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Chocolate Confectionery - US - March 2016

"Dollar sales of chocolate confectionery continued to grow in 2015, albeit at a tempered pace compared to previous years. The indulgence category has avoided steep losses, even as consumers place an increased importance on health."

- Beth Bloom, Food & Drink Analyst

This report covers the following issues:

  • Pace of dollar sales growth slows
  • More than a quarter of consumers are buying less chocolate than a year ago
  • Snack size, gift box, sugar-free segments struggle

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

This Report covers chocolate confectionery products including those in bar, bag, and box form, and those sold year-round or seasonally for holidays. Primarily this includes chocolate that is sold in grocery outlets, such as supermarkets (conventional and natural), mass merchandisers, drug stores, and convenience stores. However, the Report also covers chocolate confectionery that is sold in specialty chocolate shops operated by Godiva, Lindt, and Ghirardelli.

For purposes of this Report, Mintel has segmented the chocolate confectionery market as follows:

  • Bars/bags/boxes weighing 3.5 oz or more – excludes seasonal candies
  • Bars/bags/boxes weighing less than 3.5 oz – includes novelty candies; excludes seasonal candies
  • Seasonal – chocolate confections marketed for a specific holiday (eg, Halloween, Easter)
  • Snack size – also known as fun size, sold in multicount bags/boxes
  • Gift boxes – a variety of chocolates packaged in a box with most or all of the individual pieces presented unwrapped; excludes gift-boxed seasonal chocolates
  • Sugar-free – chocolate confectionery sweetened with sugar alcohol or a sugar substitute.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Pace of dollar sales growth slows
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of chocolate confectionery, at current prices, 2010-20
          • More than a quarter of consumers are buying less chocolate than a year ago
            • Figure 2: Change in chocolate purchase, December 2015
          • Snack size, gift box, sugar-free segments struggle
            • Figure 3: Total US sales of chocolate confectionery, by segment, 2010-20
          • The opportunities
            • Growth in the mature category can come from boosting consumption occasions/frequency
              • Figure 4: Chocolate consumption, December 2015
            • Half of US adults buy seasonal-themed chocolate
              • Figure 5: Chocolate purchase – Net – Format, December 2015
            • Opportunity exists to grow chocolate sales online, especially seasonal chocolate
              • Figure 6: Purchase location, by chocolate segment purchased, December 2015
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Dollar sales of chocolate confectionery grew 23% from 2012-15, but the pace is slowing
                • Boxes/bags/bars >3.5 oz maintain largest share, seasonal sees strongest growth
                  • Snack size, gift box, sugar-free segments struggle
                    • Snacking benefits the category, but young consumers are open to getting their chocolate fix from nonconfectionery sources
                      • Opportunity exists to boost online sales
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • Dollar sales of chocolate confectionery grew 23% from 2012-15
                          • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of chocolate confectionery, at current prices, 2010-20
                          • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of chocolate confectionery, at current prices, 2010-20
                          • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of chocolate confectionery, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Boxes/bags/bars >3.5 oz maintain largest share, seasonal chocolate sees the strongest growth
                          • Figure 10: Share of total US sales of chocolate confectionery, by segment, 2010 and 2015 (est)
                        • “Other” sales channels maintain the largest share and are growing
                          • Boosting chocolate’s health profile can help retailers meet the needs of consumers
                            • Opportunity exists to boost online sales
                              • Figure 11: Total US sales of chocolate confectionery, by retail channel, 2010 and 2015 (est)
                          • Market Perspective

                            • Snacking benefits the category, but young consumers are open to getting their chocolate fix from nonconfectionery sources
                              • Figure 12: Nonconfectionery chocolate, by generation, December 2015
                            • Consumers view chocolate as healthier than other candy/snack options
                              • Preserving relevance by expanding beyond confectionery
                                • Figure 13: Health ranking – Mean, December 2015
                            • Market Factors

                              • Obesity remains a big issue meaning health should be a consideration
                                • Figure 14: Trends in obesity prevalence among adults aged 20 and over (age-adjusted) and youth aged 2-19 years: US, 1999-2000 through 2013-14
                                • Figure 15: Current diet status, July 2015
                              • Candy consumption up slightly among adults/kids; down for teens
                                • Figure 16: Chocolate and other candy consumption, 2011-15
                              • Millennials represent a large consumer base, can drive the future of the category
                                • Figure 17: US population by generation, 2010-20
                              • Households with children on the decline overall
                                • Figure 18: Households, by presence of own children, 2003-13
                              • Growth in the mature category can come from boosting consumption frequency
                                • Figure 19: Chocolate consumption, December 2015
                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                              • Hershey continues to dominate, little change among category leaders
                                • Major manufacturers make a move to improve healthfulness of products
                                  • Seasonal claims are frequently featured in new products
                                    • Plain launches decline by 5% 2012-16
                                    • Manufacturer Sales of Chocolate Confectionery

