Home Business NewsBusinessBusiness Growth News ’Tis the season for chocolate’ as Christmas sales on the up

’Tis the season for chocolate’ as Christmas sales on the up

by LLB Finance Reporter
19th Dec 23 7:54 am

Seasonal chocolate sales are on the rise again helped by European consumers who buy and eat more chocolate than anywhere else in the world, according to a Euromonitor International industry expert.

Switzerland (USD48), France (USD27), Ireland (USD24), Belgium (USD18) and Germany (USD17) are forecast to be the top five countries globally with the biggest average per person expenditure on seasonal chocolate in 2023.

The biggest markets for seasonal chocolate in retail volume terms in 2023 are forecast to be Western Europe (271 thousand tonnes, USD6.2billion), North America (156 thousand tonnes, USD4.4billion) and the USA (USD3.9billion). The Middle East and Africa (4.8%) and Eastern Europe (4%) are forecast to see the largest growth.

Countries leading the charge for growth are Peru (6.1%), Poland (5.7%), Slovakia (5.4%), South Africa (5.4%) and Bulgaria (5.3%).

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Carl Quash III, Head of Packaged Foods, Snacks and Nutrition, at Euromonitor International, said: “When it comes to seasonal chocolates, Europeans consume and spend more than any other region around the world. Whether for stocking fillers, warm winter treats or a coffee companion, chocolate can be seen in high demand around Christmas.

“Nearly half of European consumers believe it is important to spend money on experiences. Snacks will be finding their way around this holiday season as part of gift exchanges, office parties, city holiday events and more.

“Europe appears to be entering a period of easing economic pressures allowing consumer goods companies to bring down prices – right in time for Christmas. This should benefit seasonal candies and other snack categories as consumers’ pocket will have that additional stretch.”

Hershey’s, Lindt, Reese’s and Cadbury are titans of the chocolate world

Life is a box of chocolates for the top brands and their percentage of market share of seasonal chocolate. Hershey’s (8%) is top, followed by Lindt (6.9%) and Reese’s (5.6%) in third. Cadbury’s is in fourth place (4.6%).

More consumers have given up dieting and many see Christmas as a time to indulge

Quash III said, “More consumers have forsaken calorie counting, tracking intake and dieting in general this year with other concerns to prioritise. This year’s winter holidays are going to be a time where consumers allow themselves to indulge.

“About one in 10 European consumers typically snack to treat themselves. Snacking is one of those harder to avoid habits during Christmas with enticing treats and the contagious seasonal spirit all around.

“Holidays are an important time for getting together with friends and family and enjoying each other’s company. Allowing consumers to deepen joy in the presence of the moment is the goal for social snacks​ such as chocolate during the festive season.

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“During the 2022 Christmas season Confectionery and Savoury Snack categories saw a spike in online sales across European markets like the UK, France, and Germany. I’d imagine we see a similar trend this year as consumers find comfort in eating treats during holiday festivities.”

Chocolate addicts want variety and are also looking to match taste with value

Quash III said that with the diverse nature of groups’ food preferences during holiday gatherings, it is important to offer variety. Variety packs, bulk offerings, and mixes are all ways for manufacturers to deliver.

“Gatherings can be an opportunity to elevate the experiential dimensions of snacks​. Flavour is one of the most important features of snacking. A great-tasting snack should give consumers more reasons to socialise, bond and enjoy.​ Now with affordable, private label and bargain shopping on the rise amid high costs, consumers are looking to pair taste with value.”

Seasonal chocolate declined during Covid-19 but is set to grow to USD15.2billion by 2028

In 2021, the seasonal chocolate market grew by 4.2% in retail value. The market recovered after Covid-19 when there was a decline of -4.6% in retail value in 2020. It is expected that in 2023 the market will grow by 0.2% in retail value terms surpassing 575 thousand tonnes and reaching a retail value of USD15.2 billion in 2028.

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