Easter eggs galore: inflation no damper for French with sweet tooth

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Easter eggs galore: inflation no damper for French with sweet tooth
A chocolatier making Easter eggs in Bordeaux, France. Photo: JEAN-PIERRE MULLER / AFP)

Stepping out of a chocolate shop in France's capital, 90-year-old Maurice Ryffel said price hikes were not going to get in the way of him enjoying some Easter eggs.


"It's Easter. Might as well treat myself," he said.

Albert Fitoussi, a 35-year-old restaurant manager, had also stocked up on locally made fine chocolates ahead of the Easter weekend.

"I don't really look at the prices," he said.

Consumers in France, like much of Europe, are grappling with food price hikes after the Covid pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.

But French chocolate makers are optimistic that enough people have a sweet tooth for Easter egg sales to be good this weekend.

"We're quite confident," said Gilles Rouviere, secretary-general of the chocolate making syndicate.

He said he was sure each family could find eggs and bunnies to suit their budget among the wide array on offer.

Chocolate prices in February jumped by more than 10 percent year on year, according to the INSEE statistics institute.

Sweets were 12 percent more expensive, while ice cream cost 14 percent more.

At his upscale chocolate shop in Paris, Pierre-Benoit Sucheyre told AFP he had changed the ingredients in some of his creations "to keep the same prices as last year".

For example, he has replaced an Iranian pistachio praline with a peanut filling, he said.

READ ALSO: The French words you need to understand France's cost of living crisis

Sweets 'still affordable'

Beyond Easter chocolate, statistics seem to indicate ice cream sales will continue unhampered too.

On a sunny day in Paris, Ousmane Anegble, 36, and his son were about to dig in to ice cream cones.

"The sun is back," he said.

As for sweets, "even if they are more expensive, you don't really realise as they're not part of daily expenses" on other items such as meat or vegetables, he added.


Ice cream makers in France say almost three percent more families bought the frozen delicacy in France last year than the previous.

Sales of sweets were up by 5 percent, while people bought two percent more biscuits, the NielsenIQ sales tracker says.

Not far off, Christine Pollet, 73, had bought her grandson sweets.

"I didn't look at the price," she said.

Jean-Philippe Andre, the head of the French branch of German sweet maker Haribo, said sales had picked up after the initial blow of the Covid-19 pandemic to reach the same level as 2016 by the end of 2022.

Sweets "are a treat that is still affordable," he said.

Fizzy drinks are also still popular.

Suntory Beverage & Food France last year boosted its sales by 11 percent, its director Pierre Decroix said.

They are "products that you can treat yourself to for less than a euro," he said.


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