The U.S. Market for Chocolate: Chocolate Bars, Bagged/Boxed Chocolates and Gourmet/Premium Chocolate

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Published Feb 1, 2005 | 222 Pages | Pub ID: LA1037709

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With candy universally popular, endlessly varied, and ubiquitously available, the overall U.S. market is largely mature. Moreover, ever-growing consumer health and obesity concerns have kept consumption levels generally flat, even as marketer competition and innovation have been dampened by a sluggish economy, by market consolidation, and by rising costs.

Difficult times can drive consumers to comfort foods such as candy: the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index for third quarter 2004 shows Hershey and Mars products garnering the greatest increases in customer satisfaction ratings over the past year. Along with caloric and carb concerns, nonetheless, demographics conspire against any near-future surge in market growth.

The competitive response? An ongoing free-for-all whereby marketers are stretching beyond former class, retail, segment, and product boundaries to grab sales and share from competitors. Simultaneously, marketers are updating marketing, tweaking offerings, and launching new products to target candy consumers of all stripes.

Within the chocolate category, competition is centering on gourmet and premium chocolates. IRI-tracked sales of premium brands in the mass market have grown at a compound annual growth rate of about 16%, while sales of organic chocolates are growing at a 30% clip, compared with 3%-4% growth rates for chocolate candy overall. Most notably, IRI-tracked chocolate candy sales for Lindt and its acquired subsidiary Ghirardelli have risen at a 36% compound annual growth rate, from $22.0 million in 2000 to $75.6 million in 2004. Thus, while Hershey ranks first by dollar gains in chocolate candy over the 2000-2004 period, Lindt ranks second, outpacing Mars and Nestlé.

Productscan data on package tags for chocolate candy introductions reveal gourmet/upscale products as the key market driver, with total package tags rising from 89 in 2000 to 187 in 2004, compared with a rise from 13 to 107 for low carbohydrate/sugar package tags. Within the premium arena of gourmet, upscale, natural, and organic products, dark chocolate (with 91 tags) is nipping at the heels of milk chocolate (104 tags), with a growing number of players marketing dark chocolate products on the basis of specified cocoa content and cocoa bean origins and varietals.

At the same time that premium marketers are adopting mass-market habits such as candy bar formats and frequent-snacker packaging, mass marketers are stretching into the premium chocolate category. Bracketing out novelty chocolate candies, the candy weighing in most expensively in IRI sales tracking is not Scharffen Berger candy bars or Lindt Valentine’s chocolates or Newman’s Own Organics, but Mars’ Dove Time Past Nine ($27.74/pound). With Mars pushing Double Chocolate Truffles and Scharffen Berger selling in Safeway, the caste system in chocolate candy is a thing of the past.

Packaged Facts’ new report, The U.S. Market for Chocolate: Chocolate Bars, Bagged/Boxed Chocolates and Gourmet/Premium Chocolates, analyzes sales and growth potential for the chocolate category within the confectionery market (a companion volume covers non-chocolate candy), including gourmet and low-carb/sugar-free products; surveys marketing and new product trends; and dissects consumer demographics for chocolate candy overall and for leading brands, along with variations in food- and health-related attitudes among chocolate candy consumers, heavy users of chocolates, users of premium brand chocolates, and non-chocolate candy consumers.

Report Methodology
The information in The U.S. Market for Chocolate: Chocolate Bars, Bagged/Boxed Chocolates and Gourmet/Premium Chocolates based on both primary and secondary research. Primary research involved on-site examination of the retail milieu, interviews with marketing, public relations and industry analysts within the chocolate market and consultants to the industry. Secondary research entailed data-gathering from relevant trade, business, and government sources, including company literature. Packaged Facts has derived mass merchandiser sales figures from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) InfoScan sales-tracking data. Figures provided on national consumer advertising expenditures are based primarily on data (copyright 2004) compiled by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, the leading provider of strategic advertising and marketing communications intelligence. The analysis of consumer demographics derives from Simmons Market Research Bureau survey data for spring 2004. New product information is gathered via literature research, personal interviews and data compiled by ProductScan, a service of Datamonitor.

What You’ll Get in this Report
The U.S. Market for Chocolate: Chocolate Bars, Bagged/Boxed Chocolates and Gourmet/Premium Chocolates is a brand-new report that offers a unique perspective on the changing market for chocolate candy, from gourmet to the everyday. No other market research report provides both the comprehensive analysis and extensive data that The U.S. Market for Chocolate: Chocolate Bars, Bagged/Boxed Chocolates and Gourmet/Premium Chocolates offers. The report addresses the following segments:

  • The Market (including market size and composition, and projected market growth)
  • The Marketers (including discussions of specific marketer brand and market shares)
  • The Consumer (who’s buying what, and where)
  • The Products
  • Trends and Opportunities

Plus, you’ll benefit from extensive data, presented in easy-to-read and practical charts, tables and graphs.

Scroll down to see a more detailed outline of the contents of this report.

How You Will Benefit from this Report
If your company is already competing in the chocolate market, or is considering making the leap, you will find this report invaluable, as it provides a comprehensive package of information and insight not offered in any other single source. You will gain a thorough understanding of the current market for chocolate bars, bagged/boxed chocolates and gourmet/premium chocolates, as well as projected sales and trends through 2009. Contributing to that understanding will be a complete analysis of sales data from IRI and other published and trade sources, a detailed discussion of the consumer for chocolate based on Simmons data.

This report will help:

  • Marketing Managers identify market opportunities and develop targeted promotion plans for chocolate.
  • Research and development professionals stay on top of competitor initiatives and explore demand for products in the chocolate arena.
  • Advertising agencies working with clients in the food industry understand the product buyer to develop messages and images that compel consumers to purchase these products.
  • Business development executives understand the dynamics of the market and identify possible partnerships.
  • Information and research center librarians provide market researchers, brand and product managers and other colleagues with the vital information they need to do their jobs more effectively.

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