Local artisanal chocolatiers have hit hard times as chocolate sales soar for those in isolation and lockdown during the coronavrus pandemic.
As people around the world are being urged to stay home to help flatten the curve when it comes to COVID-19, a new hashtag is making itself known on social media thanks to self-isolation stress eating: #fattenthecurve.
In the UK residents have entered a three-week lock-down while the country battles the deadly coronavirus and to help keep morale high many are turning to decadence such as quality chocolate. Included in this number is celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, who revealed on Twitter she is eating 250g of chocolate a night, and the amount was increasing daily.
“All I can do is eat chocolate at the moment. I’m on a 250g bar a night at the moment. And rising,” she tweeted.
In the US a similar trend has been recorded, with the Hershey Company noting an increase in sales according to a March 18 note from Credit Suisse.
Analysts with the bank said the chocolate giant tends to see a spike in demand during crises, like the recession between 2008 and 2010.
“We also expect the increase in impulse purchase occasions at grocery stores to offset declines in alternative channels,” the bank’s analysts wrote, as reported in Business Insider.
Here in Australia we’re currently on coronavirus stage 2 shutdown, with a number of non-essential services such as gyms, cinemas, amusement parks and libraries closed across the country, and others, such as cafes, barbers and hairdressers remaining open under strict social distancing conditions.
As it looks increasingly likely that we’ll be following the UK’s lead in the near future, perhaps it’s time to move away from stockpiling toilet paper and begin hoarding chocolate instead?
It’s a move chocolate artisan and Celebration Cooking School director Jessica Pedemont is on board with, however she is quick to point out we should be throwing our support behind locally made, high end chocolate instead of that found lining supermarket shelves.
“Please stress eat quality chocolate all you want. Stressed spelled backwards is desserts!” Jessica quipped.
“On a serious note, during the Great Depression chocolate sales went up, but we noticing the opposite at the moment. Meat, milk, fruit, vegetables, and bread are all being bought, however, chocolate is always considered a luxury item. But Easter’s coming up and Mother’s Day after that.”
Jessica noted many chocolatiers in the industry were already struggling, with a few being forced to close their doors.
“My social enterprise South Pacific Cacao closed its retail doors earlier this month to help flatten the curve,” she said.
“So any support people could give to local business would be great.”