April 3, 2012

2 Min Read
Easter-Themed Chocolate Launches Hop 45% This Year

CHICAGONearly 25% of all global chocolate launches in 2011 were for products with seasonal themes, such as Halloween, Christmas and Easter; however, new market data from Mintel predicts 2012 Easter-themed product launches will hop to the front of the pack with an impressive 45% gain over 2011.

While global new product chocolate launches declined by 7% between 2010 and 2011, products with seasonal claims increased 6% over the same period. In 2011, seasonal chocolates represented a $4.9 billion market in the United States, up 6.4% from 2010. In fact, United States accounts for the largest percentage of all seasonal launches at 18%, followed by the  United Kingdom and Germany at 12%, 10%, respectively. Canada has seen the biggest increase in seasonal activity, increasing 89% between 2010 and 2011, today Canada accounts for 7% of all NPD activity.

This year has proved to be a real hot-bed of activity for Easter chocolate NPD.  Seasonal chocolate is, if anything more recession resistant than the overall market, as the products have broad appeal as gifts for a wide range of recipients, from friends to relatives and co-workers. Easter has consistently led other holidays in innovationand in salesas it is a holiday with a strong affinity for confectionery through gift baskets, egg hunts and other family-focused traditions," said Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight for Mintel Food and Drink.

Interestingly, the number of seasonal launches aimed at children aged 5 to 12 declined 62% in the United States most likely due to parents giving their children healthier treats than chocolate or candy for holidays.

While seasonal chocolate has been the star performer of the industry, premium chocolate activity slowed in 2011. Between 2010 and 2011 launches of premium chocolate products declined 10%. In the United States, the biggest market for new premium launches, new introductions declined by 28%.

Mogelonsky said the decline in launches of premium products is due, in part, to the challenges in the cocoa market. Raw materials from more exclusive regions in South and Central America, Asia, and Africa added to the price of premium products, and gave manufacturers reason to consider whether forays into higher-priced cocoa would grant an appreciable return on investment.

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