Products playing on the convenience and free-from trends dominated retailers’ shelves this Easter, including the prevalence of free-from chocolate and other alternatives.

According to grocery researcher IGD, a quarter (25%) of shoppers showed an interest in free-from products, including free-from ranges of Easter eggs and hot cross buns.

On the increase of free-from options, Simon Wainwright, director of insight at IGD, said: “Current food trends should always form a part of a retailer’s strategy around events such as Easter, and in this instance we’re seeing retailers in particular embracing free-from, vegan and sugar-free ranges which can appeal to a wider shopper base.”


Recipe boxes and meal kits are also played their part for grocery inspiration at Easter.

“There is an innovative opportunity for retailers to group different meal components together to provide a convenient dinner solution for shoppers,” Wainwright continued. “UK retailers can take inspiration from international retailers where ‘Easter boxes’ containing all the ingredients needed for the meal are being introduced as time-saving solutions.”

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

According to IGD, retailers have also learnt from what works well at Christmas and translated this into the Easter season, with an abundance of turkey and ham available in addition to traditional lamb roasting joints.

Several supermarkets, including Iceland and Aldi, marketed turkey for the Easter weekend.

Simon Wainwright, director of insight, commented: “In the past seasonal events have been marketed and approached in rather traditional ways depending on what associations they have, whereas we’re now seeing retailers take inspiration from other events to create this blended outcome.

“As the biggest seasonal event in the retail calendar, retailers and suppliers should look at what works well at Christmas and translate this into other in-store events for similar success. This is a theme coming through strongly this Easter, so we look forward to seeing how this approach plays out with shoppers.”

Family celebration: the Sunday roast

The Sunday roast remains a prominent feature of Easter celebrations, with 22% of shoppers planning to have a family meal at home.

Convenience and ease also continued to be a significant focus, with 32% of shoppers seeing seasonal fixtures as a way of saving time when shopping at Easter as all the key products are in one place.

In-store signposting is coming through as a popular tactic to direct shoppers to relevant offers on retailers’ frozen and fresh meat.

Wainwright continued: “From IGD’s ShopperVista research we can see that 42% of shoppers are tempted to spend more at Easter, so giving Easter displays prominence in-store and displaying premium products at eye-level will help encourage trade-up.”

Discounts and promotions

Discounts also featured strongly this Easter, with shoppers stocking up on own-brand takes on popular branded products for a fraction of the price.

“While there is an opportunity to encourage more spend through premium products, we can also see that nearly half (47%) of shoppers look out for promotions during events, suggesting retailers should look to appeal to a range of shopper budgets,” said Wainwright.

“One strategy we are seeing is the segmentation of Easter ranges into different price points, making the range easy to find and shop. Clear signposting, displays and communication will be key here.”