Swiss and Brits the globe's largest chocolate consumers

08 August 2014 2 min. read
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On a typical day, one billion people around the world eat chocolate. Accounting and consulting firm KPMG conducted research into the largest chocolate fans and finds that taste preferences differ.

It’s a well-known saying… one simply cannot get enough of chocolate. Worldwide, the market for chocolate has been growing with strong figures for years, driven by the increasing prosperity – in particular of the middle class in emerging countries.

The Swiss are according to the analysis the largest chocolate consumers of the world, with an average of 12kg per person per year, which equates to an average of 1kg of chocolate per month. This is significantly more than the number ten on the list, France, where an average person consumes just over 6kg per year.

Ten fastest growing chocolate markets 2007-12

The Brits (UK and Ireland) come in second place, followed by the Austrians and Belgians. Interestingly, four of the remaining five top 10 positions are held by European countries: Germany, Norway, Denmark and France. Canadians are the only non-European nationality in the top 10 of chocolate consuming countries.

When it comes to growth in chocolate demand, consumers in Belarus, Venezuela and Nigeria lead the way. The top further includes three countries based in Latin America, three in Asia and one in Africa.

Difference in preference

Although virtually everyone loves chocolate, KPMG's research shows that there are differences in preferences. For instance, Switzerland is a big fan of milk chocolate, while Americans are fond of filled chocolate. UK has – as the majority of countries – the biggest preference for milk chocolate, but about 20% of the British also like filled chocolate. Dark chocolate is the favourite of the Swiss.

How chocolate bar sales break down in key markets

The appetite for white chocolate is generally decreasing: both the Swiss and the Americans have over the past gradually consumed less white chocolate. The data shows that the preferences of the Brits has remained stable in recent years: they consumed the same amount of white and filled chocolate between 2008 and 2013, and due to a small increase in the preference for dark chocolate, the popularity of milk chocolate fell slightly.

The authors note that a number of manufacturers are trying to establish caramel as a “fourth kind of chocolate”, alongside dark, milk and white. They base their ambition on the fact that Euromonitor research shows that caramel is the second most popular flavour after hazelnut, and appeals in particular to consumers who want a luxury taste, providing the industry with opportunities for charging a premium.