China: Chocolate Confectionery Market and the Impact of COVID-19 on It in the Medium Term
The chocolate confectionery market in China was equal to 2.98 billion USD (calculated in retail prices) in 2015. Until 2025, the chocolate confectionery market in China is forecast to reach 3.86 billion USD (in retail prices), thus increasing at a CAGR of 2.51% per annum for the period 2020-2024. This is an increase, compared to the growth of about 2.21% per year, registered in 2015-2019.
The average consumption per capita in value terms reached 2.13 USD per capita (in retail prices) in 2015. In the next five years, it grew at a CAGR of 1.83% per annum. In the medium term (by 2025), the indicator is forecast to speed up its growth and increase at a CAGR of 2.23% per annum.
A growing segment during the past few years has been organic chocolate, which transitioned from a popular trend into a mainstream. Since consumers’ interest in organic products is constantly growing, there are many opportunities for the confectionery industry. As a result, leading brands, as well as boutiques and independent producers are introducing more indulgent organic offerings. As a matter of fact, “organic” has been among the most important claims when it comes to new launches in confectionery. One of the main reasons for the acceptance of organic products is the complexity of the organic claim and the variety of concepts, associated with it. The term “organic” usually supports other values consumers are searching for in products. More specifically, people are looking for organic products, as they associate them with sustainability and fair labor claims, thus believing to make an ethical decision. Secondly, they often perceive organic products as natural and healthier ones. In addition, organic claim is also connected with the ongoing free-from trend, which further meets consumers’ need for a better diet.
Today, an increasing number of producers have considered the opportunity to create artisan sweets, driven by the rising interest in specialized chocolate and the growing hunger for authentic taste. They put more focus on the provenance of the raw materials and make confectionery free from artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. According to industry experts, younger generations demand delicious and authentic confectionery products with a simple, clean ingredient list. As people’s palates are becoming more sophisticated, the number of boutique chocolate firms has substantially increased in the last few years, especially in Britain. In Britain, as well as worldwide, more artisan producers have been developing new and exciting products or reinventing classic ones with a twist, incorporating unusual combinations. They have been offering consumers more variety and appealing new choices. Overall, single-origin, organic, high-cocoa, and ethical chocolate options are among the fast-growing categories in the confectionery industry. Although there is no universally accepted definition of an artisan confectionery, it is considered to be superior in taste, texture, appearance and aroma to its mass-produced counterpart.