The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) predicts that retailers across Australia will enjoy bumper sales of Easter treats this year. However, IBISWorld struck a more cautious note.
Many retailers stock their shelves with Easter products just after New Year. Yet most Easter sales take place the week before Good Friday, says ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman.
“Although the Easter trading period is shorter than the Christmas period, this holiday is still a busy trading event for retailers,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“We predict that sales of traditional Easter items, including hot cross buns, seafood, fresh produce, liquor and of course chocolate will increase during this time. This is a welcome fillip for specialist retailers who sell these products.”
Buns crossed with other flavours
Most shoppers recognise hot cross buns as an Easter staple. CEO of Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses, Steve Plarre, says that while 60 per cent of hot cross bun sales are traditional fruit buns, sales of new flavours and Easter chocolate waffles continue to grow each year.
“Hot cross buns are still a top seller by volume,” Mr Plarre said. “However, over the past few years, we’ve noticed a rise in the sale of our raspberry-and-white-chocolate and our apple-and-cinnamon varieties.”
Product innovation driving sales
With Easter arriving later in 2019, Mr Zimmerman says he expects retailers to experience higher sales during this time. The reason, he says, is that customers will be visiting retail stores to buy new and innovative Easter creations.
“Each year, we see many of our retailers taking traditional Easter products and transforming them into exciting new products that tantalise their customer’s taste buds,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Just like Christmas, Easter is a key trading period for retailers. With the colder season upon us, many retailers will be busy preparing their stores with new season fashion for winter.”
Not such a happy bunny?
In separate research, IBISWorld predicts consumers will spend more than $210 million on chocolate this Easter. But the market-research organisation also struck a more downbeat tone than the ARA.
Premium and specialty chocolates will remain popular, it says, but added: “Consumer health consciousness, which has increased over the past five years, is anticipated to lower overall chocolate consumption and chocolate hamper sales this Easter.”