Sweets & Confectionery

Premium Chocolate: a Winning Treat

Sales of premium chocolate have grown double-digit for four consecutive years, with total US sales rising 10% last year, according to IRI. Market share is rising too

If wellness remains a key trend in the food industry, the appetite for sweet treats is rising fast among snack lovers. Chocolate candies are the top growth performers in the top 10 core snacks category analyzed by IRI, posting a 2.3% value and 1.8% volume growth in 2017. Chocolate has undoubtedly benefited from the growing popularity of snacks – total US snack sales increased an annual 3.4% to 42.5 billion dollars according to April data from IRI. The trend is global. Premium quality and innovation are the primary drivers of such a stellar performance. Sales of premium chocolate have grown double-digit for four consecutive years, with total US sales rising 10% last year, according to IRI. The figure is four times higher than overall chocolate, with a share of the total chocolate market growing to 10.4% from 7.6% in 2014.


Confectioners have innovated flavors and packaging, targeting consumers looking for an exceptional quality treat. Growth was recorded across all channels, including online. In detail, launches of chocolate products presented as “bites” and “thins” have grown around 50% over the past five years, according to research firm Mintel. Rather than focusing on low calories, confectionery groups have turned to reduce the size of their treats to offer indulgence at a higher margin and without the negative message of calories.


Italy’s confectionery company ICAM brings the excellence of Italian chocolate around the world thanks to a passion for chocolate that the Agostoni family has passed on from one generation to another for more than 70 years. The excellent quality of ICAM chocolate is guaranteed by a vertically-controlled agricultural and manufacturing supply chain which benefits from the use of modern technologies. Over the years, the company has invested in training local producers and becoming their financial, human and environmental partner, as confirmed by projects in Uganda, the Dominican Republic, and Peru. ICAM has also invested in the creation of a state-of-the-art production site.


The plant in Orsenigo meets the requirements of the most modern industry and the best production standards, allowing the full automation of the production process, a high energy efficiency. Constant and regular laboratory and quality tests are carried out throughout the entire production process to offer the highest quality and safety. Present in more than 60 countries around the world, in September ICAM made its debut at the Fine Food Australia trade show, launching two brands for global professional operators – ICAM Linea Professionale and Agostoni. ICAM’s professional range presents a selection of the best traditional chocolate recipes (toppings, cocoa, creams, etc.) to satisfy demand from premium chocolatiers, pastry chefs and artisanal gelato makers looking for the best taste and technological performance.

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