Consumers are trading-up on chocolate

A new survey from Canadean Consumer finds that when it comes to chocolate, consumers opt for premium. They want fine ingredients, positioned around ethical luxury and are less concerned about price.

A new survey from Canadean Consumer finds that shoppers are most likely to trade-up on chocolate when it comes to buying indulgent groceries. A total of 38% of buyers say they buy premium either “regularly” or “all the time”. In comparison, a total of 35% said the same about coffee, 33% about alcoholic beverages and 32% about ice cream. This shows that even as consumers continue to juggle daily finances and manage household budgets, they are still willing to regularly trade-up on indulgent groceries such as chocolate.
According to the survey, shoppers determine a product’s premium value as a result of its ingredients rather than the price. 58% of consumers regard a product as superior to an “everyday” item if it promotes the use of the finest ingredients, which is significantly higher than those who validate a product’s premium value based on “if it’s expensive” (38%). When it comes to packaging, consumers are most likely to consider a product as premium if it has “stand out appeal” (44%) and comes in environmentally friendly packaging (37%).
The survey also finds that consumers tend to associate fairtrade and organic ingredients with traits such as purer formulation and artisanal production and as such, superior quality. This suggests that manufacturers are smart to position products around ethical luxury. The use of environmentally-friendly packaging can create a halo effect in the eye of the customer, particularly if this extends to the formulation of the product.

Michael Hughes, Research Manager at Canadean says: “Irrespective of their financial situation, consumers are still willing to trade-up on a regular basis in categories inherently associated with treating and indulgence. To encourage trading-up behaviour, manufacturers need to push the concept of ethical luxury in categories such as chocolate and coffee to make consumers feel that they are getting a real treat over everyday items.”


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