· Big brands prove popular although Britons find Easter unimportant and over-commercialised

· Increasing apathy about Easter means low-key activities, with lack of holidays and socialising

Research published today by leading ecommerce partner Webloyalty (www.webloyalty.co.uk/research) reveals Lindt and Thorntons to be the nation's favourite Easter egg brands as supermarket own labels struggle for relevance against the big brands, with 58% of consumers planning to buy branded Easter eggs.

The research, commissioned by Webloyalty and carried out by analysts Conlumino, found that Thorntons was the most popular brand of Easter egg, with 31% of respondents naming it as one of the top three Easter eggs they would like to receive and 12% naming it as their first choice. Lindt also polled highly, with 14% of consumers listing it as their first choice of Easter egg, and 28% naming it in their top three. Among the other popular brands were Creme Egg, Ferrero Rocher, Dairy Milk and Green & Blacks.

Supermarkets are losing out to big brands as 58% of respondents said they will mainly or exclusively buy branded Easter eggs, whereas only 12% will opt for supermarket labels mainly or exclusively. Nonetheless there is still a significant segment of consumers, 33% of respondents, who recognise that own label Easter eggs are just as good as branded ones. "The fact that most Easter egg shoppers prefer to go for the big brands, even though many admit that the supermarket's own label may be just as good, suggests that this preference is not necessarily related to quality or price but more to the consumer's personal associations with and loyalties to particular brands, which are powerful factors in the shopper's decision-making", commented Guy Chiswick, Managing Director of Webloyalty Northern Europe (www.webloyaltyuk.com/tag/guy-chiswick).

Eater Eggs by Lotus Head

Eater Eggs by Lotus Head

Despite Webloyalty's research forecasting a 3.2% rise in retail spend (from £4.22bn to £4.36bn) and a 4.5% rise in food and drink spend (from £2bn to £2.1bn) over Easter this year, compared with 2013, these latest findings suggest that today's price-savvy and value-conscious shopper is disillusioned by the amount of money spent on the occasion – 73% of people said they think Easter is too commercialised. This is certainly the case for Easter eggs, with 66% of respondents agreeing that they are poor value for money. This disillusionment with the commercialisation of Easter is part of wider increasing apathy about Easter in the UK – 79% of the study's respondents said that Easter is not important to them. Less than 30% of respondents agree that Easter is an important celebration.

Bearing these figures in mind, it follows that most Britons' Easter activities are set to be low-key this year. The most popular planned activity will be simply relaxing at home, which 44% of respondents will be doing. One in four respondents will cook a special meal, but only one in ten Britons will attend a church service. The Easter period will not be a big date on the social calendar either, with only 3.2% planning to spend more time than usual at the pub and just 3.7% hosting parties at home. Even the prospect of some warm weather cannot seem to tempt consumers from their apathy – only 3% of us plan to holiday abroad over the Easter period and 5% will take a break within the UK.

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