Overall chocolate confectionery sales were close to stagnation in Eastern Europe in 2020, hit by the loss of impulse/on-the-go sales, fewer gifting occasions and disrupted holiday periods (Easter, Christmas) due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), negatively affecting categories such as boxed assortments and seasonal chocolate. However, sales in chocolate pouches and bags were boosted by increased at-home snacking and their use as affordable and shareable indulgent treats in 2020.
Sales of chocolate confectionery were close to stagnation in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted a number of categories. For example, boxed assortments were hit by the lockdowns and travel restrictions that significantly reduced social and gifting occasions across the continent in 2020, while seasonal chocolate was heavily impacted by the Easter season falling in the early days of national lockdowns in most countries, putting a major dent in sales of Easter eggs, and a second wave of the virus hitting Eastern Europe around Christmas.
Chocolate pouches and bags, thanks to offering good snacking and sharing qualities, were given a boost by the “cocooning” due to lockdowns, quarantining and working/learning from home. While countlines – losing on-the-go sales – and tablets saw sales slowdowns, they still managed to record positive growth, helped by their suitability as affordable small indulgent treats.
Tablets were the main driver of growth over the historic period in terms of new retail value, with particularly strong growth being seen in the Russian market. Countlines and seasonal chocolate were also strong contributors to the additional sales in 2015-2020, while chocolate pouches and bags turned in a disappointing performance.
Chocolate confectionery will record gradually improving growth rates over the forecast period, with both boxed assortments and seasonal chocolate seeing strong rebounds. Boxed assortments will add the most new value sales in 2020-2025, just ahead of tablets.
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