The media reports that chocolate sales are declining in the wake of recent price increases and the ongoing increases in the cost of living. We sought to find out if the chocolate market is feeling the heat of rising costs.
Chocolate sales vary quite substantially throughout the year. In 2022 they have ranged from a Rate of Sale of 323 to 519 differing by 60%.
The graph shows weekly Rate of Sale for 2019 to 2022. This years Rate of Sale appears to be lower than 2020 but is following similar patterns to 2021. It would be hard to say the recent increases in living costs is affecting the amount of chocolate being sold.
These graphs show the Rate of Sale changes by chocolate product type. Chocolate blocks seeing a decrease but chocolate bars/bitesize seeing an increase on last year. Increases and decreases in the Rate of Sale for chocolate product types have been very consistent over the last 2 years.
We looked at how the seasonal variation in temperature affects sales. You can see that temperature only has a significant impact on chocolate sales when there is a spike in temperature above a certain level.
These graphs show Rate of Sale against monthly average temperature for 2019 to 2022. Here we see a reduction in Rate of Sale in the hotter months of the year when the average monthly temperature is towards 20 degrees. You can also see other impacts on chocolate sales like rising sales for Easter and a steep drop off after Easter.
The weather seems to have an immediate impact when the temperatures reach the high teens. It is important to note that when working with weather data it can be confused with seasonal trends.
It is also true that during the bigger public holidays shoppers are likely to buy their chocolate from supermarkets. This could be due to bulk deals around that time of year.
These charts show average pricing by product type for 2019 to 2022. Most product types are increasing in average price from 2019-2021. Chocolate blocks are the only product decreasing in price from last year. With more shoppers buying chocolate bars, the average pricing is getting lower this time of year, but that is consistent with 2021.
In conclusion, most of the data obtained from UK Convenience Stores shows that chocolate has consistent trends. This year and last has seen similar if not the same trends take place month by month. There is some merit to saying that more chocolate bars are being sold and less chocolate blocks are being sold. The evidence does not support this is due to the rising living costs as different types of chocolate are still following similar trends as last year.