Chocolate consumption on the rise, survey finds



Approximately one-third of consumers said they increased their chocolate consumption during the pandemic, according to Cargill, which fielded its research in February 2021 and surveyed 600 US grocery shoppers. 

Cargill’s ChocoLogic research wasn’t the only source of industry insights to find that chocolate consumption has risen as a result of the pandemic. According to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), retail sales data from March 2020-August 2020, showed sales of premium chocolate in the grocery channel were up 21.4% compared to the same period last year, while the entire chocolate segment saw retail sales in grocery increase 17.9%.

“The adage that ‘everyone loves chocolate’ really is true – less than 3% of consumers report avoiding chocolate,”​ said Gretchen Hadden, marketing lead for Cargill’s North American cocoa and chocolate business.

“However, while chocolate may be the world’s most beloved ingredient, our research suggests consumers have strong opinions on what they like – and don’t like – about this timeless indulgence.”

Three in four respondents said the primary reason for indulging in a daily chocolate treat was to reward oneself, while other motivations were less obvious, said Cargill.

Seven in ten (72%) consumers agree that chocolate lifts their mood, 59% say it boosts their energy, and more than half (52%) find chocolate gets them through a tough day.

Chocolate may have a larger role to play in the better-for-you foods category

These findings around consumer perceptions reveal that chocolate may have a larger role to play in the better-for-you food segment as very few reported feeling guilty about their uptick in chocolate consumption, noted Cargill. 



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