Global chocolate market witnessed substantial growth over the past decade and is expected to follow similar a growth trend over the forecast period owing to changing taste preferences and improving lifestyle of consumers especially in the Asia Pacific region. Rapid urbanization and increasing disposable income of the middle class in emerging nations including India, China, Brazil, Japan, South Korea and Singapore is expected to be a major driver for market growth. Wide range of applications of chocolates including confectionary products and flavoured food items are anticipated to propel market growth. In addition, use of chocolate as functional foods due to high nutritional value and stress relieving ability coupled with increase in seasonal and festival are likely to fuel market growth over the next six years. However, volatility in of raw materials prices such as cocoa beans and cocoa butter has resulted in increasing production cost which is likely to restrain market growth. Unstable supply of cocoa owing to heavy dependence on West African countries such as Ivory Coast is also a likely threat to the chocolate market growth.
Chocolate market is segmented on the basis of products such as dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. Milk chocolate held the largest market share in 2013 accounting for more than half of total consumption closely followed by dark chocolate. Dark chocolate consists of more than 60% cocoa content and is known to have health benefits which such as reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases and improving blood flow are likely to propel its demand over the next six years. However, bitter taste of dark chocolate is likely to restrain its demand, particularly in countries such as India, Pakistan and Middle East nations.
North America held the largest market share closely followed by Europe on account of large number manufacturers in U.S, U.K and Germany and well established chocolate brands in the regions. Asia Pacific is expected to be fastest growing market due to high demand from emerging nations including China and India. Changing consumer preferences in India has increased sales of seasonal and premium chocolates during festive seasons which are anticipated to further augment chocolate demand.
Major manufacturers of chocolate include Mars Inc, Mondelez International (Cadbury), Fererro Group, Nestle, Hershey Foods Corporation, Meiji Co Ltd, Arcor, Ezaki Glico Co Ltd and August Storck KG.
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