Can you still afford Easter eggs? 2021 prices versus now

Retailers across South Africa have hiked the prices of Easter eggs significantly and some consumers are opting instead for essential goods.

High interest rates, a cost of living crisis and even climate change are being blamed for the huge rise in cost of these chocolate treats.

Easter egg prices, then and now

The cost of a box of 36 Beacon chocolate marshmallow eggs – a South African favourite and Easter staple – has gone up by as much as R3 in three years.

Using Clicks as an example, in 2021 a box of 36 marshmallow eggs cost R64.99. In 2024, this box now costs R95.99.

Pick n Pay charges a similar price of R94.99 a box in 2024. Three years ago, with a Smart Shopper discount applied, this same box cost R59.99. With a Smart Shopper discount applied in 2024, consumers pay R79.99.

Forfeiting chocolate indulgence for basic goods

According to Massmart’s latest consumer study, South African consumers are opting to buy household food essentials instead of treating themselves to Easter eggs.

Trends from 2023 are expected to carry into 2024, as shoppers continue to battle high interest rates and a cost of living crisis.

Katherine Madley, vice president of Brand Marketing at Massmart, comments: “Our survey aimed to understand consumers’ priorities after a year of inflationary increases and food price hikes.”

“Even during special breaks like Easter, consumers are prioritising essential items to ensure their households remain functional.”

Climate change blamed for Easter egg price hikes

Meanwhile, researchers point to climate change as a significant factor that may contribute to price hikes for chocolate Easter eggs this year.

Most chocolate is made from cocoa that is grown in West Africa.

Cocoa trees are said to be especially vulnerable to changes in climate, and only grow in a narrow belt around the Equator.

However, recent humid heatwaves have devastated crops in the region, resulting in significantly lower yields.

The World Weather Attribution group says human-induced climate change has increased the probability of these extreme heat events by tenfold.

“There were reports from farmers in Ivory Coast that the heat weakened the cocoa crop,” one of the authors of the study, Izadine Pinto, from the University of Cape Town, told the BBC.


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