanwhile, sales of beef grew by almost a quarter (24.6%) over the six-week period - a £48.9m gain - while pork, other meats and poultry were up £12.8m (23.8%), £12.1m (19.2%) and £46.7m (14.6%) respectively.

Lamb didn’t fare as well: sales were down £1.6m over the six-week period, and down £3.6m over the Easter week.