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Chocolate - China - May 2015

“Mass-market brands could use cocoa butter substitute as an ingredient to lower the cost given the majority of consumers do not have safety concerns over it yet, while brands that do not use cocoa butter substitutes need to enhance the value and quality perceptions to justify the comparably higher price points. Ingredient-wise, brands could also add more filling textures/ingredients to chocolates and build the connection between the hunger-filling chocolate and meals to target the on-the-go occasions.”
– Hao Qiu, Research Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • How well do consumers understand cocoa butter substitute?
  • How to market chocolate as a filling snack to increase on-the-go consumption?
  • Enhancing value perceptions for luxury brands
Chocolate is mainly consumed as an indulgent snack among Chinese consumers, but the high average retailing price has posed a big obstacle for brands to encourage consumers – particularly the low earners – to eat more chocolate.
 
There is scope in the market for more product launches with an ‘affordable luxury’ proposition. Besides, chocolate brands could position chocolate as a hunger-filling snack between meals or to supplement meals and at the same time highlight its nutrition values to target the growing needs from young consumers for on-the-go occasions.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
          • Figure 1: Definition of Low/Mid/High MHI groups, by city tier
        • Methodology
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Figure 2: Retail sales of chocolate, by volume, China, 2009-19
                • Figure 3: Retail sales of chocolate, by value, China, 2009-19
              • Companies and brands
                • Figure 4: Value share of China’s chocolate retail market, by company, 2013 and 2014
              • The consumer
                • Purchase channel of chocolate
                  • Figure 5: Purchase channel of chocolate, by self-consumption and gifting, January 2015
                • Most popular types of chocolate for self/family consumption and gifting
                  • Figure 6: Types of chocolate bought for self/family consumption, January 2015
                  • Figure 7: Types of chocolate bought for gifting, January 2015
                • Chocolate brand bought most often for self/family consumption and the reasons
                  • Figure 8: Chocolate brand bought most often for self/family consumption, January 2015
                  • Figure 9: Reasons for consumers buying a particular chocolate brand more often, by chocolate brand bought most often for self/family consumption, January 2015
                • What product features are consumers willing to pay a premium for?
                  • Figure 10: Product features consumers are willing to pay a premium for, January 2015
                • Purchase behaviour of and attitudes towards chocolate
                  • Figure 11: Consumer purchase behaviours of and attitudes towards chocolate, January 2015
                • Meet the Mintropolitans
                  • Figure 12: Demographic profile of Mintropolitans versus Non-Mintropolitans, by gender, age and personal income
                  • Figure 13: Demographic profile of Mintropolitans versus Non-Mintropolitans, by marital status, city tier and education level
                • Key issues
                  • How well do consumers understand cocoa butter substitute?
                    • Figure 14: Consumer understanding of cocoa butter substitute, January 2015
                  • How to market chocolate as a filling snack to increase on-the-go consumption?
                    • Enhancing value perceptions for luxury brands
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                          • How well do consumers understand cocoa butter substitute?
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • How to market chocolate as a filling snack to increase on-the-go consumption?
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Figure 15: Lotte Hawaiian Breakfast Chocolate, Japan, 2013
                                    • Enhancing value perceptions for luxury brands
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Figure 16: Examples of premium chocolate with smaller/thinner unit to enhance value proposition, China, 2014
                                      • Trend Application

                                          • Objectify
                                            • Attention Economy
                                              • Locavore
                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Retail volume sales slowed down due to the rising retailing price in 2014
                                                    • Figure 17: Retail sales of chocolate, by volume and value, China, 2012-14
                                                    • Figure 18: Monthly average price of cocoa, January 2013-February 2015
                                                  • Growth opportunity comes from repositioning chocolate as a more affordable indulgent snack
                                                    • Figure 19: Change of consumption of different types of snacks, October 2014
                                                    • Figure 20: Average retailing prices of main snack categories, China, 2014
                                                  • The market will continue to grow but at a slower pace
                                                    • Figure 21: Retail sales of chocolate, by volume, China, 2009-19
                                                    • Figure 22: Retail sales of chocolate, by value, China, 2009-19
                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                    • Key market drivers
                                                      • Greater consumer needs for on-the-go occasions could fuel market growth
                                                        • Figure 23: Selected purchase channel of chocolate, 2013 and 2015
                                                      • Market value growth will benefit from consumers’ willingness to trade up for self-indulgence
                                                        • Figure 24: Purchase behaviour of chocolate, by monthly household income, January 2015
                                                      • Greater affinity towards foreign culture will drive chocolate sales for gifting and celebration on those festivals
                                                        • Market barriers
                                                          • High retailing price bars lower-income consumers from eating more chocolate
                                                            • Figure 25: Average retailing price of chocolate, China, Japan, UK and US, 2014
                                                          • Health concerns on diabetes and obesity restrain consumers from eating chocolate more often
                                                          • Market Segmentation

