Infographic: European chocolate makers move East

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Leatherhead Food Research tracks 2012 chocolate production volumes
Leatherhead Food Research tracks 2012 chocolate production volumes

Related tags Chocolate Cadbury plc Investment

Chocolate production is still growing in developed markets, but volumes are growing at a faster pace in Eastern European countries like Poland, data from Leatherhead Food Research shows.

Chocolate production is predominantly concentrated in two countries: The US and Germany, and production volumes in these two developed markets are still growing.

Primary market analyst at Leatherhead Jonathan Thomas told ConfectioneryNews: “Despite the recession, chocolate production has increased in many parts of the world during the last few years.”

US chocolate volumes grew around 6% between 2009 and 2011, while German chocolate production was up 4% over the same period.

Polish chocolate surge

“A steep rise of more than 35% was recorded by Poland, where annual chocolate output is now worth over 200,000 tons, as a result of manufacturers moving eastwards across Europe.”

“The country has been a fairly large producer of chocolate for some time, but output levels have been boosted by the relocation of chocolate manufacture from further west in Europe.”

Cadbury began a phased closure of its Somerdale site in the UK in 2007 and began to invest over £100m ($159.4m) in new facilities in Poland. When Kraft (now Mondelez) took over Cadbury in 2010 further volumes were transferred to Poland.

Korean confectioner Lotte has also invested around €200m ($270m) since it took over at Polish chocolate maker Wedel, which it acquired from Kraft Foods in 2010.

At 6kg per capita, Polish chocolate consumption ranks higher than the regional average.

Emerging markets

“Taking a longer-term perspective, chocolate output has increased in emerging economies such as China, Russia and Mexico.”

Japan is the only nation from Asia to feature in the top 10 chocolate producers of 2012, while Russia and Brazil are the only BRIC nations.

Brazilian chocolate volumes have risen 6.5% since 2009 and 2011 and now stand at 550,000 metric tons, making Brazil the world’s third largest chocolate producer.

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