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Eggsistential choices for Easter

If Easter has traditionally been a peak trading period for convenience stores, then our review of last Easter shows that lockdown made it even more important last year. Read on for some tips on what to stock

Even if you’re not a fan of chocolate or the Easter Bunny, it’s difficult not to get enthusiastic about the return of Spring, a little warmer weather and some sunshine. There will surely be some sunshine to enjoy soon!

This time last year we were in the first COVID-19 Lockdown for the duration of the Easter season and many people were speculating that Easter Eggs weren’t essential purchases. At the point of writing this article, it looks as though we might be beginning to see the lift of restrictions by Easter 2021. We compared data from Easter from 2020, 2019 and 2018 to help get an idea of what to expect for the season. In each period we looked at a 2-week period before Easter and because the date varies, there may be some seasonal variation.

In each of the three years we compared, Cadburys Dairy Milk PM100 was the top seller – sales were up by 129% in 2020. In 2018, Kinder surprise took the number 2 slot – but in 2019 and 2020, the 2nd best selling item was Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Caramel PM100 sales of these were up 67% in 2020.
Easter eggs do still perform well, the best performing egg was the Lindor Assorted Silver Egg with average sales of £30.27 for the two-week period in 2020. Cadbury’s Mini Eggs sold on average, per store, £20.83 (up 62% on 2019) across the two-week period, Kinder Surprise £15.73 (up 17%), Cadbury Crème Egg, £15.21 (up 50%), and Cadburys Oreo £11.20 (up 40%).
"We look at sales of products over the Easter period so you can make the most of the chocolate season in store."
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We saw the biggest increase from 2018-2019 in the Frozen category, up 65% and Arts and Crafts, up 61%. In 2020 the category that saw the biggest increase was Hardware, up 119%, followed by groceries, up 90%. During the first lockdown, many homeowners turned to home improvements to fill their time but initially the hardware stores weren’t open. We know too of course that shopping habits changed for groceries too, with many people turning to their local store to avoid supermarket queues.

Alcohol sales went up by 74% in the 2020 Easter period – pubs were closed and the quarantini* (*home-mixed alcoholic cocktail made with whatever you have in the kitchen cupboard or can obtain from your local convenience store) became the drink of choice.In alcohol over the Easter period, in 2020, Carling 440ml topped the sales with average sales per store £261.09 (up 57% on 2019), with Stella Artois 4.8% 440ml the 2nd bestseller £189.27 (up 57%). In spirits, Smirnoff Red was the top seller, average sales across the period in 2020 were £162.50 and the only wine to feature in the top 20 is Hardy’s Bin 161 PM 575 Chardonnay with average sales of £92.20 through the Easter period in 2020.

This Easter may be an unusual mix of new-normal with a scattered outlook of local tiers but it’s clear that chocolate will still be considered an essential item for many!

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