Chocolate Industry Facts, Statistics and Market Trends
5 essential facts about the chocolate industry RationalStat

The global chocolate consumption was estimated at 8 million tons in 2021 and the global per capita chocolate consumption stands at 0.9 kg per year. Chocolate is one of the favorite foods, and the global chocolate market is worth US$ 105 billion. Here are five essential facts and statistics about the chocolate industry assessed by RationalStat.

1. 800 Cocoa Beans are Required to Produce a Kg of Chocolate

Chocolates are made from cocoa beans which are roasted and processed. According to National Confectioners Association, approximately 800 cocoa beans are needed to make one kilogram of chocolate. Each cocoa tree produces about 2,500 beans in a year. In addition, it takes two to four days to make a single-serving chocolate bar.

2. Switzerland is the Leading Consumer of Chocolate, Consuming 9.7 Kg Per Capita

In 2021, Switzerland was the highest consumer of chocolate per capita, with an average of 9.7 kg, followed by neighboring Germany. Despite being the largest cocoa producer, Africa only accounts for 4% of the chocolate consumption. Switzerland is famous for its impressive chocolate industry with Toblerone one of the most famous Swiss chocolates in the world.

3. Despite a Booming Industry, Most Cocoa Farmers Earn Less Than US$1 Per Day

Globally, an estimated 5-6 million households depend on cocoa as a cash crop. Most cocoa farmers cannot afford food, education, and decent housing, and that will continue as long as chocolate manufacturers and traders fail to address the issue of price. Cocoa farmers bear the physical burden of the uncertainties involved and harvest in cultivating cocoa but only receive about 6% of the sales price of chocolate while manufacturers and retailers keep more than 75%. Huge imbalances in the supply chain have deteriorated the situation and led to the ongoing crisis.

4. The High Demand for Chocolate has Led to Massive Deforestation, Particularly in the Ivory Coast

It is difficult to imagine a world without chocolates but to guarantee the future of cocoa and chocolate, we need to tackle deforestation and practices that make it worse. Demand for chocolate is driving deforestation in the Ivory Coast, which produces more than 30% of the world’s cocoa, and around 90% of the country’s forests have been destroyed since 1960. Importantly, Ghana and Ivory Coast where cocoa production is responsible for about 25% of historical deforestation in Ivory Coast and nearly 15% in the high-forest zone of Ghana. Huge deforestation has also been witnessed elsewhere, including in Cameroon, Indonesia, and Peru.

5. Child Labor Continues to be an Industry-Wide Issue, With More than 2 Million Children Engaged in Cocoa Farms in West Africa

Child labor has been extensively found in cocoa farms in West African countries, including Ghana, Cameroon, Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The chocolate industry is failing to address the use of child labor in its supply chains. Cocoa is mainly grown by smallholder farmers in tropical Africa, Latin America, and Asia, where children often tend to cocoa trees and harvest the fruit. However, chocolate brands are paying cocoa farmers to stop using child labor. For instance, Nestlé will triple its cocoa sustainability funding to US$ 1.4 bn over eight years, including direct pay-outs to African cocoa farmers in a bid to remove child labor from its supply chain.

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Ujjwal Parwal | RationalStat Director and co-founder

Ujjwal Parwal

Co-founder and Director at RationalStat

Ujjwal is a thought leader and recognized expert in the market research and consulting field. He is the co-founder at RationalStat, a leading global market research & procurement intelligence firm with 10+ years of industry expertise.