Progressive Grocer (India) - - Category Watch -

When it comes to con­sumers’ cho­co­late pref­er­ences, milk cho­co­late is the heavy fa­vorite, but dark cho­co­late just might be gain­ing ground. Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est re­search from Min­tel, just more than half (51 per­cent) of all adult con­sumers say their fa­vorite type of plain cho­co­late is milk cho­co­late, fol­lowed by 35 per­cent who fa­vor dark cho­co­late and 8 per­cent who pre­fer white cho­co­late. In con­trast, Min­tel’s re­port found that 57 per­cent of con­sumers fa­vored milk cho­co­late and 33 per­cent pre­ferred the dark va­ri­ety. The pro­gres­sively bet­ter un­der­stood health ben­e­fits of dark cho­co­late may be in­creas­ing its pop­u­lar­ity as more con­sumers are look­ing for in­dul­gent foods that can serve mul­ti­ple func­tions such as nu­tri­tion or con­ve­nience. An ex­cep­tion to the pat­tern of milk cho­co­late be­ing the con­sumer fa­vorite is among con­sumers aged 55+ who are more likely to fa­vor dark cho­co­late, most likely be­cause they are seek­ing added nu­tri­tional ben­e­fits. Some 46 per­cent of men and 48 per­cent of women age 55+ fa­vor dark cho­co­late, fol­lowed by 38 per­cent of men and 40 per­cent of women that pre­fer milk. These num­bers are in­dica­tive of the trend to­ward the in­creas­ing fa­vor for dark cho­co­late, as 73 of all cho­co­late con­sumers are aware that dark cho­co­late is health­ier. As the econ­omy con­tin­ues to grow and ex­pand, con­sumer de­mand for the af­ford­able in­dul­gence that cho­co­late pro­vides is ex­pected to remain and in­ter­est in cho­co­late as part of the larger food cul­ture will con­tinue. How­ever, obe­sity, the dark cloud that looms over this cat­e­gory and many other in­dul­gent cat­e­gories, and re­lated health risks will remain a con­cern for many con­sumers and present chal­lenges to in­creas­ing cat­e­gory sales. When de­cid­ing to pur­chase cho­co­late, some 89 per­cent of con­sumers buy cho­co­late as a treat or re­ward and 87 per­cent buy it as a snack op­tion. Mean­while, 83 per­cent of con­sumers look care­fully at the size of cho­co­late candy pack­ages to de­ter­mine the best value for the money, and 72 per­cent buy cho­co­late as a way to im­prove their mood or pro­vide an en­ergy boost.

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