As Easter approaches, the perennial question arises: has the holiday’s religious significance been lost in a wave of commercialisation? But as Roy Morgan's latest findings reveal, Christians enjoy chocolate just as much as anybody else...
As Easter approaches, the perennial question arises: has the holiday’s religious significance been lost in a wave of commercialisation? Admittedly, all those brightly-wrapped chocolate eggs and bunnies can be a distraction from the fact that Easter is the most important date in the Christian calendar. But as the latest research from Roy Morgan reveals, Christians (who comprise 57.1% of the Australian population) consume and purchase just as much — if not a little bit more — chocolate as anybody else.
Compared to the general population aged 14+, Christians are slightly more likely to consume some form of chocolate in an average four-week period. From chocolate bars (2% more likely) to boxed chocolates (5% likelier), their taste for the sweet stuff is just above the national average.
When it comes to buying chocolate, the trend continues. Christians are 5% more likely to purchase boxed chocolates in any given four-week period, with Cadbury, Lindt and Ferrero being the most popular brands.
While these figures don’t diverge radically from the general Australian population, they do suggest that when Easter rolls around this weekend, Christians across the country will be enjoying the holiday’s chocolatey dimension as well its deep religious significance.
Treats for the kids
Of course, Easter is also an occasion to indulge the little ‘uns, and Roy Morgan Research’s data bears this out.
A review of monthly sales of ‘other chocolate’ (the category under which Easter eggs fall) since January 2008 reveals marked spikes in purchases around the crucial March/April period each year.
While this trend is evident across the total Australian population aged 14+, it’s particularly striking among families with children aged between 6 and 11, as well as those with younger kids.
After all, it takes a lot of Easter eggs to make a good Easter egg hunt.
Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2008 – December 2012, rolling monthly average
Base: Australians 14+
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Despite recurring debate every year about Easter’s commercialisation, it seems the perceived conflict between the holiday’s religious and commercial aspects may be a tad overblown.
“Christians consume and purchase chocolate in healthy quantities, in line with or just above the Australian average. Furthermore, their tendency to buy and eat boxed chocolates more than chocolate bars or blocks suggests that they enjoy sharing chocolate with friends and loved ones as much as the taste — and Easter is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
“It’s also a time to treat the kids, and our findings show that chocolate sales do indeed rise during the Easter period. Although Easter 2012’s spike was lower than usual, this continues to be one of the confectionary industry’s most profitable times of year.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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