Chocolate: The sweet treat that could fuel consumer spending

While most Brits are busy cutting back on life's little luxuries, it seems there is one treat we just can't do without - chocolate. According to research, sales of the sweet treats have remained level throughout the economic downturn, and experts believe that's unlikely to change.

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In fact, despite the recession and ongoing hard times for shoppers, choccies are just too tempting and could even help to fuel consumer spending.

That's according to Peter Ayton, from market research firm Mintel, who suggests such low-cost snacks could prove recession-resistant, and chocolate confectionery "fits the bill exactly".

The need to treat ourselves isn't the only reason chocolate is recession proof though. Manufacturers are continually thinking up new ways to lure customers, with some 500 new chocolate products launched in the UK each year.

But there is also evidence to suggest that Brits are determined to beat the doom and gloom, and cheer themselves up with the odd luxury.

Both Mintel and the Economist Intelligence Unit report that although consumers across the country have switched to own-brand goods in a bid to make their money go further, many are showing signs of "recession fatigue".

And along with cheeky choccie every now and again, we're turning to beauty products to boost our morale.

After all, just because we're busy bargain hunting, doesn't mean we can't look good doing it.

What do you think? Have you cut out all your luxuries or is the odd treat essential in these gloomy times? Leave your comments below...