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Individually wrapped chocolate led the growth in 2014
                                                                • Figure 26: Retail volume and value sales of chocolate, by segment, China, 2014
                                                              • Chocolate in more delicate and unique formats and packaging enjoys faster growth in the next five years
                                                                • Figure 27: Retail volume sales of chocolate, by segment, China, 2014-19
                                                            • Market Share

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Mars is still the clear leader, though volume share declined in 2014
                                                                  • Figure 28: Value and volume share of China’s chocolate retail market, by company, 2013 and 2014
                                                                  • Figure 29: Examples of chocolate products playing nostalgia, US, 2014-15
                                                                • Hershey took a leap in market share thanks to active NPD
                                                                • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Individually wrapped chocolate led in format innovation
                                                                      • Figure 30: Share of chocolate NPD, by segment, April 2012-March 2015
                                                                    • New product launches continue to drop and variety/range extension is up
                                                                      • Figure 31: Share of chocolate NPD, by launch type, April 2012-March 2015
                                                                    • Plain flavours down while hazelnut, almond and oat flavours up
                                                                      • Figure 32: Share of top flavours in chocolate NPD, 2013 and 2014
                                                                    • New dessert-inspired flavours rise over the past year
                                                                      • Figure 33: Examples of chocolate with dessert-inspired flavours, China, 2014-15
                                                                    • Ferrero launched Kinder Joy Egg Chocolate with toys targeting boys and girls separately
                                                                    • Companies and Brands

                                                                      • Mars Incorporated
                                                                        • Latest development
                                                                          • Figure 34: Dove Jewels Assorted Hazelnut Chocolate, China, 2014
                                                                        • Ferrero S.p.A
                                                                          • Latest development
                                                                            • The Hershey Company
                                                                              • Latest development
                                                                                • Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd.
                                                                                  • Latest development
                                                                                    • MUJI and IKEA
                                                                                      • Tao Brands: Amovo (魔吻) and Bouquet (卜珂)
                                                                                      • The Consumer – Purchase Channel of Chocolate

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Online channel rises to be among the top three purchase channels
                                                                                            • Figure 35: Purchase channel of chocolate, by self-consumption and gifting, January 2015
                                                                                          • Young consumers in their twenties tend to buy on the go
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Purchase channel of chocolate for self/family consumption, by age, January 2015
                                                                                            • Figure 37: Example of chocolate tablet packaging innovation that is easy to open, Japan, 2014
                                                                                          • Regional difference analysis
                                                                                            • Figure 38: Purchase channel of chocolate for self/family consumption, by region, January 2015
                                                                                          • Online store is the top channel for twenties when buying chocolate for gifting
                                                                                            • Figure 39: Purchase channel of chocolate for gifting, by age, January 2015
                                                                                        • The Consumer – Most Popular Types of Chocolate for Self/family Consumption and Gifting

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Plain dark chocolate is a top choice for women, milk chocolate for men
                                                                                              • Figure 40: Types of chocolate bought for self/family consumption, January 2015
                                                                                              • Figure 41: Example of snack with guilt-free claim on-pack, UK, 2014
                                                                                            • The majority switch between different chocolate types
                                                                                              • Figure 42: Repertoire of types of chocolate bought for self/family consumption, by gender and age, January 2015
                                                                                            • Give emotional touch via filling ingredients to target romantic occasions
                                                                                              • Figure 43: Types of chocolate bought as gifts for partner/romantic interest, January 2015
                                                                                            • Milk chocolate and chocolate with extra ingredients are more bought as gifts for kids
                                                                                              • Figure 44: Types of chocolate bought as gifts for kids, January 2015
                                                                                          • The Consumer – Chocolate Brand Bought Most Often for Self/family Consumption and the Reasons

