Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate — the very word makes your mouth water! This tasty treat comes in so many varieties and flavors, it’s practically impossible to resist it.
Do you consider yourself a chocolate connoisseur? Are you keeping up with the latest chocolate statistics? Would you like to know more about its history, production, consumption, or how it affects your health?
If the answer is yes, sit back, grab your favorite chocolate bar and let us take you for a delicious ride!
Top 10 Chocolate Statistics for 2021
- The global chocolate market was worth $138.5 billion in 2020.
- Mars Inc. scores the highest revenue globally of over $18 billion per year.
- Western Europe produces 33% of the world’s chocolate.
- Hershey holds a share of 43.3% in the US chocolate market.
- Globally, we eat around 62,000km (38,525mi) of Toblerone bars per year.
- Chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content is good for health.
- The European chocolate market holds 74% of global chocolate sales.
- Cadbury Dairy Milk is the most demanded chocolate in the world.
- The average chocolate bar contains only 220 calories.
- The ancient Olmec people consumed chocolate four millennia ago.
Chocolate Industry Trends
First, let’s tackle the basics. Find out about the size of the chocolate market, which are the most popular chocolate varieties, and who are the largest chocolate producers in the world.
1. The global chocolate market hit $138.5 billion in 2020.
The chocolate industry is expected to be worth roughly $200.4 billion in 2028, exhibiting a growth of 4.8% per annum, as foreseen by chocolate consumption statistics for 2020.
Some market growth factors include:
- persistent demand for chocolate and chocolate-based confections
- attractive packaging and retail display strategies which trigger impulse buying
- convenience food sector growth
- health benefits of chocolate
- increased chocolate sales during the holidays
Of course, there are less predictable factors at play as well. For instance, chocolate sales in the US rose by 4.5% following the lockdown in March 2020.
On the other hand, the probability of dental and obesity issues due to high sugar content and the potential shortage of raw materials could hinder the positive market trends.
2. Global chocolate industry statistics show that US-based Mars Inc. is the number one chocolate company in the world, with over $18 billion in revenue per year.
Twix, M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way… Yes, all of that is brought to you by Mars. Mars Inc. ranks sixth among the US private-sector corporations, and it is the leading sugar confectionery manufacturer worldwide.
(CBI, Mordor Intelligence)
Europe has the highest chocolate export rates, with Germany being the top exporter with a 17% share in the global market.
Other prolific European exporters are Belgium (11%), Italy (7.3%), the Netherlands (7%), and Poland (6.3%).
4. Western Europe accounts for 33% of world chocolate production, market statistics about chocolate show.
Four major chocolate producers in the world are Germany, Belgium, Italy, and Poland.
These countries import their cocoa mainly from West Africa, which provides two-thirds of global cocoa beans. Ironically, there are no major chocolate manufacturers among countries that produce and export cocoa.
5. Cadbury Dairy Milk is the most demanded chocolate bar worldwide, based on chocolate statistics in the UK.
Research on online purchases of chocolate by nation revealed that Cadbury Dairy Milk was searched 466,680 times in 78 countries within one year.
Its close competition is the Mars bar, with a tremendous number of 816,840 searches across 50 countries.
Hershey owes its popularity to the fact that it produces the most best-selling chocolate brands in the country.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s Kisses, and KitKat by Hershey were each bought by over 40 million consumers, topped only by Snickers which attracted over 48 million consumers.
Chocolate History Facts
Hedonism is in human nature, so it’s no wonder chocolate, which undoubtedly is one of the world’s greatest pleasures, dates back to ancient civilizations. Let’s see who you are to thank for that good ol’ Milky Way bar you’re eating today.
7. Chocolate facts confirm that the ancient Olmec people of Latin America were the first chocolate consumers four millennia ago.
(Magnum Ice Cream)
The Olmec inhabited the area of present-day Mexico, the place of origin of the first cocoa plants. They consumed chocolate in the form of a drink and used it for ritual and medical purposes.
8. The ancient civilizations of Mayans and Aztecs worshipped chocolate as a divine gift, according to historical facts about chocolate.
(Magnum Ice Cream, Elements For Life)
The Mayans considered chocolate the food of the gods and invented their own recipe for a drink they called “xocolatl,” or “bitter water,” concocted out of cocoa beans and various spices.
The Aztecs took their chocolate reverence up a notch and used cocoa beans as currency. Montezuma II was particularly known for his steadfast belief in the divinity of chocolate, so he drank 50 cups every day!
9. Hot chocolate facts reveal that the Aztecs introduced hot chocolate to the Spanish, after which it found its way to Europe.
