Consumers shopped early for their eggs this year, deciding not to be caught out by the empty shelves, according to Nielsen.
Easter egg sales generated over €16 million worth of sales in the four weeks ending on Easter Sunday 2013, 31 March, with sales up 7% on last years figures. Overall grocery sales were up by 1% versus the same time last year, according to the study.
Flowers and plants experienced a 10% decline in sales compared to 2012. Greeting cards and chocolate box assortments saw a modest rise of 3%.
There was an increase in gift vouchers and cards being sold throughout stores, with customers looking for practical gift options. Tesco ran a ‘Rocking not Rolling - Tunes or Chocolate’ press advert pushing a 3 x €15 iTunes gift voucher with a saving of €10.
Fresh meat sales saw a significant increase on last year with growth of 11%. Red meat was favoured over poultry with stocks and gravies also reporting growth. Fish sales were also up on last year with an increase of 4%. Many retailers had strong promotions in the lead up to Good Friday, while recent horsemeat scares may have encouraged people towards fish products.
Ambient groceries experienced an uplift, pasta/rice, soups, sauces, crisps and snacks all had an uplift in sales. Pre-packed cooked meats were up by 15% while confectionery saw a 10% rise. The cold spell also affected sales in certain categories with fire log/firelighter sales up by a staggering 80% in comparison with last year.
Wine reported phenomenal sales, with figures up by 18%. Table, Spanish and French performed very well with sparkling not fairing so well down 15% on last year’s figures. Spirits also reported growth with figures up 6%, beer sales dropped by 7%.
Supermarket advertising experienced a growth of 2% in the 12 weeks run up to Easter with retailers using family orientated themes.
Aldi pushed the “everything you need for Easter” campaign and the “Love Easter, love Aldi” TV ad promoted their chocolate, eggs, flowers and ham fillet for the Sunday dinner. Dunnes adopted the “A Dozen Cracking Deals For Easter” campaign, following on from the ‘12 Days Of Christmas’, with fresh meat and turkeys on offer. Superquinn continued with its “All The Food You Love for Less” campaign promoting half price meat, fish and Superquinn sausages.
By Gillian Fitzsimons