While Cadbury has been enduring a challenging time of late in Malaysia , news from Australia is not likely to sweeten the company’s mood.
Although the country’s appetite for chocolate continues, fewer Australians are eating blocks of chocolate than was once the case, data from Roy Morgan Research shows.
Last year, the number of Australians who ate at least one chocolate block in an average month fell by 5%, compared to the same study in 2009, to 7.7m—or 40% of the population.
And while Cadbury remains the clear market leader, the number of consumers eating its products has fallen 6% from just over 6m five years ago—corresponding to over one-third of Australians—to 5.7m, a figure that reflects the overall decline in chocolate consumption in the country.
Lindt on the rise
Lindt, however, has bucked the trend. The Swiss chocolatier fed an average 1,315,000 Aussie consumers a month in 2013, a gain of 20% over 2009. The increase now puts Lindt ahead of its Swiss compatriot, Nestlé, as Australia’s number two chocolate block brand.
In 2009, Australians aged under 25 were the most likely to eat block chocolate, with 48% of them eating some in an average four weeks. However this figure declined year on year to 41% in 2013.
Consumption among 35-49 year-olds also fell, from 46% to 40%. Each group’s consumption of Cadbury chocolate has declined at a similar rate.
Today, the most likely group to eat chocolate blocks at least once in a four week period are those aged 25-34, at 41.9%. Around one in 12 now eat Lindt, up from one in 15 five years ago.
Demographically speaking, far more “blue chip” consumers—fashionable and tech-savvy types who rent homes mainly in inner city suburbs—are loyal to Lindt, with 16% of Australians in this category favouring the Swiss firm’s chocolate blocks compared to an national average of 7%.
Roy Morgan Research’s Angela Smith said Lindt’s charge was the result of its innovative approach to product and distribution.
“Over the past few years Lindt chocolate has developed new campaigns, opened up cafes and its flavour range seems to take up ever-more space on supermarket shelves,” Smith said.
“The growth in Lindt block chocolate consumption is being driven mainly by Australians aged 25-34, while chocolate block consumption generally is declining in other age groups.”
However, with both Cadbury and Lindt launching new flavours and campaigns, it will be interesting to see if Cadbury can win back customers, and indeed if Lindt can maintain its growing share.