Century old lolly Aussies have rediscovered
A big chunk of Australians are shunning newfangled snacks and have instead embraced traditional sweets and lollies, reports the owner of confectionary giant Cadbury.
And there's one 80-year-old brand that is now going "gangbusters" as we search for more treats during the pandemic.
The State of Snacking Report, produced by US firm Mondelez which is behind Cadbury as well as Oreo biscuits, Toblerone bars and the Natural Confectionary Company lollies, found that nine-in-10 Australians had been snacking more or the same during the pandemic.
For all the talk of taking up jogging, it does not appear the virus has encouraged Australians to indulge any less.
Half of those working from home had increased their snacking intake, in contrast to those who had returned to the office who were far less likely to reach for a chocolate bar or biscuit.
"A majority expect this trend to continue post-COVID, with almost three-quarters saying they plan to continue to snack throughout the day as opposed to eating a few large meals, and that snacking will be part of their 'new normal' even after the pandemic ends," said Mondelez Australia insights manager Tom Kimpton.
Salty snacks, like chips and crisps, had seen a spike in sales as well as snack bars.
Traditional sweets going 'gangbusters'
But it was traditional sweets and brands that saw the biggest uptick, according to the Cadbury maker.
"Comfort is the number one driver of snacking this year, while the uncertainty caused by the pandemic has seen people turn to trusted brands and their old favourites," Mr Kimpton said.
Australians were searching for nostalgia and the certainty of familiar favourites in an uncertain time, he added.
"Perhaps it was favourites they used to share with their grandparents of school friends.
"Sales of a classic - Pascall Marshmallows - have gone absolutely gangbusters over the last 18 months."
Pascall first started producing sweets 83 years ago in 1938 originally at the still operating Cadbury factory just north of Hobart. The lollies are now mostly made in Melbourne.
Old Gold a new favourite
Mr Kimpton told news.com.au that as well as tradition, marshmallows may have also seen a boost during the pandemic as people brought "cafe culture into their homes" adding them to hot chocolates.
"It's not just traditional lollies that have seen a boost in sales, with Cadbury Old Gold growing by 35 per cent over the last 18 months.
"It's a brand that Australians have enjoyed for over 100 years through two World Wars, the depression and a range of other national challenges, so it's no great surprise to see chocolate fans turn to the brand again during the pandemic," Mr Kimpton said.
Old Gold is so old it predates Cadbury's entry into Australia, originally sold by the MacRobertson's company in 1916.
Its resurgence could also be down to a global surge in dark chocolate consumption which is perceived as a healthier option due to it having less sugar than creamy milk chocolate.
Younger snackers reach for vegan, kombucha treats
But there was an age difference in the findings. Traditional treats were jumped on by Generation X and Boomers. However, younger Australians and Millennials were keener on eating more biscuits.
Those group were also looking for products that chimed with wellbeing trends such as those that had high protein or were plant based.
The Natural Confectionary Company's vegan option, those with less sugar and even a kombucha flavour were being snapped up by younger snackers.
The pandemic has been profitable for chocolate makers. Last month, Mondelez reported a 7.9 per cent rise in revenues for the first quarter of 2021 driven by increasing consumption worldwide of Oreo biscuits and Cadbury Dairy Milk bars.
The firm's previous State of Snacking report, covering 2019, revealed the exact time Australia's gave into the snacking crave.
Although much is made of the 3pm slump, overcome perhaps by a chocolate fix, Aussies can't even wait that long and indulge at 2.31pm.
Indonesians were the least able to resist a snack with most giving in to their cravings at 11.28pm. Canadian, Indian and Chinese consumers also couldn't hold out as long as Australians.
But Americans, Brazilians Russians, the French and Germans have more staying power. The Brits are the best at holding out, only melting into a chocolate nirvana at 3.41pm.
Originally published as Century old lolly Aussies have rediscovered