The confectionery category is increasingly dominated by innovations in boxed and tub formats, with consumers adopting modestly priced packs of favourite chocolates repackaged and presented in a different guise.
Many top brands have been tested - Bendicks with Mingles and Gorgeous, Toblerone, Guylian and Cadbury Trebor Bassett - all achieving top quartile ratings and high levels of post-trial purchase intention.
These more valued formats have pushed up the category average rating by two points during the past six years. While the chocolates are seen as expensive compared with a standard bar, their individual wrappings and smaller sizes presented in share tubs has made them ideal gifts and family treats.
There is also underlying evidence that this bitesize format delivers an indulgence with less guilt. However, premiumisation is still important in total product satisfaction, as evidenced by the poor response to a value version of a well-known chocolate favourite with simple, stripped down, packaging.
Tesco Value - A Whole Hazelnut in Milk Chocolate SCORE: 29 AVERAGE: 41
In a context where consumers want their chocolates to look exciting and indulgent, this own-brand option lacked the appropriate image values or low enough price to tempt trial.
Crunchie Great to Share Box SCORE: 43 AVERAGE: 41
These individually wrapped mini Crunchie bars, although expensive compared with a normal bar, were a clever way to extend brand usage. A good-sized tub for a family weekend treat.
Bendicks Gorgeous SCORE: 50 AVERAGE: 41
A 69p sampler pack of this boxed selection was highly rated in its own right as "an ideal personal treat/perfect to spoil yourself". The chocolates lived up to their name and everything expected