                                      • Hershey continues to dominate, little change among category leaders
                                        • Market leaders work to improve perception of health, move to eliminate artificial ingredients
                                          • Hershey’s Brookside focuses on clean/natural; adds bars to the lineup
                                            • Figure 20: “Read all About It,” online video, February 2016
                                          • Manufacturer sales of chocolate confectionery
                                            • Figure 21: MULO sales of chocolate confectionery, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                        • What’s Working?

                                          • More than a third of chocolate launches carry a seasonal claim, health/quality claims see uptick
                                            • Figure 22: Chocolate launches, by leading claims, 2012 and 2016*
                                          • Valentine’s chocolate sees strong product launch growth
                                            • igure 23: Seasonal chocolate launches, by holiday, 2012 and 2016*
                                          • Younger consumers embrace store brand chocolate
                                            • Figure 24: Chocolate purchase – Net – Store brand, by generation group, December 2015
                                          • Mix-ins and flavored launches outperform plain
                                            • Figure 25: Chocolate launches, by leading flavors, February 2015-January 2016
                                          • Store brand purchase not necessarily driven solely by a pursuit of cost savings
                                            • Figure 26: Chocolate purchase – Net – Store brand, by HH income, December 2015
                                        • What’s Struggling?

                                          • Snack size, gift box, sugar-free segments struggle
                                            • Figure 27: Total US sales of chocolate confectionery, by segment, 2010-20
                                        • What’s Next?

                                          • Natural channel trends can inform market direction
                                            • Organic, Fair Trade, and non-GMO sales grow
                                              • Figure 28: Share of natural supermarket sales of chocolate confectionery, by organic ingredients*, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending Nov. 3, 2013 and Nov. 1, 2015
                                              • Figure 29: Share of natural supermarket sales of chocolate confectionery, by fair trade certification, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending Nov. 3, 2013 and Nov. 1, 2015
                                              • Figure 30: Share of natural supermarket sales of chocolate confectionery, by GMO ingredients, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending Nov. 3, 2013 and Nov. 1, 2015
                                            • Flavor and mix-in innovation may be an attention getter
                                              • Latin America
                                                • Asia
                                                  • Chocolate confectionery can remain relevant through adoption of foodie trends
                                                    • Sea salt
                                                      • Smoked
                                                        • Beer
                                                          • Yogurt
                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                            • 81% of adults purchase chocolate
                                                              • More than a quarter of consumers are buying less chocolate than a year ago
                                                                • Half of US adults buy seasonal-themed chocolate
                                                                  • Half of chocolate buyers do so for snacking
                                                                    • Chocolate gets a pass, but consumers need some assurance
                                                                    • Chocolate Purchase

                                                                      • 81% of adults purchase chocolate
                                                                        • Figure 31: Chocolate purchase, December 2015
                                                                      • Individual candy bars lead, nonindividually wrapped pieces gain favor
                                                                        • Figure 32: Chocolate purchase – Net, by segment, December 2015
                                                                      • Millennials appear as a key consumer group
                                                                        • Figure 33: Chocolate purchase – Net, by generation group, December 2015
                                                                      • Purchase generally correlates with HH income
                                                                        • Figure 34: Chocolate purchase – Net, by HH income, December 2015
                                                                      • Black and Asian respondents are less likely than average to purchase chocolate
                                                                        • Figure 35: Chocolate purchase – Net, by race, December 2015
                                                                      • 90% of parents purchase chocolate
                                                                        • Figure 36: Chocolate purchase – Net, by parental status, December 2015
                                                                      • Men are strong targets for gift boxes
                                                                        • Figure 37: Chocolate purchase – Net, by gender, December 2015
                                                                    • Change in Purchase

