Confectionery faces a downturn in sales this Easter

A Field Agent survey suggests most parents will either spend less or not at all during one of the category's most important seasons.


Consumer behaviour relating to food purchases have changed wildly in recent weeks due to COVID-19. And a new report suggests the confectionery business might see similar disruption this Easter season, as the typical surge in chocolate and candy purchases has become a lower priority for Canadians.

Shopper and CPG research firm Field Agent surveyed 529 Canadian parents last weekend and found 56% of respondents will spend less than they did last year, and 22% would not be spending anything at all on Easter products in 2020 as COVID-19 concerns continue to weigh on the minds of Canadian consumers.

This does not bode well for the holiday-driven confectionery business, as Halloween and Easter vie for the biggest sales period of the year, followed by Christmas and Valentine’s Day, according to Nielsen.

According to a statement on the Hershey’s website, Halloween, Easter and the winter holiday season drive roughly one-quarter of the company’s business. Like other holidays, Easter frequently brings numerous LTOs to capture more sales: Ferrero Rocher has found success with its Easter chocolate squirrels, and Cadbury with its popular, yet seasonal, crème eggs.

Field Agent’s other insights include only 11% of respondents planning to spend more, and that of the shoppers who were planning on making Easter purchases, 45% haven’t started yet.

Walmart is the number one Easter destination by a wide margin, with nearly half of survey respondents citing the retailer as a planned shopping location. This was followed by Dollarama, the supermarket banners, Costco and pharmacies. Online retailers brought up the rear, due to fulfillment delays brought on by a surge in demand for online food delivery.