If you’re looking to launch a confectionery business, you might be curious to learn what percent of the population doesn’t like chocolate in the US.
With easy access to information via the internet, consumers have an incredible amount of choice, so the demand is subject to constant changes, which complicates things even more.
Given that chocolate not only tastes good, but is also known to make you happy, the majority of children and adults are active chocoholics. But again, there are exceptions. Did you know that up to 19% of the US population doesn’t like chocolate?
By obtaining a more accurate picture of the population that doesn’t like chocolate, you could think of complementing your core product (chocolate) with some other items that they do like.
If you’re looking for reliable data on the proportion of people who don’t like chocolate, you’ve come to the right place. The valuable information we’ve compiled in this guide is based on insights from consumer behavior experts.
The Percentage of Americans Who Don’t Like Chocolate
To understand what percentage of Americans don’t like chocolate, you’ll need to go into what percentage likes chocolate consumption. According to research, 81% of the US population likes to eat chocolate and 50% cannot live without it every day. The average American consumes around 9.5 pounds of chocolate every year.
The rest of the 19% don’t like chocolate for various reasons. Before we go into why this bunch doesn’t like the sweet stuff, let’s study the global trends associated with chocolate preferences and consumption.
Chocolate Preferences around the World
On a global level, around 27% of the people enjoy eating fine chocolate, 70% like premium, and 90% prefer mainstream chocolate. The worldwide chocolate consumption has been recorded to be at least 7.2 million metric tons. The leading chocolate producers, Hershey’s chocolate and Mars Inc. report yearly net sales of $3.7 billion and $17 billion, respectively.
Switzerland ranks the top in the league of chocoholics, with the Swiss people consuming 19.4 pounds of chocolate per capita per year (more than double the figure for US consumers). The country is recognized for its excellent chocolate industry, with Toblerone among its most popular brands.
Now that you have a fair idea of the consumption patterns of chocolate in the US and around the world, it’s time to understand why a specific chunk continues to hate the item.
Why Do Some People Hate Chocolate?
Research suggests that people’s aversion to or affinity for chocolate is largely driven by their genes. And in many cases, the motives for chocolate haters remain unstated. Those who don’t like chocolate are classified into one of the following two categories:
- Those who find all types of chocolates highly bitter.
- Those who don’t like American chocolate specifically.
They Contain Acidic Chemicals
One reason why some people don’t like chocolate is that the majority of mass-produced American chocolate is made from butyric acid, a chemical compound that creates a sour taste and smell to an extent that the consumer may vomit.
In other words, there’s a great deal of overlap between food poisoning and the flavor profile of an American chocolate bar.
The chemical formed during the chocolate manufacturing process called lipolysis that’s used to break down the fatty acids of milk. It is believed that the American chocolate companies add the acid to their bars in an attempt to replicate the best-selling flavor of Hershey’s.
However, there’s a lack of evidence to confirm that this chemical is dangerous to consume in limited doses. Plus, although the chemical may taste unpleasant to some individuals, other Americans are least bothered about the strong prickling taste.
Another element that has been known to contribute to the puke-like scent and taste of certain American chocolates is the emulsifier PGPR. But Hershey’s claims that not more than 1% of PGPR is present in its milk chocolate.
According to experts, around 25% of the people are supertasters. This means they have a sensitivity to strongly flavored foods because they were born with more taste buds than the rest of the people. A single bite of high-end chocolate will make them complain about the bitterness of what was supposed to be a sweet thing.
The Need for Sweetness
Some people find chocolates outright disgusting. This is because they consume a lot of processed food, junk food, or sugar, so their palette demands a high level of sweetness with the chocolate flavor. When these people consume chocolate that won’t satisfy their need for a lot of sugar or salt, they won’t find it tasty.
It’s not that the chocolate isn’t sweet, but it’s just that the chocolate is not sweet enough to meet their expectations.
If such people consume chocolate, they’ll choose only specific brands like Snickers, and that too for the peanuts and other elements that come with it, not specifically for the chocolate.
Negative Impact on Health
Some Americans don’t like chocolate simply because they’re too conscious about their health. Chocolate consumption has been linked to obesity, which seems to be an ever-growing problem in the US.
A 2015 study investigated the impact of chocolate candy consumption on weight of women. It revealed that women with higher chocolate intake had greater chances of gaining weight than others.
Besides this, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy states that chocolate consumption makes you susceptible to heartburn by decreasing esophageal sphincter pressure. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases also establishes that avoiding chocolate can help reduce gastroesophageal reflux symptoms.
Moreover, it’s not surprising that any amount of chocolate consumption causes blood sugar levels to rise, which leads to more complications such as cardiovascular problems. Now that an enormous number of US consumers are diabetic patients, more and more people are choosing to avoid chocolate consumption.
Furthermore, the relatively high calorific content of chocolate means that consuming too much of it can easily cause weight gain, which in turn increases the risk of heart issues.
With these health concerns in mind, many people choose fruits, vegetables, pulses, and beans over chocolate.
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore