Across the four-day Easter break, IBISWorld forecasts Australians will spend more than $3 billion, equating to $132.85 per capita – a slight increase on the $130.33 per capita we spent last year.
Easter is the most significant holiday for the chocolate industry, with spending during the Easter week about 50 per cent higher than a typical week. In 2013, that expenditure is expected to grow by 5.2 per cent to reach $185.7 million – although many Australians will be choosing dark organic indulgences over traditional favourites to satisfy their sweet tooth.
"Australians are becoming increasingly health conscious, a trend that has resulted in growing demand for low-fat and low-sugar treats. Dark chocolate is expected to be a popular choice this Easter as it is regarded as a healthier indulgence," Dobie said.
"Sustainability will also be on people's minds, with fair trade chocolates tipped to be a favoured gift."
In addition to dark and fair trade chocolates, Dobie anticipates our love of luxury will also come to the fore with premium brands such as Lindt and Haigh's enjoying increasing demand as consumer sentiment improves, interest rates remain low and overall economic trends remain positive.
One thing that may hurt this Easter – besides overfull bellies – will be our hip pockets, with IBISWorld noting a global rise in cocoa prices is likely to push chocolate prices higher, making us spend more to fulfil our cravings.
Clipping our international wings
This year, IBISWorld forecasts Easter holiday and travel spending will grow by just 3.9 per cent, with domestic travel more popular than overseas short breaks. "This year most of us will be limited to domestic destinations – using the break to visit family and friends rather than splurging on international trips," Dobie said.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians already spent approximately 5.0 per cent more on overseas travel during the past Christmas holidays than in 2011, and this is likely to influence spending during subsequent holiday periods, including Easter.
"Easter falling outside of the school holidays in some states will also have an impact on international travel," Dobie said.
On the menu
Since many of us will celebrate Easter at home this year, Dobie said supermarkets and butchers could expect a boost in spending on traditional barbeque favourites, while fishmongers and liquor retailers will also do well.
Within the food segment, IBISWorld anticipates fish and seafood expenditure to enjoy growth of around 4.9 per cent, with seafood extending its popularity from Good Friday – when many Australians abstain from eating red meat – across to Easter Sunday with prawns and barbequed fish taking pride of place on many Easter tables.
As for what we'll be drinking, Dobie tipped imported wines, cider and craft beers as firm favourites, with Easter alcohol spending tipped to come in at $137.6 million.
Overall, Dobie anticipated food and beverage spending would reach $1.55 billion – a 3.6 per cent increase on last year's outlay.