India becomes one of world’s fastest growing markets for chocolate

London: India is a nation of chocoholics and the country has one of the world’s fastest growing chocolate markets which posted a huge 13 per cent sales growth last year, according to a research.

The research conducted by London-based global market firm Mintel states that while the chocolate sales in other nations have stagnated, India consumed 228,000 tonnes worth of chocolate in 2016. Australia and Indonesia consumed 95,000 and 94,000 tonnes worth of chocolate respectively in 2016.

India (13 per cent) and Poland (2 per cent) were the only two markets to see sales of chocolate grow last year. The sales in the US, the UK, Germany and France flat over this period, while sales fell in Russia (-2 per cent), Brazil (-6 per cent) and China (-6 per cent), it said.

“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,” said Marcia Mogelonsky, Director of Insight, Mintel Food and Drink.

“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,” Mogelonsky said.

India’s chocolate confectionery market has had a strong CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 19.9 per cent, in retail market value between 2011 and 2015 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.6 per cent from 2016 to 2020, the research said.

It said that over two in five Indian consumers (44 per cent) find sweet or sugary snacks like chocolates and cakes to be healthy, while over one in three (35 per cent) Indians believe these snacks provide them with energy.

According to the research, 43 per cent of Indians consume sweet or sugary snacks like chocolate and cake between lunch and dinner, with over half (53 per cent) reporting that they tend to snack in between meals because they get hungry.

As many as 19 pert cent of Indian consumers would like to see a wider variety of natural snacks that have no additives or preservatives, it said.