The Consumer research firm Packaged Facts details how dark chocolate has established the health/wellness phenomenon into the very nib of the chocolate industry.
As the health benefits of dark chocolate have become more widely recognized all the major players have raced to add dark chocolate to their product lines. Dark chocolate now accounts for 63% of all new chocolate product launches asserts ProductScan online, a Datamonitor service. The Packaged Facts report estimates that dark chocolate sales climbed to $4 billion (25% market share) in 2006 FROM $2.5 billion (17.8% market share) in 2002. By 2011 dark chocolate will account for 30% of the market, the report predicts.
This surge in consumer demand for dark chocolate was a major factor in staving off declines in the entire chocolate industry whose sales dropped 0.9% to $16 billion last year. During the five year period of 2002-2006 sales of dark chocolate increased at a 10.3% compound annual growth rate verssus a 3.0% compound annual growth rate for the overall chocolate market.
Information about the health benefits of dark chocolate is so pervasive that consumers attribute to it a wide variety of positive functional capabilities. For example, a survey conducted in late 2006 by cocoa processor Barry Callebaut found that American consumers believe dark chocolate:
Can boost morale (52%)
Is revitalizing (46%)
Aids the heart and vascular system (31%)
Contains anti-cancer ingredients (31%)
Enhances memory (16%)
Enhances sexual performance (15%)
Prevents hair loss (5%)
The health/wellness trend has also inspired functional–with “better-for-you” ingredients–and diet chocolates. They are expected to grow 20% in the next 10-20 years from the current 2% penetration, predicts Dr. Hans Vriens, chief Innovation Officer at Barry Callebaut. To handle this anticipated increase in demand most major chocolate manufacturers have established health/wellness centers. These centers have developed flavonal-enhanced chocolate ingredients (you will find the flavonal-enhanced dark chocolates infused with antioxidants in the Wellness Collection in David’s Delicious Chocolates also in the Wellness departments of several major hospitals).
Other health/wellness chocolates derive their functional benefits from the inclusion of super fruits-acai, pomegranate, blueberries, black currants and goji berries (David’s Delicious Chocolates Wellness Collection dark chocolates not only have blueberries, almonds and various fruits but also include the most powerful antioxidant of all, chia. And many are gluten free).
Drinking chocolate/cocoa products contain health/wellness benefits as well. A German medical study found that women who drank 1/2 cup of flavanol-enriched cocoa daily for 3 months developed smoother skin which was also less red and scaly after exposure to ultraviolet light.
It is no surprise then that healthy dark chocolate sales have sky rocketed.
This report comes from the August 13, 2008 edition of Sweet & Healthy a major publication of trends in the chocolate industry.
David’s Delicious Chocolates, featuring Dorothy’s Collection, Wellness Collection and Kosher Collection. Come and visit anytime. No reservation required!