A bite-size digital business magazine from DraytonPartners
The price of chocolate is going up and up

The price of chocolate is going up and up. So, shouldn’t the size of Easter eggs be shrinking?

The price of chocolate is going up and up. So, shouldn’t the size of Easter eggs be shrinking?

Cocoa is at a current level of “5.556 (USD/kg), up from 4.398 last month and up from 2.653 one year ago,” say Ycharts.com. A commercially challenging plus 26.35% month-on-month increase and up an eye-watering 109.5% from one year ago.

Poor harvests due to extreme weather, pests and disease in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, which produce most of the world's cocoa, have decimated supply.

But, counterintuitively, according to The Grocer, “Easter eggs are getting bigger.”

“Cadbury is leading the trend,” continues the trade bible. The brand “has launched its higher tier gifting range of shell eggs for Easter 2024, including the introduction of the Cadbury Ultimate Egg range,” says Susan Nash, trade comms manager at Cadbury owner Mondelez.”

But why is bigger better for manufacturers in 2024? How can that make commercial sense set against rising commodity prices? One simple reason is how well they sold in 2023.

As Forecourt Trader reports, “Nielsen data has giant eggs as the fastest growing Easter egg category up 59% year on year. They proved so popular for Mars Wrigley last year that it saw a 6% increase in the volume of packs purchased per shopping trip.”

And tellingly, that increase in sales for larger eggs was set against a more general trend of decreasing sales in the category.

“Take-home sales of all major festive confectionery categories faltered in the build-up to Easter weekend. Volumes sank 4.7% [Kantar 12 w/e 9 April 2023],” says The Grocer.

New HFSS (High in Fat, Salt, and Sugar) legislation in the UK seems to be the main reason the sector struggled.

The Grocer again, “The impulse display ban on HFSS items hit sales of smaller Easter treats hard. Cadbury Creme Egg suffered the greatest loss of any top 10 festive chocolate brand. Its value sales fell 7.9% on volumes down 23.6%.”

That’s why outsized eggs are proving such a hit with manufacturers.

The magazine continues, “super-sized eggs have a higher volume price than smaller products. Take the 400g Dairy Milk Chunky Ultimate Easter Egg for £12, which weighs in at £3 per 100g. Cadbury’s medium and small eggs currently sell for between £1.50 and £3 a pop in Tesco, meaning, gram for gram, they cost roughly half as much as Ultimate Eggs.”

So, the bigger the egg, the bigger the profit margin, and shoppers end up paying more for their chocolate.

As for next year, based on this year’s unexpected trend, you may need to bring a wheelbarrow to the confectionery aisle in 2025 to take home your super-sized Ultimate Egg.