Sweets and chocolate made up 22% of all sales on ShelfNow’s marketplace since the beginning of 2022. In 2021 UK consumers spent nearly £50m more on traditional Easter products such as chocolate Easter eggs, confectionery and hot-cross buns than the same period in 2020.
Online searches for ‘vegan Easter eggs’ in the UK also rose by 79% between 2020 and 2021, according to ShelfNow. This mirrored a growing trend of vegan chocolate launches during the same period – the UK alone was responsible for launching almost one in five vegan of the chocolates launched last year.
Sugar-free searches peak
Online searches for ‘sugar-free’ reached to their highest point for the last five years in 2021. Recent research has also indicated that the UK has launched the largest number of food and drink products with a ‘no added sugar’ claim in Europe.
Philip Linardos, co-founder and chief executive of ShelfNow, said: “Over the past couple of years we have witnessed significant changes in consumer habits and the types of unique products being introduced onto our platform and purchased by buyers reflects this.
CBD Easter eggs
“While vegan and sugar-free dominate the alternative Easter egg category this year, we predict that incorporating F&B trends such as CBD [cannabidiol] and superfoods will be the next big trend for Easter eggs in upcoming years.”
Meanwhile, top plant-based restaurant trends have been highlighted by Quorn in a survey of 2,000 consumers and while the burger remains the favourite menu choice, restaurants should expand their repertoire the meat-free manufacturer argues.
Four in ten respondents claimed to eat meat-free or plant-based options half of the time when eating out of home. A total of 43.6% said a restaurant having environmentally sustainable practices or values was important when choosing a place to eat out, while 48.1% valued one demonstrating it was cutting its carbon footprint.