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Chocolate bar sales good, but room to improve

Results taken from the latest Roy Morgan research have shown that 6.5 million Australians purchase at least one chocolate bar every four weeks on average. The findings reveal that almost 5 million, the overwhelming majority, of these purchases are from supermarkets.

In the year to June 2015, 4.9 million Aussies bought at least one chocolate bar from a supermarket in any given four-week period – accounting for more than three-quarters (76%) of the chocolate-bar buying public.*

Convenience stores/petrol stations come a very distant second, accounting for 8% of all chocolate-bar buyers (or 498,000 people), but still well ahead of vending machines (a fraction over 1% or 86,000 people) and milk bars/corner stores (also just over 1%, or 81,000).

Cadbury 50g bars, like dairy milk and top deck, are the most popular bars purchased at supermarkets and milk bars/corner stores, but these are practically deadlocked with Nestlé’s Kit Kats for top spot at convenience stores. Meanwhile, Mars’ Snickers is the hands-down number-one chocolate bar purchased from vending machines.

“Since 2011, there has been a marginal decline in the proportion of Australians 14 years and older buying chocolate bars in an average four-week period, from 35% to 33%. This decrease is evident across most places of purchase, except for supermarkets, which are holding steady”, said Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research.

The significant improvement in performance of the ‘On The Go’ Food segment, up 3.0% or $18 million from 2014 shows that convenience channels are still an attractive option for consumers looking to snack outside of the weekly grocery shop**. Improving chocolate bar sales in order to increase competition with supermarkets is dependent on various factors including perhaps implementing a change in strategy.

“While it is impractical for other retailers to compete with supermarkets in terms of price, they might benefit from considering how else to entice shoppers to buy chocolate bars from them. Gaining an in-depth understanding of who buys which brand of chocolate bar — their demographics, attitudes, consumption habits and more— would be a logical starting point” said Mr Price.

*Statistics taken from Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=4,791).

**Source: Source: IRI-Aztec MarketEdge P&C. 2014 – MAT to 31/12/2014. 2015 – 6 Months to 30/06/2015

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