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    New Products Hopping Around Easter This Year

    Mintel research shows Easter egg product launches have jumped 45 percent over the past year.

    CHICAGO -- This year could prove to be a bumper year for egg hunters as new research from Mintel finds the number of global Easter egg new product launches has risen a sweet 45 percent over the past year.

    The latest research finds a quarter of all global chocolate launches in 2011 were for chocolate products with a "seasonal" positioning -- Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc. While global new product chocolate launches declined 7 percent between 2010 and 2011, products with seasonal claims increased 6 percent over the same period.

    And it seems this year there's been a lot of activity around Easter chocolate innovation, with Mintel's research showing a 45-percent rise in the number of Easter products launched globally during 2012 vs. Easter 2011.

    "This year has proved to be a real hot-bed of activity for Easter chocolate," said Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight for Mintel Food and Drink. "Seasonal chocolate is, if anything, more recession-resistant than the overall market, as the products have broad appeal as gifts for a wide range of recipients, from friends to relatives and co-workers. Easter has consistently led other holidays in innovation and in sales, as it is a holiday with a strong affinity for confectionery through gift baskets, egg hunts and other family-focused traditions."

    Today, the United States accounts for the largest percentage of all seasonal launches at 18 percent, while the United Kingdom ranks second at 12 percent and Germany comes in third at 10 percent.

    While seasonal activity is thriving, though, the number of seasonal launches aimed at children aged five to 12 has declined in a number of regions over the past 12 months. In 2011, child-focused launches were down 62 percent in the U.S., a pattern also seen in Brazil (down 62 percent), another nation struggling with controlling obesity levels.

    In the States, the decline in launches is likely tied to a shift in gifting habits. As many as 21 percent of parents report that over the past year, they've switched to giving their children healthier treats than chocolate or candy for holidays.

    "This change is not enough to affect the overall market in any significant way, but could suggest that manufacturers will be paring down their efforts to introduce seasonal products aimed directly at children in the next few years," Mogelonsky said. "It will be interesting to see if other markets follow suit in the future, as childhood obesity continues to be a concern." With offices in Chicago, New York, London, Sydney, Shanghai, Tokyo, and now India, Malaysia and Singapore, Mintel is a global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence.

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