Great ‘eggs-pectations’ for Easter 2018
When we think of Easter, we tend to think of Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs, instead of shopping. However, given that it’s the longest bank holiday weekend in our calendars, it’s a key event for retailers. Last year, a later Easter meant shoppers had more time to make their seasonal purchases, data from our grocery retail team shows. With Easter Sunday being 15 days earlier this year, how will this affect UK consumer behaviour for Easter 2018?
Eggs-cellent Easter deals
This year, retailers have had less time between New Year (when Easter Eggs start to go on sale) and Easter in which to sell seasonal items.
Ash Anzie, grocery expert, explains: “This would normally mean we’d expect lower sales when we review Easter this year, however, since the start of the year, sales of Easter eggs are up by 35% year on year and hot cross buns are up by 14%. Multi-buy deals which were non-existent in the market last year have come into prominence, making up 16% of that 35% growth and are now worth around 12% of the markets sales. This has been driven by Tesco who introduced their ‘Buy 2, Get 2 Free’ promotion.”
Additionally, from a shopper perspective it’s older shoppers 55 plus that are growing, mainly from empty nesters or retired households, rather than from family households buying for children.
In the 4 weeks to 25th February, 1.4 million more households purchased Easter eggs compared to last year. Anzie continues: “The poor weather will have disrupted sales a bit; but is likely to have delayed purchasing rather than stopped them altogether. We are still seeing rising prices, so I'd expect seasonal categories to grow year on year overall.”
The classic Easter lunch
Last year, a staggering 3.6 million of us splashed out on fresh lamb roasting joints over Easter – that’s bigger than the population of New Zealand. In fact, Brits love lamb so much, that last year, a whopping 14,000 trips per hour were made for lamb over the four-week period. Fresh lamb roasting joints saw double digit price increases, and per kilo, now cost the equivalent of the average bottle of wine. Interestingly, price increases didn’t deter shoppers, and over 4,000 tonnes of lamb were sold during Easter week last year; 41 times the weight of a blue whale.
However, this year, lamb has struggled with rising prices broadening the price gap for what was already the most expensive red meat. Nathan Ward, our meat fish and poultry expert, explains: “This year we’d predict the usual Easter uplift for lamb will be lower than usual unless there is significant promotional support in store and in the press”.