Apparently, Hernan Cortes first tried a bitter chocolate beverage at the court of Emperor Montezuma II. The Spaniards disliked the taste and mixed in sugar and honey, creating the recognizable flavor which made it popular among the European elite.
10. The British were the first to produce a chocolate bar in 1847.
According to chocolate history facts, the British chocolatier Joseph Fry from Bristol came up with the recipe for moldable chocolate paste used to create a bar of solid and edible chocolate.
Chocolate bars had an initial bittersweet taste, even in 1866, when the chocolate maker released Fry’s Chocolate Cream bar.
Chocolate chips facts point out that this timeless treat was accidentally discovered by Ruth Wakefield from Massachusetts. Ruth came up with the idea of mixing small chunks of chocolate with cookie batter, only to find they didn’t melt as she expected.
Nestle managed to obtain Wakefield’s recipe, and in return, compensated her in the form of a lifetime of chocolate supply.
12. Henri Nestle invented milk chocolate in 1875.
Just a few exciting facts about milk chocolate — Henri Nestle was not even a chocolate maker but a pharmacist who created powdered milk for babies. Milk chocolate is the product of Nestle’s partnership with an actual chocolatier, Daniel Peter.
They added evaporated milk into the regular chocolate recipe and revolutionized chocolate making. Not only did the milk eliminate the bitterness, but it also reduced the necessary cocoa content, which allowed for thriving in factory manufacture.
Chocolate Fun Facts
Let’s take a break from history and have a KitKat while going through some fascinating chocolicious info. Dive right in and explore new facts about your favorite chocolate variety.
13. Amedei Porcelana, originating from Tuscany, Italy, is widely considered one of the best and most expensive chocolates in the world.
The brand belongs to the Italian manufacturer Amedei, with a yearly production output of approximately 20,000 bars. It comes from translucent white Porcelana cocoa beans, which are among the oldest cocoa varieties growing in Venezuela.
One of the interesting facts about chocolate is that a 50 g bar of this unique dark chocolate costs $15–$20 in the US, while a kilo sells for $90. However, since Americans spend an average of $18,000 a year on non-essential items, this doesn’t seem too extravagant.
14. World Chocolate Day is July 7.
(National Day Calendar)
Fun facts about chocolate simply can’t go without a chocolate holiday, celebrated since 2009. Although the inventor of the holiday is unknown, this date is significant for chocolate, as this is when it first entered Europe back in 1550.
Besides shameless indulgence in your favorite chocolates, on this day, you can inform yourself about chocolate history or even create a new chocolate dessert recipe!
15. Chocolate is made from the seed of the tropical cacao tree Theobroma.
Ancient historical facts about chocolate show that the word “Theobroma” was coined by Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish naturalist regarded as the father of taxonomy. The word literally translates into “Food of Gods.”
“Cacao” originates from Mayan, but later the Spanish conquistadors used it to refer to the tree and its fruits.
16. People all over the world eat 62,000km (38,525 miles) of Toblerone per year.
Now, these are some funny chocolate facts — the length of all Toblerone bars eaten every year is longer than the Earth’s equator!
While we’re at it, that triangular shape of the bar mimics the final part of the choreography of dancers from the Folies Bergeres hall in Paris, who finish the show by forming pyramids.
Also, the next time you buy a Toblerone bar, take a closer look at the mountain on the box and try to find the hidden animal.
17. Dark chocolate consumption statistics reveal that daily intake of dark chocolate is beneficial for athletic performance.
Although the benefits of dark chocolate in preventing heart disease are familiar, a small-scale study found it also has the potential of improving endurance during physical activity.
Namely, it functions similarly to beetroot juice that is popular among athletes as it enables them to reduce oxygen consumption during training.
18. One of the lesser-known white chocolate facts is that white chocolate is made of the same beans as dark chocolate.
(Bon Appetit, Bean to Bar World)
Chocolate production involves grinding the nibs of cocoa beans into chocolate liquor. The liquor’s two main components are cocoa solids, responsible for the flavor, and cocoa butter, accounting for the fat.
White chocolate has its not-really-chocolaty taste because it does contain cocoa butter and a mix of sugar, vanilla, and milk products, but no cocoa solids.
Oxidation is involved in the process of turning good cholesterol into bad cholesterol, and the flavonoids found in cocoa aid in its prevention, research shows.
20. Napoleon was a chocolate lover.
We’ve already seen from the available chocolate statistics that ancient rulers held chocolate very dear, so why change a good habit that’s been practiced for centuries?
