Easter spend in the UK is forecast to increase by 0.5% in 2019 to reach £1.7bn, driven by gifting which is expected to rise 0.8%, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
This traditional event has been epitomised by indulgent chocolate eggs, however the continued rise of the health and wellness trend will provide retailers with new opportunities this year, with alternative Easter eggs targeting a more health-conscious consumer and supporting a small lift in spend.
Zoe Mills, Retail Analyst at GlobalData commented: “The continued shift in dietary habits has seen a number of consumers turn away from dairy and gluten, encouraging retailers and brands to improve the level of choice in vegan and free-from Easter eggs. This range diversification will help offset a potential decline in chocolate egg sales led by changing consumer dietary requirements and preferences.
“Furthermore, we are also seeing that within the Easter egg category retailers are expanding ranges to satisfy different tastes. The Wyke Farms Cheaster Egg is a cheese Easter egg appealing to those with less of a sweet tooth.
“In the past we have seen non-food specialists getting involved in more traditionally food based occasions, for example, health & beauty specialists selling Christmas advent calendars. This move has been hugely successful and as such we are now seeing more retailers make this same step in Easter gifting. Brands such as Revolution (make-up), Playmobil (toys) and Smiggle (stationery) are producing alternative Easter gifts to chocolate eggs to appeal to older audiences or to health-conscious parents wishing to avoid sweet treats for the occasion.”
Cards and gift wrap will be the worst performing Easter category, forecast to decline 0.9% on last year. Fewer consumers are sending Easter cards, so retailers must focus on gift wrap and gift bags, capitalising on the better performing gifting category to limit losses in card & wrap sales.
Mills concludes: “We are seeing fewer consumers send cards across a number of different occasions including birthdays and religious occasions such as Christenings, and Easter is not immune to this trend. The perceived lack of value in these items since they are often thrown away soon after the event means that consumers do not think buying cards is worthwhile, especially when coupled with rising stamp costs and environmental concerns.”