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Premium Chocolate in the U.S.: Mass, Gourmet, Prestige and Super Premium, 4th edition


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

In 2007, premium chocolate sales were $3 billion, having grown 17.3% since the prior year and a healthy 200% since 2003. Conventional chocolate sales, in contrast, grew only 0.7% over the prior year and 4% since 2003. The growth in premium chocolate sales is part of a wider purchasing trend of consumers adopting special occasion brands as their everyday brands.

This all-new report investigates the market and forecasts its growth to 2012. It also analyzes 10 trends driving the premium chocolate category:

  • Bean to bar & microbatch production
  • Dark milk & upscale white chocolate
  • Sustainability
  • Premiumitizing the familiar
  • Exotic flavors
  • Exotic functions
  • Ultra dark bars
  • Ethical chocolate: organic & fair trade
  • Large tablet bars
  • Filled bars

Research Methodology

This report relies upon several data sources to track chocolate sales. These sources use different assumptions with differing degrees of accuracy. To estimate the size of the retail U.S. chocolate market, Packaged Facts uses apparent consumption data published in the Department of Commerce (DOC)’s Current Industrial Reports: Confectionery 2007. Company and brand-level sales data were provided under special arrangement with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI).

In addition to DOC and IRI data, this report relies extensively on company financial and product information, extensive literature searches in industry trade publications and exclusive interviews with senior company staff.


  • Executive Summary
    • Methodology & Scope
    • Premium Chocolate Defined
      • Table Premium Chocolate Segments, by Price (dollars/ounce & dollars/pound)
    • The U.S. Chocolate Market
      • Table Retail Sales of Chocolate, Quantity & Value 2003-2007 (in millions of metric tons & millions of dollars)
    • Total U.S. Premium Chocolate Market
      • Table Premium, Conventional & Total Chocolate Retail Sales; Premium as % of Total, 2003-2007 (billions of dollars & percent)
    • Retail Sales by Product Category
    • Distribution Channels
    • 2008: A Challenging Economic Climate
    • Retail Chocolate Sales Forecast
    • New Product Introductions
    • New Product Claims
    • Trends
      • Table Top 10 Premium Chocolate Trends
    • Sales by Company
      • Table IRI-Tracked Premium Chocolate Sales by Company, One Year and 4-Year Sales Change; Ranked by One Year Change (in dollars and percent)
    • Sales by Category
    • Chocolate Demographics
  • Market Size & Growth
    • Methodology & Scope
    • The Evolution of Premium Chocolate
    • The Premium Price Threshold
      • Table Premium Chocolate Segments, by Price (dollars/ounce & dollars/pound)
      • Table IRI-Tracked Top Ten Selling Premium Chocolate Brands, by Average Price per Pound, 2007 (dollars/lb)
    • The U.S. Chocolate Market
      • Table Retail Sales of Chocolate, Quantity & Value 2003-2007 (in millions of metric tons & millions of dollars)
    • The U.S. Premium Chocolate Segment
      • Table Premium, Conventional & Total Chocolate Retail Sales; Premium as % of Total, 2003-2007 (in billions of dollars & percent)
      • Table Premium, Conventional & Total Chocolate Retail Sales Growth, 2003-2007 (percent)
    • Retail Sales by Product Category
      • Table IRI-Tracked Premium Chocolate Market Sales and % Market Share by Category, 2007 (in dollars and percent)
      • Table IRI-Tracked Premium Chocolate Penetration Rate in Total Chocolate Sales by Category, 2007 (percent)
    • Distribution Channels
    • Per Capita Consumption
      • Table Per Capita Consumption of Chocolate by Pounds & Value, 2003 - 2007 (pounds & dollars)
    • 2008: A Challenging Economic Climate
    • Retail Conventional and Premium Sales Forecast
  • Trends & Opportunities
    • Introduction
    • New Product Introductions
    • New Product Claims
      • Table Top 10 Premium Chocolate New Product Claims, 2003-2007
    • New Trends Introduction
      • Table Top 10 Premium Chocolate Trends
    • Trend 1: Bean-to-Bar & Microbatch Production
    • Trend 2: Dark Milk & Upscale White
      • Table Bean-to-Bar Producers
    • Trend 3: Sustainability
    • Trend 4: Premiumitizing the Familiar
    • Trend 5: Exotic Flavors
    • Trend 6: Exotic Functions
    • Trend 7: Ultra Dark Bars
    • Trend 8: Ethical Chocolate: Organic & Fair Trade
      • Table Imports of Certified Fair-trade & Organic Cocoa Beans, 2002-2006 (pounds & percent)
    • Trend 9: Large Tablet Bars
    • Trend 10: Filled Bars
  • Major Marketers
    • Market Overview
    • Sales by Company
      • Table IRI-Tracked Premium Chocolate Sales by Company, One Year and 4-Year Sales Change; Ranked by One Year Change (in dollars and percent)
    • Sales by Category
      • Table IRI-Tracked Premium Chocolate Sales by Company and Category, One Year Change and Percent Market Share, 2007 (in dollars and percent)
      • Table IRI-Tracked Premium Chocolate Sales by Brand, Category, One Year Change and Percent Market Share, 2007 (in dollars and percent)
    • Company Snapshots
      • Lindt
      • Ghirardelli
      • Godiva
      • See's
      • Ferrero
      • Russell Stover
      • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
      • Mars Snackfood
      • Hershey
      • Green & Black's
      • Endangered Species
      • Nestlé
      • Guylian
  • The Consumer
    • Introduction
    • Marketer Reputation
      • Table Consumer Satisfaction Index for Top Food Manufacturers, 2003 - 2007 and Percent Change (index & percent)
    • Chocolate Demographics
      • Table Purchasing Indexes by Demographic Breakout; Chocolate Purchases by Marketer: Dove Promises, Ferrero and Godiva, 2008 (U.S. adults)
  • Addresses of Selected Marketers

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