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Universally regarded as one of the tastiest ways to treat yourself and loved ones, chocolate has long been a go-to for shoppers looking for a delicious indulgence. Today’s appreciation for provenance, quality and intriguing flavours is a boon for independents; by exploring the myriad of delicious options in the market, indies can position themselves as destinations for discerning chocolate lovers.
Indeed, according to IBISWorld, the UK chocolate and confectionery market is currently worth $3.5bn. While seasonality does drive sales – 3.8 million shoppers bought boxes of chocolates in the week preceding Valentine’s Day in 2021 – chocolate is a year-round indulgence. Research by YouGov reveals that most Brits eat sweet treats once a day or at least once or twice a week.
Confectionery & Chocolate Buyer explores four ways to boost sales of this beloved product.
Chocolate bars are a classic confectionery product for a reason. The fact they’re perfectly giftable – to yourself or a loved one – makes them a great workhouse of your chocolate selection. Look for provenance and other markers of genuine quality to maximise this opportunity.
Be sure to stock a variety of darkness levels so you have something to suit every taste, from Purbeck Chocolate’s 67% Madagascan Dark chocolate to Pump Street’s Oat Milk Chocolate.
While in the past vegan and free-from variants of chocolate treats may have seemed a bit ‘worthy’ and less of an indulgence than their conventional counterparts, today’s free-from options are anything but. Plus, the free-from sector is now full of variety – from vegan-friendly and gluten-free Happi Oat M!lk Honeycomb Nibbles to the trending Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Bar from Mr Popple’s.
Position in your free-from section as well as amongst your other chocolate products; we bet that they’ll go down just as well with shoppers not following a free-from diet.
Classic chocolate products will always be popular (and delicious), but stock some of the industry’s more innovative items to set yourself apart from the crowd. Summerdown is now a go-to for chocolate lovers, and its Mint Peppermint Dark Chocolate Crisp Bar, which combines Summerdown’s prized single-estate peppermint with the finest single-origin Colombian cocoa is a must-stock.
Or why not push the boat out with a sweet-savoury combo? Chocolate Moments’ Bar of Crisps is just the thing to intrigue curious customers, with a combination of ready salted crisps and creamy milk chocolate.
Think beyond the classic chocolate bar to satisfy the cravings of true chocolate-lovers. Baked goods, versatile ingredients and chocolate-forward snacks offer a delicious way to round out the confectionery selection across your store.
These can range from grab-and-go snacks – think Doughlicious’ Chocolate Peppermint Snackable Dough – to traditional Italian favourites like Poggio Del Farro’s Wholegrain Spelt Cantucci Biscuits with Chocolate Chips.
Don’t forget to stock decadent chocolate spreads. During the festive season, why not sell a selection of chocolate spreads as part of a baking kit or in a hamper with equally decadent biscuits? Eagle-eyed consumers will be hunting for these convenient grab-and-go gifting options prior to the holiday season. You can’t go wrong with Thursday Cottage’s Orange & Chocolate Curd or Seggiano’s Chocolate Lovers Gift Box, which includes three vegan, organic hazelnut spreads.
For more ideas, download a free copy of Confectionery & Chocolate Buyer here.