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Christmas Confectionery price analysis

By Chris Elliott

Quality Street, Roses or Heroes? In some families at Christmas the debate over which pack of chocolates to eat causes huge rows.

Confectionery manufacturers, Cadbury and Nestle, reduced the pack sizes of some of the UK’s favourite chocolates in the run up to Christmas.

The retailers most affected by this change were Asda and Morrisons. In 2013, festive shoppers could have purchased larger packs than they could have done in 2014.

Tesco is also affected by the pack size changes as it stocked the 820 gram Quality Street Tubs for Christmas 2013 but last year had the 780g packs. However, the retailer was not impacted by changes to Cadbury Roses tin of sweets as Tesco already only stocked the smaller products variants.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s continued to sell the 350g carton of Cadbury Heroes whereas Asda and Morrisons stocked the smaller 323g pack. Christmas 2013, Waitrose stocked Cadbury Heroes 350g cartons, however when the product was withdrawn the retailer decided not to stock the smaller pack size.

Chocolate Box Prices

As pack sizes are reducing, most shoppers would reasonably expect prices to reduce too. However, despite the pack size change, Asda continued to charge the same price.

Asda shelf price per kg of Christmas Chocolate SKUs

During the 2014 Christmas period, Tesco had Quality Street 780g on promotion at £4.00 per pack, meaning the shopper got a better deal than last year when they would have paid £5.00 for the 820g tub.

In November 2013, 350g cartons of Heroes and Roses were available from Morrisons at £4.00 – double the price of Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Comparatively, in November 2014, Heroes (323g) and Roses (321g), were on promotion in Morrisons for £3.00 per pack.

Which retailer was the cheapest for Christmas confectionery?

At £4.00 per pack, Tesco were the cheapest for Roses (753g) and Quality Street (780g) tubs – the other four grocery retailers charged £5.00 per pack.

Tesco is the cheapest retailer for the Cadbury Heroes 760g tin, as it is currently on promotion at £4. Sainsbury’s is charging £4.87 and Asda and Morrisons £5. Cadbury Heroes (760g) were cheapest in Tesco, on promotion at £4.00, whereas Sainbury’s charged £4.87 and Asda and Morrisons had their packs priced at £5.00 each.

Analysing the unpromoted price per kilo across the retailers, revealed that Asda were cheapest. Asda, Morrisons and Tesco all had Cadbury Heroes on promotion in November 2014. However, as Asda was charging £2.00 per carton it was on average 30.5 percent cheaper than Morrisons, 30.7 percent cheaper than Tesco and 50 percent cheaper than Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

Shelf Price per kg of Christmas Chocolate Cartons

It wasn’t only the major confectionery manufacturers who reduced their pack sizes. Asda’s own label milk chocolate coins shrank from 90g in 2013 to 75g in 2014 – a 16.7 pack size reduction, yet the price remained the same at £1.00. Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s kept their pack size consistent at 70g, 75g and 84g respectively.

In terms of shelf price per kilo, following it’s pack size reduction, Asda were more expensive than Sainsbury’s. Tesco reduced the price of its 75g chocolate coins from 75p in 2013 to 50p in 2014, making it the cheapest retailer by a margin of 43.9 percent.

Year on Year Shelf Price per kg of Own Label Chocolate Coins

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