Chocolate sales climb across the globe

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 30th December 2009

Mintel reports that chocolate sales around the world have busted through the recession, as consumers looked to comfort food to overcome their economic worries.

In China and the Ukraine-two countries not necessarily recognized for their rampant chocoholic populations-chocolate confectionery sales rose 18% and 12%, respectively, this year. Each country has seen steady sales increases since 2005 and Mintel predicts continued growth through 2013.

Other countries have also seen chocolate bars, bags and boxes flying off the shelves, albeit at lower rates. Brits drove their chocolate market up 5.9% this year, while Americans purchased 2.6% more chocolate than in 2008. Argentinean sales rose 1.8% from 2008, while in Belgium, a country that claims to produce some of the world’s best chocolate, sales increased by 3.2%.

“It’s clear that despite economic trouble this year, the world’s chocolate lovers didn’t deviate from their favourite treat,” noted Marcia Mogelonsky, global food and drink analyst at Mintel. “Chocolate is a small, affordable indulgence for shoppers who are cutting back on spending elsewhere. Even in countries not known for chocolate consumption, sales are on the rise.”

It’s the Swiss who flash the most cash for chocolate, forking over the equivalent of US $206 (A$237) per person per year. Brits and Belgians follow, spending US $106 and $90, respectively, to satisfy their chocolate cravings. In the US, individuals spend just $55 each, while Argentineans devote an average of US $35 per year on chocolate confectionery.

Manufacturers are determined to keep consumers melting over new chocolate varieties. Despite worldwide economic troubles, Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) reports that manufacturers launched nearly the same number of chocolate products this year as in 2008. In Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, companies have already released more new products than last year.