Lakeland has seen a huge rise in all things ‘home-made’ – and chocolate seems to be following the trend, according to a survey of over 2,000 Lakeland Facebook fans.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of those quizzed about their chocolate tastes prefer to receive home-made Easter eggs and chocolate gifts rather than shop-bought. Nearly one in three (32%) have already made their own chocolates and 45% would like to have a go.
The housewares chain’s findings reveal that Brits are big chocolate enthusiasts: 42% of its Facebook fans eat chocolate every single day, while just 4% save it as a treat to be eaten once a month or less.
This love of chocolate continues into baking with 56% of people using chocolate in more than half of their home bakes, and 47% opting for a chocolate birthday cake over any other flavour.
Milk chocolate is the number one choice for Lakeland fans, with white coming a close
second. In terms of preferred chocolate treats, 18-24 year olds plump for brownies, while those 65 or over favour a traditional bar of the milk variety, and those in-between choose a box of chocs.
And of those quizzed, 39% would choose to share their chocolate treat with their partner and 32% with their family. Only 22% opted to scoff the lot themselves.
Lakeland operates stores nationwide from Aberdeen to Truro. Its 61st shop opened last month at thecentre.mk in Milton Keynes and two more make their debut in Scotland this month, at branches of Dobbies Garden World in Edinburgh Melville and Stirling. Another branch, at Centre Court Shopping Centre in Wimbledon, opens at the end of next month.
The group recently unveiled plans for a major expansion of its business, including a £10m investment to develop its distribution centre at Kendal in Cumbria.
The new warehouse will boost storage capacity by as much as 50%. Currently Lakeland stocks more than 4,000 products, as well as introducing around 1,000 brand new lines each year.
In the UK, business is going “from strength to strength,” the retailer claims, thanks in part to the popularity of home baking and the culture of ‘home-made is best’. 2012 sales were the highest in the company’s history.
Lakeland plans to swell its store total by as much as 50% over the next five years, to around 100 UK stores.