Easter is upon us and many countries around the world will celebrate this holiday. Since ancient times, this period celebrates the end of winter, the arrival of spring and the coming of new life. It also means the giving of gifts and lots and lots of chocolate consumption!
Globally, chocolate confectionery had a retail value of US$114 billion in 2021. While growth was flat from 2019 to 2020, the market grew +5% during the pandemic (2020 – 2021) with forecast growth of +3% from 2022 to 2026 (CAGR)1. But with consumers focused more than ever on their health and wellbeing, what is the future for chocolate and how will innovation in this category influence this Easter season?
Better-for-you chocolate emerging
Consumers look to chocolate for that moment of indulgence, but many increasingly also want healthier options. As a result, manufacturers are responding with better-for-you chocolate innovation. The table below shows the growth in chocolate launches globally over the past five years by claim2. If you look at chocolate products for the Easter season over the same period, growth was strong with chocolate products with low/no/reduced fat claims growing +41%. Easter chocolate product launches with no added sugar claims also grew +20%.2
Global growth of chocolate product launches by claim
|No Added Sugar||+12%|
|Functional - Digestive||+21%|
|Functional - Immune System||+9%|
Vegan and plant-based chocolate is niche but growing
With consumers focused on health and sustainability more than ever before, they are opting for products that are better for them and better for the planet. They are drawn to products that are plant-based because positive health outcomes and environmental impacts are associated with plant-based eating. All food and beverage categories are being impacted by the plant-based trend, including chocolate. 6% of all chocolate launches globally in 2021 had vegan claims on pack, an 11% increase over the past five years . Vegan Easter chocolate launches only made up 1% of all Easter chocolate launches in 2021 but this is a growth of +30% over the past five years.2
65% of consumer globally feel it is OK to consume an indulgent treat occasionally as part of a healthy diet.3 Better-for-you and plant-based innovation in chocolate is making it much easier to enjoy an indulgent treat without feeling guilty. So, enjoy your Easter moment of permissible indulgence!
Healthier chocolate - dream or reality?
Sugar and calorie reduction expertise
- Mintel GNPD, CAGR 2016-21 growth
- FMCG Gurus Top Ten Trends 2022 Global Report