Market Insights

Two percent faster: Asia Pacific to outpace Europe and North America chocolate sales

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region due to improving economic conditions of emerging countries, says Transparency Market Research. Photo: iStock/tapanuth
Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region due to improving economic conditions of emerging countries, says Transparency Market Research. Photo: iStock/tapanuth
The chocolate market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow around 2% faster than Europe and North America up to 2019, according to a Transparency Market Research’s (TMR) report.

TRM expects annual Asia Pacific chocolates sales will reach $18.23bn by the end of 2019 from $12.24bn in 2013, growing at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecasted period, largely due to increasing availability of various chocolate brands.

The report says North America and Western Europe make up the bulk of global chocolate confectionery revenues but says Asia Pacific will be the fastest growing region due to improving economic conditions of emerging countries, such as India, China, Thailand and Philippines.

“North America and Europe market is expected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 3% to 3.5% and North Africa and GCC countries are expected to grow at a CAGR of 4%,”​ the report says.

Availability, quality and taste

The biggest trend in Asia Pacific chocolate market is the acceptance rate of chocolate as sweets in all major countries in this region, TMR’s assistant manager consumer goods Gaurav Bhushan told ConfectioneryNews.

“This trend has changed the overall market structure in Asia Pacific. Nowadays, people from all age groups are consuming novelties, molded bars and boxed chocolates on daily basis,” ​he said. “Before chocolate companies were targeting only youth, but now they have expanded their target customers due to this trend.”

Bhushan believes the high acceptance rate of chocolate in Asia Pacific is caused by three major factors: Availability, quality and taste. Availability and visibility of chocolates of various brands such as Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, KitKat and Munch in the retail stores influence the consumers to purchase the chocolates.”

In addition, an increasing number of retailers and foreign chocolate manufactures in Asia Pacific also contribute to improved chocolate demand, Bhushan said.

Acquisition as a major business strategy

Major chocolate players in Asia Pacific market are Nestle, Mars, Mondelez, Lotte, Hershey and Ferrero, said Bhushan.

Many are growing in Asia via merger and acquisitions of small and local players or dealers who endorse their products,  Bhushan added.

This site previously reported that Hershey acquired an 80% stake in Golden Monkey​, as the confectionery giant sought to take advantage of its second largest international market, China.

Besides paying attention to relatively more mature markets in Asia Pacific, such as South Korea, Japan and China, Bhushan suggests chocolate companies should also focus on Southeast Asian countries as emerging markets.

Growing health awareness creates opportunities

High calorie content in chocolate is one of the most significant restraints of chocolate due to growing health awareness, Bhushan said. As a result, chocolate manufacturers have introduced low sugar content chocolates.

Over the next six years, the growing awareness about healthfulness of chocolate will create opportunities for chocolate players in Asia Pacific, Bhushan predicts.

“Chocolate manufacturers are using health benefits of chocolate as an opportunity and are producing chocolates for the health conscious consumers with low calorie content.”

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