Health conscious Aussies becoming a toothache for Easter chocolatiers, experts warn

Health conscious Aussies becoming a toothache for Easter chocolatiers, experts warn

The rising number of Australians concerned with what they consume is causing chocolatiers to change their product offerings around Easter according to a report by IBISWorld.

Whilst the anticipated Easter chocolate spend in Australia will continue to grow this year chocolatiers are being pushed to produce more premium and healthier Easter options.

This trend towards healthy eating is also expected to boost demand for niche products like organic and vegan chocolate products.

Despite this evolving market, the majority of chocolate bought by Australian consumers this Easter is anticipated to be from the major supermarkets Coles, Woolworths and Aldi.

The Australian chocolate and confectionary manufacturing market in Australia is worth $5.7 billion, with $319 million of that going to exports.

Nestle Australia, Mars Australia and Mondelez Australia are the three major players in the sector, accounting for almost 40 per cent of the market together.

This massive market is facing increased consumer pressure to change and evolve from Australians who still have a sweet-tooth but are more health conscious than ever before.

"Growing consumer concerns about the amount of fat and sugar in foods have weakened demand for traditional chocolate and confectionery over the period, particularly in regard to mass-produced products," says IBISWorld in its Chocolate and Confectionary Manufacturing in Australia March 2018 report.

"Industry participants have diversified their ranges and introduced healthier products in an attempt to limit the number of consumers switching to substitute products, such as yoghurt. Additionally, consumer demand for premium products has increased over the past five years, which has boosted the industry's performance."

READ MORE: Easter to sweeten cashiers in retail trading spike

Easter is, of course, one of the most popular times of the year for chocolate consumption.

This year, IBISWorld says that consumer spending on chocolate will exceed $210 million over Easter, representing over $10 per capita. According to IBISWorld Australians are among the largest consumers of Easter eggs in the world.

"Premium chocolate varieties, such as Lindt and Haigh's, are set to remain popular, with growing premiumisation trends expected to lead to an increasing portion of Easter chocolate sales being attributed to premium chocolate brands and specialty chocolate stores," says IBISWorld.

"However, consumer health consciousness, which has increased over the past five years, is anticipated to lower overall chocolate consumption and chocolate hamper sales this Easter."

As for the future of the chocolate and confectionary industry, IBISWorld predicts that growth will continue for premium products over the five years through 2022-23.

"Industry operators are anticipated to focus on diversifying and manufacturing premium products, as consumer preferences continue to change and health consciousness increases," says IBISWorld.

"However, intensifying pressure from private-label brands and imports is projected to limit industry revenue growth over the period."

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