Consumers - and squirrels - go nuts on World Chocolate Day, with sustainability and prices still a concern

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers all over the world are celebrating World Chocolate Day. Pic: GettyImages
Consumers all over the world are celebrating World Chocolate Day. Pic: GettyImages

Related tags Chocolate Cocoa Sustainability Ritter Sport

The price of cocoa, and therefore chocolate, may be rising but the demand for chocolate from consumers also shows no signs of abating as the industry celebrates this year’s World Chocolate Day (7 July) with some nutty friends.

Latest research from reveals the chocolate market is projected to grow from $48.29 billion (€44.38 billion) in 2022 to $67.88 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 4.98%.

The market is showcasing progressive growth owing to the robust growth trajectory of the global chocolate confectionery industry. There has been a significant rise in the origin share of global grindings, which has boosted the overall consumption of cocoa-based ingredients. New product developments in different food industry sectors are also facilitating the cocoa and chocolate market growth.

“Chocolate has remained the leading flavour in the new launches in beverage, bakery, and confectionery items. It has also remained one of the widely used ingredients in the sweets and beverages sector. This industry trend is set to fuel market growth in the foreseeable future​,” the report states.

History of World Chocolate Day

Chocolate comes from the seeds of the Theobroma Cacao tree, which has a long history of cultivation in Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America . Established in 2009, World Chocolate Day celebrates the anniversary of chocolate's introduction to Europe in 1550. It is a day when candy stores and local suppliers worldwide offer their best chocolate treats for people of all ages to enjoy.

Although popular and profitable for the big chocolate companies and suppliers, the industry is still blighted by sustainability issues in its supply chain, particularly around the concerns of child labour and deforestation.

Premium eco-brand Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC) has been at the forefront of sustainability chocolate for the past 30 years and says its  “impact is rooted in seeing success in others and empowering organisations to protect our species, habitats and humanity.

“While crafting delicious chocolate, we’ve also contributed over $3,100,000 since 2016. It’s been our desire to do good by others, so that others can do more good in their own communities–creating a positive ripple effect​.”

ESC says 10% of its annual net profits are being donated to impactful organisations, and all of its products are made with only a handful of health-conscious, high-quality ingredients and contain no artificial flavours or mystery ingredients.

For World Chocolate Day, the company has highlighted its sustainable, premium offering for consumers searching for a more healthy, conscience indulgence:

  • grab & go raspberry filling + 60% dark chocolate ($1.99) - Silky raspberry filling pairs perfectly with their popular rich 60% dark chocolate. Vegan filling creates an indulgent yet guilt-free chocolate experience.
  • hazelnut toffee + 72% dark chocolate ($3.49) - Rich, dark, and decadent, this chocolate bar brings you the very best of real cacao flavour, combined with small batch toffee made from premium hazelnuts.
  • forest mint + 72% dark chocolate ($3.49) - Dark and decadent with a hint of fresh forest mint, this bar puts a bright and lively twist on the bold cacao flavour you crave.
  • espresso beans + 72% dark chocolate ($3.49) - Decadently dark with a delicate sweetness, this bar brings you the perfect pairing of real dark chocolate and bold espresso made from Fair Trade coffee beans roasted in the USA. Every bite is a deliciously invigorating experience.

UK consumers go nuts

Consumer research in the UK released for World Chocolate Day by global chocolate brand Ritter Sport reveals that an average of 1 in 4 people living in Edinburgh, Leeds, London and Manchester are so nuts about chocolate, they would use it as an edible body paint, while 1 in 5 would love to bathe in a bath of chocolate.

Speaking about these quirky habits of chocolate-loving city-dwellers, Senior Brand Manager, Ritter Sport UK, Josephine Skinner says: “We’re delighted to discover that people across the UK are embracing their fun-loving, adventurous sides and what's more, our research confirms that they love chocolate, including nut chocolate. So, in the lead-up to World Chocolate Day – which celebrates the arrival of chocolate in Europe – what better way to celebrate these city inhabitants’ love of it than by sampling 10s of 1,000s of bars of our moreish Ritter Sport nut chocolate?”

Ritter Sport tapped into this consumer trend by treating people in Edinburgh, Leeds, London and Manchester to thousands of free bars of nut chocolate as part of a nationwide fun and lively sampling campaign, which involved fighting off a scurry of nut-chocolate loving squirrels!

The news of the thousands of free bars of nut chocolate being given away caught the attention of some cheeky red squirrels, and rumour had it that they planned to congregate and track down our nut chocolate bars,” ​says Skinner. “What ensued was high energy, fun and attention-grabbing sampling, as squirrels danced and jumped in their efforts to get their paws on those nut chocolate bars.

“And what better way for one of the world’s leading chocolate brands to join in World Chocolate Day celebrations!”

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