Cocoa, sugar boost UK Fairtrade sales by 12% in 2011

By Michelle Martin, Reuters

LONDON–Sales under the ethical Fairtrade label grew 12 percent in 2011 and are set to climb even higher this year as confectionary makers increasingly use Fairtrade cocoa and sugar in their products, the Fairtrade Foundation said on Monday. UK retail sales of Fairtrade cocoa surged 34 percent to 217 million pounds (US$343.8 million) in 2011, according to figures issued by the foundation on Monday. “The main Cadbury Dairy Milk brand has launched new variants and has switched its hot beverage products to Fairtrade, so that’s a big driver,” Ashish Deo, commercial director of the Fairtrade Foundation, told Reuters in a telephone interview. Kraft Foods’ Cadbury switched its Dairy Milk brand to Fairtrade in 2009 and in 2011 launched a new line called Chocos, which helped boost Fairtrade’s share of the UK chocolate market to 12.5 percent by the end of 2011, up from 10 percent at the beginning of the year.

British retail sales of Fairtrade products overall were worth 1.32 billion pounds in 2011, up from 1.17 billion pounds in 2010. Deo said the launch this year of Bubbly, a new Cadbury Dairy Milk brand of aerated chocolate, would increase Fairtrade’s share of Britain’s chocolate market further and said he saw a lot of room for expansion even after Maltesers — boxed chocolates made by Mars — switch to Fairtrade in May. “We will have three of the top five brands in the UK, so there are the other two brands to go after and there are also several sizeable brands in the top 10, so we have a long way to go in the chocolate category,” he said.