Data from market research firm ACNielsen showed sales of confectionery, biscuits, crisps and nuts rising 1.6 percent between in the first three months of the year.
By comparison, Europe’s largest economy shrank 3.8 percent in the same period, as demand collapsed around the world for exports of German cars, chemicals and machinery, and as Germans cut down on spending.
“At the moment the industry is benefiting from a trend of people saying ‘I’ll treat myself with something small’,” Alfons Strohmaier from the German confectionery association, the SG, told AFP.
“People are still going shopping but they are not necessarily buying something big. Instead they buy something small to spoil themselves. Perhaps in times of crisis people think that chocolate bar will do them good right now.”
Firms have cottoned on to this, he said, with many increasing their spending on advertising and launching new products to catch depressed consumers’ attention.
The biggest gains were with salty snacks, soaring 12.0 percent, the figures showed. Sales of sweets rose 3.4 percent while those of biscuits were up 5.9 percent. Chocolate fell 3.8 percent, in part due to Easter falling in April.