Switzerland is home to the most devoted chocoholics in the world, where per capita consumption averaged about 12 kg in 2012, according to Confectionerynews.com. Rounding out the list of top chocolate-consuming countries are Ireland, the UK, Austria and Belgium. The US falls in at No. 15.
Given that chocolate is considered a small luxury, it’s no wonder that the majority of the top 20 countries boast a large middle class population with higher disposable incomes than the rest of the developing world, the report points out.
Meanwhile, though it doesn’t come close to cracking the top 20 list, India has emerged as the fastest-growing market for chocolate, with sales doubling from $418 million in 2008 to $857 million in 2011.
Per capita consumption in India was 70 g in 2011. But as pointed out by market research group Mintel, that just means potential for growth is high in this booming economy, where the appetite for premium, luxury goods shows strong growth.
Where the sweet stuff is having difficulty making inroads, however, is China, a country where palates are more accustomed to salty, savory foods over sweets.
The average Chinese eats a modest 100 g of chocolate a year — or the equivalent of two chocolate bars. Growth in the market is also projected to increase a lukewarm 10 percent to 2015.
While chocolate is an everyday treat in the Western world, chocolate makers like Italy’s Ferrero Rocher and Belgian brand Godiva are pitching the confectionery as a premium product ideal for gift giving.
Here are the Top 10 chocolate-consuming countries in 2012 – based on per capita consumption
1. Switzerland 11.9 kg
2. Ireland 9.9 kg
3. UK 9.5 kg
4. Austria 8.8 kg
5. Belgium 8.3 kg
6. Germany 8.2 kg
7. Norway 8 kg
8. Denmark 7.5 kg
9. Canada 6.4 kg
10. France 6.3 kg