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Chocolate Confectionery in Eastern Europe

February 2021

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.

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Key Findings

COVID-19 hits chocolate sales

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.

Pandemic boosts pouches and bags

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 drive historic period growth

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.

Boxed assortments to drive forecast period growth

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.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Strong 2015-2020 per capita consumption growth in Eastern Europe
Gradually improving growth rates expected over the forecast period
Russia helps drive growth over 2015-2020
Boxed assortments and seasonal chocolate hit by COVID-19 in 2020
Tablets the driving force behind overall 2015-2020 market growth
Chocolate pouches and bags prove ideal for sharing at home in 2020
Modern grocery retailers dominate sales in Eastern Europe
Growth for e-commerce, but forecourt retailers and vending lose share

Leading Companies and Brands

Increasing concentration in the Russian market
Ferrero continues to gain share in 2020
Russia the biggest market for all but Roshen in the top 10 players
Alenka and Twix switch places, while leader Kinder adds more share

Forecast Projections

Improving growth rates expected as the forecast period progresses
Strong rebounds expected for boxed assortments and seasonal chocolate

Country Snapshots

Belarus: Market Context
Belarus: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Market Context
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Bulgaria: Market Context
Bulgaria: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Croatia: Market Context
Croatia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Czech Republic: Market Context
Czech Republic: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Estonia: Market Context
Estonia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Georgia: Market Context
Georgia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Hungary: Market Context
Hungary: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Latvia: Market Context
Latvia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Lithuania: Market Context
Lithuania: Competitive and Retail Landscape
North Macedonia: Market Context
North Macedonia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Poland: Market Context
Poland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Romania: Market Context
Romania: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Russia: Market Context
Russia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Serbia: Market Context
Serbia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Slovakia: Market Context
Slovakia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Slovenia: Market Context
Slovenia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Ukraine: Market Context
Ukraine: Competitive and Retail Landscape


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