UK devours more than £3.5 billion of chocolate each year but could save a mint

Poll shows average adult eats a bar a day but could both SAVE and LOSE pounds by cutting back

13 October 2014

Britain spends more than £3.5 billion1 a year feeding its love for chocolate, according to research from Nationwide Building Society.

Most Brits (74%) spend around £2 each week on getting their sugary fix - equivalent to a bar a day based on a typical big brand multipack of chocolate2.

The research, which coincides with National Chocolate Week (13-19 October), highlights that the average chocolate fan could cut their £100 annual spend in half by limiting their intake to a bar every other day, says Nationwide.

This would mean a collective saving of around £1.8 billion for the UK across the year3.

And with easy-to-use apps such as Nationwide’s Impulse Saver, which enables people to save any amount of cash at the touch of a button, the idea of putting regular amounts away has never been easier.

The poll also reveals that about one in ten adults (12%) do not eat chocolate, while around a quarter of people tuck into their treats immediately before bedtime, with 23% saying they snack between 9pm and midnight. However, more than four-in-ten (43%) consume their chocolate in the three hours after 6pm, hinting that they are rewarding themselves after a hard day at work.

Nationwide’s Head of Savings, Tracie Pearce, said: “It’s no great surprise to see that we are a nation of chocolate lovers, but the amount we spend on getting our sugary fix is very impressive when you add it up. However, our love of chocolate could also be one way of saving money – and shedding a few pounds into the bargain!

“We reckon that if people were to skip that lunchtime or mid-afternoon chocolate bar and save the cash instead – Nationwide’s Impulse Saver app makes this as quick and easy as possible – small but significant savings could accumulate over the course of a year. That’s money which could go towards the monthly bills.”

The research also shows also revealed Britain’s favourite types of chocolate. The top five treats are:

  • 57% like big brand chocolate bars (e.g. Dairy Milk, Mars Bar)
  • 42% like sharing bags (e.g. Maltesers, Minstrels, M&M’s)
  • 30% like Christmas-style boxes (e.g. Roses, Quality Street)
  • 25% like luxury trays (e.g. Thorntons Classics, Lindt Lindor)
  • 23% like luxury chocolate bars (e.g. Green & Black’s, Hotel Chocolat)

The least preferred chocolate is trays of supermarket own brand, which are liked by just 8% of people.

Notes to Editor

Nationwide Calculations:

1 Calculated as 74% of GB adult population of 49.1 million (source: ONS 2013 data) = 36,336,866, multiplied by £2 x 52 weeks.) = £3.8 billion (rounded)
2 Based on the cost of a 365g Mars bar multipack (containing seven bars) sold in Tesco and Sainsbury’s on 11/10/2014
3 36,336,866 (calculated population as above) x £1 x 52 weeks = £1.9 billion (rounded)

All figures with in the survey, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,017 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9-10 October2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)

Nationwide’s saving app:

Nationwide Building Society recently launched an updated version of its top rated mobile banking app, introducing two new innovative features: Impulse Saver and Quick Balance. These opt-in features are the first of their kind in the UK and allow customers to manage their money in a faster, easier and more engaging way.

Impulse Saver allows customers to transfer pre-configured amounts from their current account(s) to their savings account(s) with a couple of taps, without logging in, encouraging customers to regularly save small amounts.

Quick Balance allows customers to see their account balance at a glance without logging in, helping members keep on top of their finances anytime, anywhere and at the touch of a button.

About Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as the second largest savings and mortgage provider in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 17,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 17,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Please note: If you are a customer looking for information on our products and services, please visit the main website.