Bakers Journal

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UK chocolate sales weather recession well


October 18, 2010
By Bakers Journal

October 18, 2010, United Kingdom – Despite consumer cutbacks in other areas, chocolate sales in the UK are staying sweet.

Chocolate confectionary sales increased 9.2 per cent between 2007 and 2009, totaling an estimated CAN$5.8 billion, according to new research from Mintel. With sales projected to grow to CAN$6.6 billion by 2015, there’s no end in sight to consumer demand for this sweet treat.

“Chocolate rode out the recession, with consumers turning to it as a low cost comfort food,” said Vivianne Ihekweazu, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel. “But challenges for the market are on the horizon. Issues such as rising commodity prices and the VAT [value added tax] price rise in 2011 will increase cost across all confectionery products and inevitably pass these onto the consumer. However, our over-riding desire for indulgence will keep the chocolate category going, helped by continued new product development.”

Despite a tough economic climate, 90 per cent of consumers said they regularly eat chocolate. Those chocolate lovers have more products to choose from than they did a year ago, with Mintel reporting a 16 per cent increase in new chocolate product launches over last year.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Thirty-five per cent of consumers reported looking for fair trade chocolate in 2008, while 36 per cent reported doing so in 2009.
  • While more than half of all consumers surveyed in 2008 reported a preference for milk chocolate, just 35 per cent did so in 2009. Thirty-five percent claimed dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate, up from 23 per cent in 2008.
  • Eighty-seven per cent of men say they eat chocolate, compared to 91 per cent of women.

For more information about the survey, please visit www.mintel.com .