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Foreign brands take a clear lead owing to their high brand awareness, preferable taste and wide distribution
                                                                                                • Figure 45: Chocolate brand bought most often for self/family consumption, January 2015
                                                                                                • Figure 46: Reasons for consumers buying a particular chocolate brand more often, by chocolate brand bought most often for self/family consumption, January 2015
                                                                                              • Local brands have an advantage in value for money and flavour varieties
                                                                                                • Figure 47: Examples of chocolate flavours with Chinese features by local brands, China, 2012-15
                                                                                              • Imported brands are strong in taste perception and premium image but are weak in distribution and high price
                                                                                                • Figure 48: Reasons for consumers buying a particular chocolate brand more often, by chocolate brand bought most often for self/family consumption, January 2015
                                                                                              • Women are more exploratory in taste while men are more brand-oriented
                                                                                                • Figure 49: Reasons for consumers buying a particular chocolate brand more often, by gender, January 2015
                                                                                            • The Consumer – What Product Features are Consumers Willing to Pay a Premium for?

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Brand building is still the key to premiumisation
                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Product features consumers are willing to pay a premium for, January 2015
                                                                                                • Young consumers aged 20-24 tend to buy in packaging innovations
                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Selected product features consumers are willing to pay a premium for, by age, January 2015
                                                                                                • Foreign identity is an important factor to charge a premium
                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Product features consumers are willing to pay a premium for, by consumer purchase behaviour of premium chocolate, January 2015
                                                                                                • Elder consumers care more about the chocolate ingredients
                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Selected product features consumers are willing to pay a premium for, by age, January 2015
                                                                                              • The Consumer – Purchase Behaviour of and Attitudes towards Chocolate

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Consumers aged 25-39 show greater trading up trend
                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Consumer purchase behaviours of chocolate, January 2015
                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Selected consumer purchase behaviour of chocolate, by age, January 2015
                                                                                                  • Consumers living in the North have a greater preference for dark chocolate
                                                                                                    • Tao Brands are more popular among the young consumers aged 25-29
                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Selected consumer purchase behaviour of chocolate, by age, January 2015
                                                                                                    • Consumers living in the West have a greater sweet preference
                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Consumer attitudes towards chocolate, January 2015
                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Why Mintropolitans?
                                                                                                        • Who are they?
                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Demographic profile of Mintropolitans versus Non-Mintropolitans, by gender, age and personal income
                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Demographic profile of Mintropolitans versus Non-Mintropolitans, by marital status, city tier and education level
                                                                                                          • Mintropolitans are much more likely to be chocolate fans
                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Purchase channel of chocolate, by consumer classification, January 2015
                                                                                                          • Mintropolitans are more into foreign brands, particularly imported brands, mainly for their guaranteed product quality
                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Chocolate brand bought most often for self/family consumption, by consumer classification, January 2015
                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Reasons for consumers buying a particular chocolate brand more often, by consumer classification, January 2015
                                                                                                          • Mintropolitans judge the value of a premium chocolate by exteriors
                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Product features consumers are willing to pay a premium for, by consumer classification, January 2015
                                                                                                          • Mintropolitans are only a small step ahead of non-MinT in understanding of cocoa butter substitute
                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Consumers’ understanding of cocoa butter substitute, by consumer classification, January 2015
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Retail volume sales of chocolate, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Retail value sales of chocolate, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Retail volume sales of tablets, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Retail value sales of tablets, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Retail volume sales of countlines, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Retail value sales of countlines, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Retail volume sales of individually wrapped chocolate, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Retail value sales of individually wrapped chocolate, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Retail volume sales of non-individually wrapped chocolate, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Retail value sales of non-individually wrapped chocolate, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Retail volume sales of other chocolate, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Retail value sales of other chocolate, China, 2009-19

                                                                                                        Companies Covered

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                                                                                                        Chocolate - China - May 2015

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