The period before Christmas is, as it were, a fifth quarter for many chocolate manufacturers due to the strong increase in turnover. Now it is decided whether the year has gone well or not. With new creations and promotions, Milka, Heindl, Lindt, Rittersport & Co. Austrians to snack.
It couldn’t be better: Advent calendars, Santa Clauses, umbrellas and Christmas tree decorations made of chocolate are currently bestsellers. Candy boxes are also popular pre-Christmas souvenirs and gifts for under the tree. Retail feeds the desire to buy with promotions and atmospheric stagings.
Austrians love classic
Austrians spend almost 900 million euros on chocolate every year. In terms of taste, they like classic. “The milk chocolate segment is the largest,” says Rittersport boss Wolfgang Stoehr, who wants to score this year with a gingerbread variant.
“Christmas is our season with the highest turnover,” reports chocolatier Caroline Berger. The people of Salzburg have put together their own Christmas collection with typical flavors and spices (e.g. filling of vanilla crescent or coconut buns).
Andreas Heindl adds: “40 percent of the turnover is now made.” This year, the traditional Viennese company has 13 different types/designs/fillings in its program for Pischinger Christmas tree decorations alone.
“Like every year, expectations are very high,” says Lindt. The holiday season is considered the fifth quarter that decides whether the year was successful or not. New creations encourage consumers to buy.
Milka sells most of the Nikolos
The best-selling Nikolo comes from market leader Milka. “In the Christmas season of 2021, we sold almost two million of the popular hollow figures in all variations in this country,” explains Mondelez manager Christine Benesch. It’s probably going to be just as good this year and Naps’ advent calendars are also popular.
Hauswirth scores in the cheap segment
The Burgenland company Hauswirth, which scores well in the cheap segment, is a big hit when it comes to chocolate Kramperln & Co. “75 percent take a Nikolo, and the ball is most in demand for tree decorations,” reports Peter Hauswirth. A total of 800 tons of Christmas holly figures are produced in Kittsee, 70 percent of which are exported. Export countries are “Christian destinations” to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
In addition to price, themes such as organic and sustainability are very popular – wherever you shop. Hofer has therefore responded with special products (e.g. organic nut/fruit advent calendar).
This year Billa has her own brand Nikolo, which is organic and fair trade certified. This also generates more money for the cocoa farmers. “Customers can snack with a clear conscience,” says the retail giant.
I’m Ben Stock, a journalist and author at Today Times Live. I specialize in economic news and have been working in the news industry for over five years. My experience spans from local journalism to international business reporting. In my career I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the world’s leading economists and financial experts, giving me an insight into global trends that is unique among journalists.