VIENNA, Va. -- Sales of boxed chocolate in food stores were remarkably strong this past fall, according to the National Confectioners Association here, which attributed the increase to the American public spending more time with friends and family.
"There was a lot of visiting, and boxed chocolate makes a good gift," said Susan Fussell, manager of communications for the NCA. Her advice to food retailers: Think about increasing displays of gift boxed chocolate for Valentine's Day.
For the four-week period ended Nov. 4, 2001, sales of gift boxed chocolates were up 21.3%, while the total chocolate category was up by only 2.4%, she said. The increase was most notable in the food channel.
Citing figures from Information Resources Inc., Chicago, Fussell told SN sales of gift boxed chocolate were up 12.6% for the 52-week period ended Nov. 4, 2001, when total chocolate sales were up by 3.2%.
For the 12-week period ending the same date, gift boxed chocolate sales went up 16.5%, compared to minimal growth overall in chocolate of 1.6%.
Looking back one year, for the 52-week period ended Nov. 5, 2000, boxed chocolates were down 1.4%. Sales in the segment were also down for the 12 weeks that ended that date, by 7.9%, and for the comparable four-week period, down by 3.1%.