                                                                      • More than a quarter of consumers are buying less chocolate than a year ago
                                                                        • Health leads reasons for reduction
                                                                          • . . . but price is also a factor to consider
                                                                            • Figure 38: Change in chocolate purchase, December 2015
                                                                          • Millennials among the most likely to be reducing chocolate purchases
                                                                            • Appealing to Millennials through innovation
                                                                              • Millennials appear price conscious, but can be swayed by quality
                                                                                • Figure 39: Change in chocolate purchase, by generation, December 2015
                                                                            • Types of Chocolate Purchased

                                                                              • Half of US adults buy seasonal-themed chocolate
                                                                                • Figure 40: Chocolate purchase – Net – Format, December 2015
                                                                              • Individual bars do well for the holidays
                                                                                • Figure 41: Chocolate purchase – Net – Format, December 2015
                                                                              • Seasonal
                                                                                • Seasonal particularly resonates with younger consumers
                                                                                  • Figure 42: Chocolate purchase – Net – Seasonal, by generation, December 2015
                                                                                • . . . may appear as a luxury
                                                                                  • Figure 43: Chocolate purchase – Net – Seasonal, by HH income, December 2015
                                                                                • Mix-ins
                                                                                  • Mix-ins may be perceived as an upgrade, appeal to key populations
                                                                                    • Figure 44: Chocolate purchase – Net – Mix-in, solid, by HH income, December 2015
                                                                                  • . . . find strong appeal among Hispanic Millennials
                                                                                    • Figure 45: Chocolate purchase – Net – Mix-in, solid, by Hispanic origin and Millennial status, December 2015
                                                                                  • Dark chocolate
                                                                                    • Dark chocolate may meet the health needs of older consumers
                                                                                      • Figure 46: Chocolate purchase – Net – Dark chocolate, by generation, December 2015
                                                                                    • Variety
                                                                                      • Variety is a strong selling point for Millennials
                                                                                        • Figure 47: Chocolate purchase – Net – Variety packs, by generation, December 2015
                                                                                      • Organic/Single-Origin/Fair Trade
                                                                                        • Responsible chocolate attributes appeal to Millennials
                                                                                          • Figure 48: Chocolate purchase – Net – Organic, single-origin, fair trade, by generation, December 2015
                                                                                        • . . . especially Millennial parents
                                                                                          • Figure 49: Chocolate purchase – Net – Organic, single-origin, fair trade, by parental status and millennial status, December 2015
                                                                                        • Responsible positioning appears as a luxury
                                                                                          • Figure 50: Chocolate purchase – Net – Organic, single-origin, fair trade, by HH income, December 2015
                                                                                        • Organic finds greatest appeal in West, Northeast
                                                                                          • Figure 51: Chocolate purchase – Net – Organic, single-origin, fair trade, by region, December 2015
                                                                                      • Chocolate Occasions

                                                                                        • Half of chocolate buyers do so for snacking
                                                                                          • Holidays also have a strong draw, but “everyday” products will be key
                                                                                            • Expanding gifting opportunities and chocolate for dessert
                                                                                              • Figure 52: Chocolate occasions, December 2015
                                                                                            • Women are strong targets for chocolate gifting/holiday purchase
                                                                                              • Figure 53: Chocolate occasions – Gifting/holidays, by gender, December 2015
                                                                                            • Women are more likely to plan indulgence, men look for energy/on-the-go
                                                                                              • Figure 54: Chocolate occasions – Planned/energy/on-the-go, by gender, December 2015
                                                                                            • Chocolate gifting of interest to Millennials, but holidays have greater appeal among older shoppers
                                                                                              • Figure 55: Chocolate occasions – Gifting/holidays, by generation group, December 2015
                                                                                            • Millennials look for an emotional/physical pick-me-up
                                                                                              • Figure 56: Chocolate occasions – Reward/energy/mood, by generation group, December 2015
                                                                                            • Affordable varieties can meet the needs of snackers and impulse buyers
                                                                                              • Figure 57: Chocolate occasions – Snack/dessert, by HH income , December 2015
                                                                                              • Figure 58: Chocolate occasions – Planned/energy/reward, by HH income , December 2015
                                                                                            • . . . while premiumization can work for gifting
                                                                                              • Figure 59: Chocolate occasions – Gifting/holidays, by HH income , December 2015
                                                                                            • Mood and energy boosting positioning can appeal to parents
                                                                                              • Figure 60: Chocolate occasions – Mood/energy, by parental status, December 2015
                                                                                          • Purchase Location