Also a firm believer in its energizing power, the French duke always had some chocolate on him when leaving for a battle.
Chocolate Facts and Myths
As the cherry on top of the chocolate cake, we give you the opportunity to bust the most common myths about chocolate and set your facts straight. How many of these are familiar to you?
21. The most popular myth about chocolate is that it contains high levels of caffeine.
(Healthline, Legacy Chocolates)
This is not entirely a myth, but the caffeine content in chocolate is quite low. One of the most interesting chocolate facts is that caffeine levels are higher in darker chocolates.
One regular cup of coffee equals 14 milk chocolate bars in the standard size of 1.5 ounces or 4 dark chocolate bars. On the other hand, white chocolate contains no caffeine at all.
22. Science proves that chocolate isn’t a trigger for acne and pimples.
Yes, you can breathe a sigh of relief as chocolate industry statistics confirm that dermatologists have dismissed chocolate and diet in general as a cause of acne.
Acne most likely stem from a bacterial infection, oily skin, and clogged pores, so lucky for you, no one can judge you for your chocolate cravings anymore.
23. Chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70% is beneficial for your health.
Add this to your list of cool facts about chocolate — the higher the cocoa content, the healthier the chocolate. In addition, if olive oil is on the ingredients list of your chocolate, you’ve probably just hit a healthy and nutritious jackpot.
24. Based on the latest medical data, people who have diabetes don’t have to avoid chocolate.
(Crystal Chocolatier, Medical News Today)
Interestingly, chocolate stats related to health and nutrition suggest that chocolate is a low-glycemic food, meaning that it raises your blood sugar levels slower than foods with a higher glycemic index.
Dark chocolate is considered particularly beneficial for insulin sensitivity and diabetes. Findings recommend eating dark chocolate instead of white and milk chocolate due to a higher cocoa bean content.
25. Chocolate may cause addictive eating behavior, as chocolate addiction facts suggest its impact is comparable to that of other addictive substances.
(Healthline, SF Gate)
Chocolate is also a high-carbohydrate food, so it may affect our blood sugar and hormone levels and cause an addictive-like response. If this is surprising to you, you might be interested to learn that even exercise addiction is real for approximately 3% of Americans.
Studies show that chocolate triggers dopamine release both while you are eating it and while you are contemplating it, boosting your heart rate and motivation.
26. According to chocolate consumption statistics for 2021, the number of calories in a chocolate bar is 220, which is not enough to cause weight gain.
(Visually, Medical News Today)
Rest assured, you can still eat chocolate even if you have to give up on other foods you love, especially as it can help you break the habit of binge eating.
How much chocolate is consumed per year in the world?
The global chocolate consumption equals 7.2 million metric tons. There are 7.7 billion people in the world, meaning that, on average, each of us eats 2.2 pounds of chocolate every year.
How much chocolate is made per year?
The yearly global cocoa production is estimated at 4.7 million tons. Approximately 75% of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa, and the largest producers are the Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Ecuador.
What is the oldest chocolate company in the world?
Swiss Callier is the oldest chocolate brand existing for over two centuries. Callier was bought by Nestle in 1929 and was rebranded into Maison Callier, as it is known today.
What country eats the most chocolate per year per person?
The Swiss are the most avid chocolate consumers globally, with a yearly per capita rate of over 22 pounds.
They also account for the lion’s share of consumers of Swiss chocolate products. Chocolate demographics for the Swiss chocolate market from 2000 recorded that the Swiss were responsible for 54% of the consumption of total domestic chocolate production.
Which industry does chocolate fall under?
Chocolate belongs to the confectionery industry, together with sugar confectionery and gum products.
Confectionery products have the commonality of containing high amounts of sugar, calories, and carbohydrates, while they have low nutritional value.
These were the most significant chocolate statistics to help you inform yourself on the latest trends and interesting chocolate-related facts.
Chocolate has persisted in society for centuries, and for a good reason. It’s not just a matter of taste anymore — chocolate has explicit and proven health benefits.
As a final recommendation, treat yourself for making it this far and get some actual chocolate — we sure will!
- Barry Callebaut
- Barry Callebaut
- Bean to Bar World
- Bon Appetit
- Business Insider
- Candy Empire
- Candy History
- Candy Industry
- Chocolate Class
- Crystal Chocolatier
- Elements For Life
- Globe Newswire
- Homework Spot
- Italian Centre
- Legacy Chocolates
- Live Science
- Magnum Ice Cream
- Medical Express
- Medical Express
- Medical News Today
- Medical News Today
- Mordor Intelligence
- National Day Calendar
- SF Gate