India among world’s fastest growing chocolate markets

India is “defying the odds” as one of the world’s growing chocolate confectionery markets, new research suggests, while the global market records slow growth.

According to Mintel, sales of chocolate confectionery in retail markets increased by 13% between 2015 and 2016 in India, followed by Poland, which saw sales growth of 2%.

In comparison to the rest of the world, Poland and India were the only two markets to see sales of chocolate grow in 2016, with sales in the US, UK, Germany and France flat over this period, while sales fell in Russia (-2%), Brazil (-6%), and China (-6%).

Data from Mintel also reveals India’s chocolate confectionery market has had a strong compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.9%, in retail market value, between 2011 and 2015, and is expected to rise at a CAGR of 20.6% from 2016 to 2020.

The research also reveals that India consumed 228,000 tonnes worth of chocolate in 2016. Other markets that consumed more than 200,000 tonnes of chocolate last year include France (251,000 tonnes), Brazil (236,000 tonnes), and China (202,000 tonnes). The US and the UK consumed a respective 1.3 million tonnes and 555,000 tonnes of chocolate.

Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight for Mintel food and drink, notes, “Chocolate confectionery had an uneven year in 2016. Volume sales in developed markets remained flat, while the picture was a bit brighter in emerging markets, like India, where sales generally fared better.

“Our research indicates that consumers in India believe chocolate to be beneficial and convenient – seemingly the key reasons behind the growth of the country’s chocolate confectionery market both in value and volume.”

Mintel research also shows that consumer demand is likely to be the major impetus for more conversion to organic offerings. In India, as many as 19% of Indian consumers would like to see a wider variety of natural snacks that have no additives or preservatives, for instance.

“Providing organic cocoa is proving to be a challenge for the industry. In order to satisfy the growing demand, it will become necessary for more cocoa growers to switch to organic farming methods. As interest in healthy sweets continues to rise, the availability of chocolate that offers organic or all natural positioning will be desirable as consumers look for better-for-you options,” Mogelonsky concludes.

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