This month’s Market Review looks at the chocolate confectionery market; a diverse product for all occasions-from enjoyable to essential.Chocolate Growing Chocolate SteadyChocolate Decline

Chocolate is ready to eat, but still a rare treat in some markets

Key developing markets are growing

Nineteen of the top 34 world economies have shown an increase in the CAGR for volume sales of chocolate confectionery in the last five years. Of the remaining countries, the majority have a steady growth rate with 13 between +/-2%. Growth is under 10% for all but three countries including the key developing markets of India and China and the negative rates are under 5% across the board. Mintel’s Oxygen research shows that slow growth is to be expected considering the saturation of the chocolate market in many countries but developing countries still have room for growth. According to the Chocolate Confectionery Market Report – China, chocolate continues to be regarded as a foreign product to Chinese consumers and there are still people in China that have not tasted real chocolate.

India, as shown in the barometer, has undergone the largest increase in volume. Many Indians consider chocolate assortment boxes to be premium and to be more hygienic and longer-lasting than traditional Indian sweets. This mindset has contributed to an increase in volume sales as the popularity of seasonal gifting of chocolate, particularly during Diwali, has grown over the last decade. Per capita consumption of chocolate has increased for the last five years with the last two years seeing the biggest growth.

Sticking with a classic

In over 50% of countries tablets is the largest segment, followed by countlines which is the largest segment in 35% of countries. Seasonal chocolate is a small segment in all regions except for, notably, North America. In both the US and Canada, seasonal chocolate is the second largest segment with only countlines selling more.

Japan makes a recovery

In March 2011 the production of chocolate, like all industries in Japan, was affected by the Great East earthquake. However, the chocolate market has managed to recover by the end of the year. There has been an increased demand for chocolate as an emergency food because it is ready to eat and stores well for long periods of time. Manufacturers have also become sensitive to the shrinking budgets of consumers and thus are promoting their standard and mass market products, particularly to young consumers. The biggest segment in Japan is non-individually wrapped chocolate, which is often designed for casual sharing. Of the 34 largest world economies, Japan is forecast over the next five years to have the second highest growth in the chocolate market after South Korea. Japan is forecast to have 1.4% growth coming from a 4.4% decline over the last five years.

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