IGD: nearly a third of shoppers are looking for healthier alternatives to chocolate this Easter

Date : 17 April 2019

With 85% of British shoppers currently taking steps to have a healthier diet, 28% say they would prefer to buy healthier alternatives to chocolate eggs at Easter, according to the latest shopper insights from research and training charity IGD.

The highlights from IGD’s research include:

  • A quarter of shoppers (25%) will be catering for special dietary requirements over the Easter weekend, rising to 37% of 18-24-year-olds. The most popular diet being catered for this season will be vegetarian (11%), followed by dairy free (6%) and gluten or wheat free (4%). Only 3% will be catering for vegan preferences, which rises to 7% for London shoppers
  • Dietary requirements and preferences will also play a part in shoppers’ Easter egg choices. Indeed, one in 10 (10%) of shoppers have either bought or will buy Free-from eggs, followed by 7% choosing vegan products
  • While lamb remains the top meat choice for the occasion for 38% of shoppers who plan to prepare a special meal for Easter, chicken is now nearly as popular, with 34% opting for the poultry alternative
  • Cooking the main Easter meal from scratch is still the most popular choice among shoppers, with 47% opting for this over the bank holiday compared with just a fifth of those (25%) planning to buy ready prepared food to eat as part of the main meal.

Michael Freedman, Senior Shopper Insight Manager at IGD, said: “Health is clearly on the minds of shoppers as they approach Easter this year, and this is coming through in a number of ways, including the ambition to choose a healthier Easter egg alternative.

“We know from our wider research that shoppers see cooking from scratch as a dominant theme of living a healthier lifestyle, which is the most popular choice for how shoppers will be preparing their meals this weekend. We have also found that health motivations can encourage a move to meat-free options or choosing chicken as a healthy meat option.

“While Easter is traditionally known as a time of indulgence it is interesting to see the demand for healthier Easter egg alternatives, which presents a real opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to innovate. This year we’ve seen some examples of brands working in this space, with Tesco including Free-from options within its private label range and M&S showcasing vegan hot cross buns this year, but there’s still much more that could be done.”

More than a third of shoppers (36%) plan to host friends or family for an Easter meal this weekend. This rises to 54% of those with children aged 11+, compared with 32% of those without children. Those living in the South West are most likely to be preparing a special meal over the weekend (44%), while only 31% in Scotland have the same plans.

With just under half of shoppers (48%) planning to have their Easter meal on the Sunday, shoppers could be broadening out their food-related activities across the bank holiday weekend. This move from tradition can be seen most by those aged 35-44, with only 37% planning their meals for this day. Regionally, those in Wales (64%) and the South West (62%) are more likely to maintain the Sunday meal tradition, with Scotland the least likely (35%).

Only 1 in 10 (9%) are using the long weekend as an excuse to go away.

Being more health conscious is one of the five trends identified by IGD as shaping future shopper behaviours, with a free report available for download here.


For media enquiries please contact Alexandra Crisp at [email protected] or 01923 851986 

Notes to editors:

  1. IGD is a research and training charity which sits at the heart of the food and grocery industry. It has a trading subsidiary that provides commercial services. The profits from these commercial services fund the charity.
  2. Research source: IGD ShopperVista omnibus survey, 10th-11th April 2019, among a representative sample of 1,023 British adults aged 18+
  3. Follow IGD’s communications team on Twitter for all the latest retail insights: @Comms_IGD
  4. All content is owned by IGD. If you use or refer to any content in this press release, please credit IGD