Easter Impact On Chocolate Sales

Easter Impact On Chocolate Sales

Christmas is over for another year. We cry a sigh of relief that we have survived yet another crazy season. It is one of the few months of the year where everyone tries to cram six weeks work into three and is usually the most chaotic, but also the most rewarding.

Hopefully it was a great end to the year for all that worked the long hours and pushed to make it happen.

Whilst we recover from a big Christmas and begin the New Year with new goals and targets there is little rest to be had. Unfortunately we finish one year very differently than we start the next. December to January is much like a balloon we work to blow up only to have it deflate in January. The quietest month in the year is renowned as a tough month for sales. The pressure is back on to keep costs in line and keep revenue up; hard to do when many return customers are away and others tighten their spending. It’s more important than ever to stick to the formula that works and it will pay off, shoppers will return again and their expectations will be up as usual.

It’s not long before Easter and with this means chocolates will soon be in high demand. For many involved in chocolate manufacturing, large and small, it is again a very busy time. February through to Easter, chocolate production goes up another gear to cover the demand that will begin early April. It is the one time in the year that just about everyone will eat chocolate. We will use close to one-third of the chocolate for the entire year at Easter. Our chocolate will come in bulk five-kilogram blocks and be melted and tempered then moulded into hand-painted figurines and shaped into moulded and cut pralines. You will notice some supermarkets have already stocked Easter selections as early as 1 January. As a kid I never recall them stocking so early in the year, soon we’ll be putting Easter eggs under the tree for Christmas!

Not all countries are able to enjoy the sweet taste of chocolate equally. There are profound opposites between those nations that extract the raw materials and those who indulge in the finished product. All but one of the top 20 countries that consume chocolate are considered ‘well-developed’ or ‘advanced’. Brazil is the only country on the list that actually considers chocolate to be a natural resource.

The reality exists that the processing and consumption of chocolate products is ‘western world’ dominated. Seventy per cent of the worldwide profit from chocolate sales is concentrated in these countries. Eighty per cent of the world chocolate market is accounted for by just six transnational companies, including Nestle, Mars and Cadbury. Europeans alone consume around 40 per cent of the world’s cocoa per year, 85 per cent of which is imported from West Africa. There have recently been efforts to initiate a fair-trade movement, which would encourage the purchase of cocoa from developing country producers at a fair price. However, tariff escalation continues to be a major problem, which acts to drive chocolate consumers and cocoa exporters further apart.

Here are some other interesting chocolate facts:

• sixteen of the top 20 consuming countries are European;

• in 2001 Americans consumed three billion pounds of chocolate, which totalled $13.1 billion in sales;

• sixty six per cent of chocolate is consumed between meals, with 22 per cent of all chocolate consumption takes place between 8pm and midnight;

• more chocolate is consumed in the winter than any other season;

• chocolate manufacturers currently use 40 per cent of the world’s almonds and 20 per cent of the world’s peanuts; and

• according to recent surveys, Australians consume more than five kilograms of chocolate per capita per year as opposed to world leaders in chocolate consumption Switzerland, consuming more than 11kg per capita, with the UK not far behind.

At Cacao Fine Chocolates we have created a selection for 2011 that was designed back in September in preparation for the Easter season. We were inspired by the colours of autumn and choose to introduce these rich warm tones with differing shades or orange red and yellow, which can be seen above.

You can see our 2011 collection in-store this Easter or by visiting our website.

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