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The global chocolate market continues to thrive in 2018 as the largest chocolate companies in the world are experiencing substantial growth in their chocolate sales. Despite the increasing health concerns over the sugar confectionery products, the global demand for chocolate sweets has maintained a steady growth rate over the recent years. The constant introduction and launch of new premium chocolate and organic chocolate products with a focus on price, packaging, and ingredients by the world’s major chocolate manufacturers are believed to be the main reason that drives the global chocolate market to grow further in the near future.
The global chocolate market was already worth over US$98.3 billion in 2016, and it’s expected to grow with a strong CAGR of almost 5% by 2021, according to the recent market report from Technavio. The latest market trend has seen major chocolate companies coming up with new and innovative flavors and launching diverse products to cater to the changing consumer demands. There is growing preference for products like low and reduced sugar chocolates and consumers are also opting for chocolate brands that use organic ingredients. They are also selling chocolates in small, attractive packs, targeted at calorie-conscious consumers who prefer consuming smaller quantities of chocolates.
The booming chocolate market around the world has also facilitated the rise of the global cocoa market. According the recent figures obtained by BizVibe, 90% of the global cocoa beans produced are consumed for chocolate production, and over 4 million metric tons of cocoa beans are produced each year. Global production of cocoa beans in 2015 was peaked at 4.36 million metric tons. Cote d’Ivoire, also known as Ivory Coast, is the world’s largest cocoa producing country with 1.472 million metric tons of cocoa production in 2016.
|Rank||Companies||2017 Net Sales (US$ billion)|
|1||Mars Wrigley Confectionery (USA)||18|
|2||Ferrero Group (Luxembourg / Italy)||12|
|3||Mondelēz International (USA)||11.6|
|4||Meiji Co Ltd (Japan)||9.7|
|5||Nestlé SA (Switzerland)||8.8|
|6||Hershey Co (USA)||7.5|
|7||Lindt & Sprüngli AG (Switzerland)||4.1|
|8||Ezaki Glico Co Ltd (Japan)||3.2|
Leading the chart of the world’s largest chocolate companies is the American confectioner Mars Inc owns some of the most famous sweets brands in the world, including M&Ms, Galaxy, Snickers, Skittles, and, of course, Mars bars. With over US$18 billion in annual sales, it is the sixth largest privately-held company in America, and the largest player in the sugar confectionery industry globally.
The iconic Italian chocolate brand Ferrero Rocher owner Ferrero ranked as the world’s second largest chocolate company based on its 2017 sales. Together with Its other famous chocolate brands include Kinder and Nutella, Ferrero achieved US$12 billion sales last year. Other world’s largest chocolate companies include Mondelēz International, Meiji, Nestlé, Hershey Co, Lindt & Sprüngli AG, Ezaki Glico Co Ltd, Arcor, Pladis, which all achieved an outsized share in the global chocolate market.
One of the recent developments in the global chocolate and cocoa market is the growing inclination towards Fair Trade certified products. Such chocolate products are made from cocoa produced from farms that do not indulge in inhuman practices such as slavery and child labor. The Fair-Trade organization have been dedicated to promotion of trade relationships that support livable incomes for farmers, laborers and families of cocoa growers through commitment to prices that produce a stable economic and social environment.
Over the recent years, growing number of leading chocolate companies are also introducing healthy chocolates such as organic, vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free chocolates to cater to the health-conscious consumers. It is expected that the increasing incidences of health problems, weight management issues, and the demand for nutritious food will influence the global chocolate market to produce more healthy sugar-free and gluten-free chocolates in the near future.