                                                                                            • More than half of chocolate buyers do so at mass merchandisers
                                                                                              • Figure 61: Purchase location, December 2015
                                                                                            • One in five Millennial chocolate buyers do so from an online retailer
                                                                                              • Figure 62: Purchase location, by generation, December 2015
                                                                                            • Online retailers don’t appear as an affordable option
                                                                                              • Figure 63: Purchase location, by HH income, December 2015
                                                                                            • Opportunity exists to grow seasonal chocolate sales online
                                                                                              • Figure 64: Purchase location, by chocolate segment purchased, December 2015
                                                                                            • Mass merchandisers are a mecca for unplanned chocolate purchases
                                                                                              • Figure 65: Purchase location, by chocolate occasion, December 2015
                                                                                          • Role of Health in Chocolate Purchase

                                                                                            • 20% of respondents think chocolate candy is unhealthy, but buy it anyway
                                                                                              • Figure 66: Role of health, December 2015
                                                                                            • Health does not play a role in the purchase decision of the majority of chocolate buyers
                                                                                              • Figure 67: Why health does not play a role, December 2015
                                                                                            • Premiumization can limit flight caused from health concerns
                                                                                              • Figure 68: How health plays a role, December 2015
                                                                                            • 20% of consumers are willing to pay more for healthier chocolate
                                                                                              • Figure 69: Role of health, December 2015
                                                                                            • Millennials have higher opinion of premium chocolate
                                                                                              • Figure 70: Role of health, by generation group, December 2015
                                                                                            • Health more likely to play a role among higher-income earners
                                                                                              • Figure 71: Role of health, by HH income, December 2015
                                                                                            • . . . and when kids are involved
                                                                                              • Figure 72: Role of health, by parental status, December 2015
                                                                                              • Figure 73: Role of health, by purchase for child, December 2015
                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                                              • Sales data
                                                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of box/bag/bar <3.5 oz, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of box/bag/bar <3.5 oz, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of box/bag/bar >3.5 oz, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of snack size, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of snack size, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of box/bag/bar >3.5 oz, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of gift box chocolate, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of gift box chocolate, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 82: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of seasonal chocolate, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 83: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of seasonal chocolate, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 84: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of sugar-free chocolate, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 85: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of sugar-free chocolate, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                          • Figure 86: Chocolate launches, by leading claims, 2012-16*
                                                                                                          • Figure 87: US supermarket sales of chocolate, at current prices, 2010-15 (est)
                                                                                                          • Figure 88: US drug store sales of chocolate, at current prices, 2010-15 (est)
                                                                                                          • Figure 89: Other US retail channel sales of chocolate, at current prices, 2010-15 (est)
                                                                                                          • Figure 90: Trends in obesity prevalence among adults aged 20 and over (age-adjusted) and youth aged 2–19 years: United States, 1999–2000 through 2013–14
                                                                                                          • Figure 91: Seasonal chocolate launches, by holiday, 2012-16*
                                                                                                          • Figure 92: Chocolate and other candy consumption, 2011-15
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                                          • Figure 93: MULO sales of chocolate bars/bags/boxes < 3.5oz, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 94: MULO sales of chocolate bars/bags/boxes > 3.5oz, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 95: MULO sales of snack size chocolate, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 96: MULO sales of gift box chocolate, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 97: MULO sales of seasonal chocolate, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 98: MULO sales of sugar-free chocolate, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 99: Chocolate launches, by launch type, 2012-16*
                                                                                                          • Figure 100: Chocolate launches, by leading pack types, 2012-16*
                                                                                                          • Figure 101: Chocolate launches, by leading flavors, 2012-16*
                                                                                                          • Figure 102: Share of natural supermarket sales of chocolate confectionery, by organic ingredients*, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending Nov. 3, 2013 and Nov. 1, 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 103: Share of natural supermarket sales of chocolate confectionery, by gluten-free labelling/certification, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending Nov. 3, 2013 and Nov. 1, 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 104: Share of natural supermarket sales of chocolate confectionery, by GMO ingredients, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending Nov. 3, 2013 and Nov. 1, 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 105: Share of natural supermarket sales of chocolate confectionery, by presence of alternative sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending Nov. 3, 2013 and Nov. 1, 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 106: Share of natural supermarket sales of chocolate confectionery, by fair trade certification, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending Nov. 3, 2013 and Nov. 1, 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 107: Share of natural supermarket sales of chocolate confectionery, by vegan, at current prices, rolling 52-weeks ending Nov. 3, 2013 and Nov. 1, 2015

                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                      • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                      Chocolate Confectionery - US - March 2016

                                                                                                      £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)