Sustainable cocoa production “paramount” to supply

Without investment in sustainable production the future of the global cocoa industry is uncertain, new research suggests.

Across the main categories in which cocoa ingredients are used, the value sales of those products featuring either a Rainforest Alliance label or a Sustainable Trade and Farming label (Fairtrade, UTZ Certified, etc) is set to reach $8.9 billion in 2017, according to a report by market research company Euromonitor International. Between 2015 and 2020, this value is forecast to grow 1.3%, with products featuring the Rainforest Alliance label the strongest performers.

Helen Reavell, contributing analyst at Euromonitor, says, “Sustainability in the cocoa industry continues to be of great importance. Without investment in sustainable production the future of the global cocoa industry is uncertain. The use of certification schemes builds consumer confidence in cocoa-related products.

“Unsurprisingly, it is chocolate confectionery products that are contributing most to the total value sales of products featuring these labels, as these labels are closely linked to sustainable certification schemes for cocoa.

“However, with the usage of cocoa ingredients prevalent across a wide range of categories, the use of certified cocoa is still valid across more than just chocolate confectionery.

The data also shows which companies are using these labels on pack. For example, Mondelēz accounted for 67% value share of the chocolate confectionery featuring a Fairtrade label, with both its Cadbury’s and Green & Black’s products using Fairtrade cocoa.

Western Europe is set to remain the largest region for cocoa ingredients, despite a fall in share from 31% of global consumption in 2015 to 29% by 2020. The reduction, Euromonitor says, is driven by growth in other regions, most notably Asia Pacific. The region will continue to be the strongest performer to 2020, with forecast absolute volume growth of over 165,000 tonnes between 2015 and 2020.

At the same time, North America is likely to remain weak, with a CAGR of less than 1% from 2015-2020. This is due to a decline in demand for chocolate confectionery, as consumers switch to other snack foods, particularly healthier ones. Eastern Europe is also set to remain a weak market and is unlikely to see much growth in consumption over the forecast period.

Meanwhile, growth is expected in Latin America and the Middle East and Africa, although they both remain relatively small markets with 10% and 5% shares respectively of global volumes in 2015.

Reavell adds, “Sustainability continues to be a key issue across the cocoa industry. Indeed, the sustainable production of cocoa is paramount if producing countries are to continue to maintain supply, which for many is vital to their economies. Therefore, it is in the interest of those involved in the cocoa industry to take an active role in managing a sustainable supply.”

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