ROCKVILLE MD – COVID-19 impacts on the U.S. chocolate industry were affected by trends for both health and indulgence, with many consumers turning to comfort foods and extended seasonal and holiday celebrations to cope with the disappointments of the pandemic. 2020 turned out to be a banner year for the market, with sales growth of 12% pushing chocolate sales to $27 billion, as reported by Packaged Facts’ just released Chocolate Candy: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities.
Packaged Facts projects that sales will decelerate over the next five years, although the pandemic boom of chocolate sales in 2020 and 2021 will affect the market for years to come.
One-fourth of consumers report they have or will extend seasonal celebrations compared to pre-pandemic behavior during the pandemic, and some of these trends may stick. In 2020 and 2021, seasonal treats have been available at stores earlier than normal ahead of the holidays in many cases. Marketers may continue to extend holiday chocolate promotions going forward to boost sales.
Additionally, the pandemic has led to more everyday occasions for chocolate as consumers have been snacking and baking more at home. Although people will resume many activities outside of the home after more consumers get vaccinated and COVID-19 cases become less common, many are expected to continue working at home on at least a part-time basis. This will lead to elevated levels of home baking and snacking activity compared to pre-pandemic trends.
Many chocolate marketers are offering new products that tap into better-for-you food trends as more consumers desire healthier snacks that still provide indulgence. Opportunities continue to expand in the better-for-you chocolate market, with clean label, vegan/plant-based, low-carb, organic, and no sugar added versions appealing more to consumers.
For more information see the Chocolate Candy: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities study page. The study analyzes current retail sales, projects future sales, and examines trends across the U.S. chocolate market, considering in the known and longer-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The report examines chocolate sales by type:
- Snack Size
- Gift Box
- Sugar Free
Particular attention is dedicated to the market impact of e-commerce, the coronavirus pandemic, special occasions and holidays that affect chocolate sales, and better-for-you chocolate trends.
About Packaged Facts
For more than 50 years, Packaged Facts has been a leading publisher of market research in the food, beverage, consumer packaged goods, and demographic sectors.