Mintel, in Europe it’s chocolate mania

A large number of chocolate lovers indulge in the “guilty pleasure” of chocolate sweets as a remedy to bad mood, according to a new research
Mintel, in Europe it’s chocolate mania

According to a new research by Mintel, a large number of chocolate lovers indulge in the “guilty pleasure” of chocolate sweets as a remedy to bad mood. Two in five (41%) Italian chocolate eaters said they value the emotional benefits of it, followed by 39% in Germany, 27% in Spain, and 15% in France, according to the survey. In the UK, over one third of consumers say the emotional power of chocolate candies outweighs health concerns. A high percentage figures in the US (29%) and China, were volume sales increased 6% in 2015.

EMOTIONAL BOOST – This emotional drive translates into purchase habits, with 24% of UK consumers saying they have bought chocolate confectionery in the past three months. What’s more, 41% German chocolate consumers say they eat the treat because it relaxes them, followed by 37% in France, 28% in Italy, 27% in Spain and 23% in Poland. It comes as no surprise that the majority of the world’s biggest chocolate eaters are in Europe. In Switzerland, a country known for the quality of its chocolate, each consumer is estimated to have eaten 8.8 kg of chocolate in 2015, followed by Germany (8.4 kg per capita), Russia (7.3 kg), the UK (6.8 kg), Austria (5.5 kg) and the US (5.5 kg). The Chinese follow with just 0.2 kg each.

PREMIUM QUALITY – As consumers globally pay more attention to food sourcing and ingredients, offer of premium quality chocolate candies is booming, Mintel research shows. Between 2011 and 2015, the number of premium chocolate products launched globally increased 72%. In Italy, 21% of chocolate eaters say that premium ingredients are important when buying chocolate, compared with 22% in France, 17% in Spain, 11% in Germany. One quarter (25%) of chocolate buyers in the UK say they would be willing to pay more for a luxury brand of chocolate.

DARK CHOCOLATE – According to the research, more European consumers have a craving for dark chocolate. In 2015, 48% of Italian chocolate eaters said they looked for dark chocolate when buying the treat, up from 36% in 2012, with the same trend seen in France, Germany and Spain.

INNOVATIVE FLAVORS – As consumers look for more innovative and natural flavors, matcha green tea, salt and wasabi have become a common addition to chocolate treats. Between 2011 and 2015 there was a 140% increase in the number of chocolate products launched globally flavoured with matcha tea. Manufacturers are also exploring more teas. Today, 44% of chocolate buyers in the UK say they’re prompted to buy chocolate when they see new flavors in-store.

By Antonella Ciancio
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