2021 Media Kit

Lesser chocolate innovation since 2020 pandemic

COVID-19 has slowed down chocolate innovation, according to new findings from Mintel. Since the pandemic started, the research firm said chocolate lovers worldwide were given fewer choices for occasions such as Easter, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Halloween. These are traditionally the events when consumers buy many chocolate treats, spurring new festive product launches designed to capture consumers' attention.
Research shows that chocolate innovation slumped 25% over the past 12 months. During this period, launches of all seasonal chocolate have fallen by 18%. Meanwhile, new product development in the chocolate industry overall has declined by 14%.
Marcia Mogelonsky, director of Insight, Mintel Food and Drink, said the pandemic has dramatically slowed chocolate innovation. The usual channels and tactics used to attract new consumers has shut down. Thus, sampling and gifting through specialist outlets and other brick-and-mortar options, for example, have proved to be a challenge.
She added: "Many manufacturers have stalled budgets and investments in new product development until economies improve."
Mogelonsky explained that coping with holidays has been a real challenge for the chocolate industry. The 2020 Easter sales declined as that holiday was the first to be celebrated in lockdown, Mintel's research revealed. Important chocolate occasions such as Halloween and Christmas also suffered as manufacturers worked to confectionery to locked-down consumers.
However, the internet presents a silver lining. While innovation has slowed down, the internet has proved to be a success story for some producers, Mogelonsky said.
They have successfully introduced new products and launched extensions of familiar and comforting brands through online sales and social media, she concluded. (Image from Unsplash)

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