Credit Crunchie boosts Cadbury's

Sales of comfort foods like chocolate and fizzy drinks are booming as the economic gloom deepens.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

According to the Top 50 Grocery Brands report from Taylor Nelson Sofres, sales of Cadbury’s favourites including Crunchie, Curly Wurly and of course Dairy Milk rose by an average 6% in the last year. Total Cadbury sales topped £590m, making it the biggest overall brand in the survey, while old favourite Dairy Milk is the top ‘take-home’ confectionery variety with sales of £205m in 2008. That’s a glass and a half full in anyone’s language. But it was Cadbury’s Roses chocolates which put in the best growth figures, with sales up 22% to £60m. Roses, it seems, really do grow on us. It must all be music to CEO Todd Stitzer’s ears

And north of the border, Scottish drinks group AG Barr – maker of strange-tasting orange-coloured fizzy pops Tizer and Irn Bru – put in a sparkling performance, with first half profits up almost 10% to £11.13m. This despite warnings from the firm that the bad summer weather had hampered sales. Such is the popularity of vibrantly-hued local favourite Irn Bru that it challenges Coca Cola for the top spot in its native land. 

Of course we Brits have a sweet tooth at the best of times, eating more chocolate than most of our European neighbours - except Belgium. (Although many of them don’t regard the products of Cadbury’s et al as actually being chocolate. They wanted the EU to change its name to vegelate a few years ago. Wonder why that idea didn’t catch on?).

But these are definitely not the best of times, and our appetite for sugary treats seems to increase as the nation’s economy slips ever nearer to recession. Consumer experts think that sweet sales rise as spending on pricier luxuries like meals out declines, but we’re not so sure. An extra bar of chocolate here and there when times are hard is comfort eating, pure and simple. People could just as easily munch on an apple or nibble a raw carrot after all, but it simply doesn’t seem to have the same appeal. Just as well for our sweet manufacturers, really.

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