ROCKVILLE, Md. — With some 81% of American consumers eating chocolate, the future outlook for the U.S. chocolate candy market is bullish, according to a report by Packaged Facts. By 2018, it expects sales of chocolate candy in the U.S. to exceed $26 billion for the first time, up from roughly $22 billion in sales estimated by the end of 2015.
Most important, the category is quite dynamic, the market research firm said, with a strong pace of innovation, an influx of creative new players and a steady flow of new products that engage consumers.
Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts published the findings in “Chocolate Candy in the U.S.” 10th Edition.
Several factors support a continued growth curve for the market. One, the market has continued growing despite the economic climate, underscoring consumer devotion to the product. Two, the growing perception of the product as an accessible luxury creates many opportunities to trade the consumer up to premium products. Three, a growing body of research supports the status of cocoa as a superfood, with multi-dimensional nutritional benefits. This positive halo around chocolate enhances its image as a guilt-free indulgence, and can ultimately drive more consumption.
The industry also faces challenges, including the public concern about the cocoa farming process, and short-term, the supply of cocoa.
Overall, however, the industry is poised for continued growth based on the many positive trends now unfolding in the market.