Chocolate is a sweet food or food ingredient sourced mainly from, cocoa beans. Some of the other ingredients of chocolate include sugar, emulsifiers such as lecithin, and additional flavors enhancer such as vanilla. It is commonly found in the form of a liquid, paste, powder or in blocks. Apart from the sweet taste chocolate contains antioxidants and minerals, which offers health benefits such as reduce risk associated with heart attacks and cancer.
The global market of chocolate can be segmented in three broad categories namely dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. Whereas on the basis of sale frequency the global chocolate market can be further segmented into three broad categories namely daily chocolate, premium chocolate and seasonal chocolate.
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The growing influence of western culture, rising middle classes with higher disposable income, and changing eating habits of consumers are some of the major driver of chocolate market in Asia Pacific. Moreover increasing storage and retail convenience due to rising food retail industry such as super market and hyper market in growing countries of Asia Pacific is further driving the chocolate market in this region.
Innovation in the field of new products with heath claims, additive and preservative free, gelatin free, organic and vegetarian benefits is driving the demand for chocolate in maturing market of Europe and North America. Moreover the increasing use of chocolate in functional food and beverages such as chocolate milk and chocolate cake is offering new opportunity for the global chocolate market.
The unorganized supply chain management in African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon (major producers for cocoa seeds) lead to demand and supply gap of cocoa. Moreover the cold storage related issue in hot and humid climatic region of the world is posing a significant challenge for the overall market growth of chocolate market.
With long standing cultural of chocolate as a regular diet, Europe is the largest market for chocolate in the world. It is followed by North America and Asia Pacific. Chocolate market in Europe and North America is heading towards maturity and the growth is mainly expected from emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil. The U.S. is the largest market for chocolate in North America. Germany and The U.K. are the largest regional market of chocolate in Europe. Japan accounts for highest consumption for chocolate in Asia Pacific region.
Saturating nature of chocolate market in Europe and North America has led to many merger and acquisitions in recent past. Most recently in September 2014 Cargill has acquired Archer Daniels Midland Company’s (ADM) chocolate business for USD 440.0 million. To enhance Cargill’s existing chocolate business globally and to bring together broad customer bases.
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Major companies operating in global chocolate market include, August Storck KG, Barry Callebaut, Ferrero Group, Ghirardelli Chocolate Co, Hershey Foods Corp, Kraft Foods, Lotus Chocolate Ltd, Mars Inc, Meiji Co Ltd, Mondelez International Inc, Moonstruck Chocolatier Co., Nestle SA, and Russell Stover Candies Inc.
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