‘Growing beyond our borders’: Chocolate exports drive Spanish candy growth

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Spanish chocolate & cocoa exports surge 15.5% in 2015 to €470m ($523m)
Spanish chocolate & cocoa exports surge 15.5% in 2015 to €470m ($523m)

Related tags Fudge Cocoa solids Confectionery

Soaring chocolate exports have helped value sales in the Spanish confectionery sector grow 2.8% year on year in 2015, according to industry association Produlce.

The trade body – which represents 59 firms such as Nestlé, Wrigley and Mondelēz – last week published its annual report 2016.

It found the Spanish confectionery, biscuit and bakery wares sector grew revenues 2.8% in 2015 to €4.5bn ($5bn), while volumes rose 2% to 1.33m metric tons.

Around 35% of production is sold overseas, 75% of this in the European Union.

The export market rose 4.1% in value to €1.2bn ($1.3bn) and 4% in volume to 469,760 metric tons – faster than the domestic market, where values sales grew 2.4% and volumes increased 1%.

‘International vision’

Olga Martínez, president of Produlce, told ConfectioneryNews the sector had always had an “international vision”.

percentage of exports produlce
Source: Produlce

“In a context where the domestic consumption and the purchasing power has decreased over the last few years, [the] food and drinks sector has been affected, and that’s one of the reasons why our sector reinforced its international vocation.”

Spanish confectionery exports accounted for 26.8% of production 2005, but made up 35% of volumes last year.

“This means a 42.73% growth in 10 years, showing a clear tendency of this industry that bets for growing beyond our borders,” ​said Martinez, who is also corporate affairs director at Mars Iberia.

Category performance

domestic consumption source produlce 2016
2015 domestic consumption in Spain Source: Produlce

Cocoa & chocolate confectionery – the largest domestic and overseas segment in Spanish confectionery - was the fastest-growing export for Produlce members in 2015.

Overseas sales for this category rose 11.8% in volume and 15.5% in value, while the cocoa & chocolate sector grew volumes 2.3% domestically.

Nestlé is the market leading chocolate confectioner in Spain with sales of €240m ($267m) and a 24% value share, according to Euromonitor International.

The Spanish biscuits sector registered volume declines in Spain of 1.2% in 2015, but export volumes rose 6.7%.

In candy and gum, export sales declined last year, while the domestic market grew. Private label makers lead the Spanish sugar confectionery market with a 16% value share ahead of number two player Perfetti Van Melle, according to Euromonitor.

Spanish confectionery 2015 in numbers 

TOTAL VALUE: 4.612 M € (+2.8%)
TOTAL VOLUME: 1.330.240 tons (+2.0%)

Source: Produlce

Brexit impact

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Produlce president Olga Martinez said Spanish confectionery export growth was expected to follow the upward trajectory of the last 10 years in 2016. “About the Brexit, it is still too soon to tell. As FoodDrinkEurope said in their statement ‘the European authorities and national governments must now take the necessary steps to reinforce the Union,’”​ she said.  

Related topics Markets Chocolate Candy Gum Biscuits

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