Despite cost-of-living pressures, Australian families will indulge in Easter treats, new research shows – with Australians tipped to spend almost $1.7 billion on hot cross buns, easter eggs or other special food for Easter this year (up 14.5%) – more than $200 million from 2022.

Easter remains a marquee event on the retail calendar, with research from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), in collaboration with Roy Morgan showing a clear majority of Australians, 16.3 million (75%), say they plan to indulge and buy food such as chocolates and hot cross buns (up 1.8 million on a year ago).

More than a third of Aussies, 7.9 million (37%), plan to celebrate Easter with alcohol this year.

People in NSW are set to spend the most on Easter food and chocolates, at almost $515 million and an average spend of $108 per person. Victoria is tipped to spend $455 million, at an average of $97 per head.

People in South Australia ($140 each) and Tasmania ($112 each) have the highest average forecast spend on Easter foods and chocolates.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said whilst price increases will contribute to the higher spend, retail therapy remains a sweet spot in a challenging year for Australians.

“Australians are under severe pressure right now due to the rising cost of living and interest rate hikes, but for many Easter is time to relax and enjoy special time with family and friends,” he said.

“For many Australians, Easter is the last break before winter sets in, and a respite from an intense start to the year. Whilst shoppers are already beginning to tighten their purse strings, these special occasions are a welcome time of indulgence.”

Mr Zahra said that while inflation would bolster Easter food spending this year, natural spending growth was still evident.

“We’re seeing an increase of more than 14 per cent on Easter food spending compared to last year, which does outstrip inflationary gains.

“An additional 1.8 million people are planning to stock up on hot cross buns, easter eggs and other Easter-centric foods. Aussies simply want to treat themselves during a tough period,” he said.

The almost 8 million Australians who plan to celebrate Easter with a drink will spend $275 million on alcohol over the Easter break or an average of almost $35 each. People aged 50-64 have the highest planned spend at $47 each – totaling around $100 million for this age group.

The ARA-Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey was conducted March 10 –March 15, 2023.

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