The big consumers of chocolate and other cocoa products are Europe and North America, accounting for 49% and 25% of global consumption respectively. While the Swiss love chocolate and consume 10.1 kg per head, followed closely by the British (10.0 kg), Germans (9.2 kg) and Belgians (8.9 kg), the Dutch consume a modest 3.2 kg per head.


Consumer demand in Europe and the United States shows an increasing trend for specialty chocolate products such as those with high cocoa content, are sugar free or with natural sugar, and for products made in specific countries. In recent years, new premium chocolate products like Green & Black’s (dark organic chocolate of Cadbury), Origin Chocolates (Valrhona) and Divine Chocolate have been marketed successfully. Consumer demand for chocolate is directly related to a country’s level of economic development. As such, we could expect cocoa markets, with their own consumer preferences, to emerge in Brazil, Russia, India, Japan and China.



The retail sector is the main distribution channel for chocolate products. A consumer can choose from a bewildering variety of different brands and supermarket private label chocolate products.


Although certification took place mainly in the high-end specialty chocolate products, there is now a trend towards certification in the mainstream market. For example Lidl introduced a FairGlobe-line in cooperation with Fairtrade and the well-known Dutch chocolate brand Verkade (United Biscuits) has shifted towards 100% Fairtrade (Max Havelaar certified) cocoa and sugar sourcing. Just recently Cadbury announced their plans to source the cocoa for Cadbury’s mainstream chocolate brand, Dairy Milk, under Fairtrade terms. This certified chocolate bar is expected to be available in the British and Irish shops by August 2009. The fact that a price discounter like Lidl and confectioners like Verkade and Cadbury are able to introduce certified chocolate into the mainstream chocolate market, should encourage other retailers and confectioners to do likewise.