As consumers around the country cracked open their Easter eggs and bunnies over the Easter break, latest research by Mintel on the chocolate confectionery market in the UK shows that nearly one in six (16%) Brits, equating to around eight million people, eat chocolate every day, and a similar number (17%) do so four to six times a week.
Only a tiny minority (5%) of Brits says they never eat chocolate, showing that chocolate remains one of Britain’s favourite treats.
Plain milk chocolate is the nation’s favourite block chocolate by far, eaten by three quarters (73%) of chocolate eaters in the UK. Filled chocolate (e.g. with caramel) is also very popular, eaten by around half (49%) of chocolate users and flavoured (e.g. orange-flavoured, ginger, or with nuts or raisins) by 47%. Meanwhile, dark chocolate remains relatively a niche choice, eaten by fewer than two in five (37%) chocolate users, as is plain white (30%).
What’s more, Londoners are significantly more likely to consume chocolate every day, with up to 26% of consumers living in London doing so vs 12% of those living in South East and East Anglia, 16% in South West and Wales, 15% in East and West Midlands, 15% in the North West, 11% in Yorkshire and the Humberside and 17% in the North and Scotland.
Richard Ford, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, said:
“From the Aztecs to Willie Wonka, in both fact and fiction, cocoa and chocolate have held a special place in people’s hearts throughout the centuries. That’s no less so today – demonstrated by the fact that just a small minority of Brits say they never eat chocolate. Its status as a personal treat remains an ingrained part of consumers’ diets, despite the recent focus on the role of foods high in fat and sugar in the nation’s weight gain.”
It seems there is one more good reason to indulge in chocolate this year. Latest research from Mintel shows a sweet 120% growth in the number of new chocolate products launched carrying an ethical claim, such as Fairtrade certification, between 2012 and 2013. Overall, out of all new chocolate products launched, the share of launches carrying ethical claims rocketed to 17% in 2013 from just 4% in 2010.
British consumers’ generosity is also highlighted whp0en it comes to buying chocolate as a gift, with the recipient’s tastes and preferences guiding the decisions of 54% of consumers. However, figures differ between sexes, with women (58%) more likely to buy a brand keeping in mind the recipient’s tastes compared to 49% of men.
In terms of overall frequency of chocolate consumption, there is little difference between men and women (16% of men vs 15% of women). However, when it comes to block chocolate, preferences are clearly different. For example, women are more likely (50% of women vs 44% of men) to have eaten flavoured block chocolate whilst men are more likely to have eaten plain white block chocolate (32% of men vs 27% of women).