Chocolate sales spike during lockdown, surpass overall candy sales

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Chocolate is leading the charge on the candy front as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

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A data-driven report from the National Confectioners Association shows that demand for chocolate has surpassed demand observed in the candy market overall from March 15, 2020 to Aug. 9, 2020.

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Between those five months, the premium chocolate market saw the largest growth with a sales spike of 12.5%. Non-premium chocolate, on the other hand, saw a sales increase of 5.5%.

The candy market, which also includes chocolate products, saw an increase of 3.8%.

Grocery stores have been credited as the “key driver for chocolate and candy sales,” according to the NCA.

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Premium chocolates eclipsed all the other categories in the grocery channel with a sales increase of 21.4%. Non-premium chocolates and candies overall trailed behind at 17.9% and 16.6%, respectively. Non-chocolate items saw a sales increase of 13.5%.

“Chocolate might not be an essential item, but it is a source of indulgence and comfort that consumers look for in times of uncertainty,” said an April report from CBI – Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries. “The chocolate market is expected to survive the current lockdowns without too much damage.”

CBI also credited early pantry-loading habits at the beginning of the pandemic as a factor for chocolate consumption.

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Premium chocolates have seen the largest sales growth between March and August, according to the National Confectioners Association. (iStock)

The U.S. chocolate market is expected to surpass $20 billion by 2025, according to a forecast put together by global market research firm IndexBox.

In 2019, the average chocolate and confectionery import price for a single ton was $4,156, the firm’s findings show. Conversely, the average export price per ton was $4,857. The U.S. is listed as the second country with the “highest volumes of chocolate and confectionery consumption in 2019” with 4.7 million tons.

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China took the number one spot with nine million tons of chocolate and confectionery items consumed in 2019.

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