Studies reveal chocolate’s prized status remains undimmed

Chocolate. Dark bitter chocolate chunks, cacao butter, cocoa powder and cocoa beans. Chocolate background

The results of Cargill’s latest study showing that the majority of consumers in the US indulge in their favourite chocolate treats can come as little surprise.

Even before the dawn of the pandemic, the category was in a strong position and enjoying continued growth, especially within the luxury product segment, which has benefitted from an ever-larger array of flavours and varieties that have emerged in recent years.

As the Cargill survey noted, over 70% of respondents said that chocolate helped them lift their mood, which is certainly understandable amid pandemic-hit times that reaching for some comfort food or snacks becomes a higher priority for many people.

Underlining this theme, in speaking to John Downs, president and CEO of the US-based National Confectioners Association this week, he explained that the annual Sweets and Snacks Expo taking place this week in Indianapolis is centred on consumers sheer enjoyment of products and their passion for key brands that have done well amid the pandemic.

With the event having not been staged since 2019 because of ongoing restrictions, there appears a notable buzz about this year’s event in the US, which may not be as big as previous shows, yet it will likely mean a lot to those who are able to venture there and rekindle those personal relationships that are at the heart of businesses at all levels.

The fact that for many people, seeing friends and family over the past 18 months has indeed been extremely limited amid Covid-19, making the most of occasions at home with some culinary treats and snacks has clearly been a feature of many peoples’ lives, and will doubtless continue to be the case in the months and years ahead.

Neill Barston,editor, Confectionery Production

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