Which Country Consumes the Most Chocolate? | CoachSweetTooth

Which Country Consumes the Most Chocolate?

Who doesn’t like chocolate? It is sold not just in chocolate shops but also in every gas station, grocery store, hotel lobby, and big box store across the nation. Many holidays revolve around candy and chocolate. Valentine’s Day, in particular, sends millions of people to drug stores in droves to purchase heart shaped boxes filled with chocolate bonbons. Halloween has exploded in popularity partly due to our favorite fun-sized candy bars.

Despite earning a top spot as one of the most obese nations around the world, Americans do not consume the most chocolate. However, Americans do import more chocolate products and ingredients than any other country. We also consume the most chocolate but that is partially due to our geographical size. We eat an equal amount of non-chocolate candy (i.e Skittles, Starburst, candy corn) as we do chocolate. To compare our consumption with that of other countries, we have to look at consumption per capita.

The Swiss, known for their delicious chocolate, have the honor of eating the most chocolate per capita. This looks like 20 lbs. per person per year. Coming in second and third are Austria and Germany with just under 18 lbs. per capita annually. This is particularly interesting considering that the cacao tree does not grow anywhere near these countries.

If I had a cacao tree in my backyard, you better believe that I would be cranking out some chocolate bars. But despite Ivory Coast’s production of beans, they are not the largest producer of chocolates or consumers of chocolate. Additional chocolate statistics, as well as interesting tidbits will be highlighted in the rest of this article.

Years ago I was introduced as someone who eats her share of chocolate as well as yours. I’m fairly certain that I could outpace the best chocolate connoisseur. Luckily for all of us, there seems to be enough to go around. In fact the chocolate industry continues to grow in spite of our desire to eat healthy. That said, we have enjoyed the recent popularity of the dark chocolates, which brag about flavonals, heart health, and antioxidants. Although we favor our tried and true candybars (Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Snickers Bar are ranked supreme in the US),  we are open to new combinations and have pushed the dark and bitter chocolate envelope. I, for one, am happy to test and taste new trends.

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Who Eats the Most Chocolate?

The difference between the top per capita chocolate consumption between countries is small. For instance, though Switzerland has consistently come on top, they had a decrease in consumption and production during the Covid epidemic. The general chocolate forecast is for sales and consumption to remain steady over the next few years across the international market. Women eat slightly more chocolate than men, but not as much as you would think. Women tend to think and talk about chocolate more often, given the impression that it is a female dominated market. Women report to have significantly more chocolate cravings than men. Traditionally men offer a box of chocolates to woo a woman, but increasingly women are just buying their own chocolates and the gender-chocolate line is becoming blurred. Predictably, adults eat more chocolate than children, but older adults outpace those under age 45 in consumption, except in Europe where the younger adults are shelling out the money.

Which Country Consumes the Least Chocolate?

When you typically visit a Chinese restaurant in the US, you will note that the dessert menu is rather sparse. Many of us finish our meal with a plain fortune cookie. It will come as no surprise then, to learn that China has one of the lowest per capita consumption of chocolate. India, too, has a low consumption rate, but that seems to be changing. Most of India’s population is younger than 30 and the demand for chocolate is rising and the projection of production and consumption is expected to steadily grow as the population ages. Probably the biggest surprise is the low consumption rate in countries who grow the most chocolate. The low consumption rate in African countries is due to the economic restraints of purchasing a finished chocolate product. The average farmer is just not able to afford a candy bar.

Who Produces the Most Chocolate?

The country that produces the largest cacao bean crop is the Ivory Coast, followed by Ghana and Indonesia. Cacao trees, with their football shaped pod, only grow near the equator. Western Africa produces the bulk of the world’s raw cocoa products with South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean chipping in with much of the rest.

On the other hand, Europe produces the most ready-to-eat chocolate. Germany, Belgium, Italy and Poland produce a large portion of the world’s chocolate. This might be because chocolate was brought to Europe well before it was introduced in other parts of the world. The Swiss have been making chocolate products since the 1600’s. Belgium is thought to produce some of the best quality chocolate in the world. Much like the regulation of the French baguette, chocolate made in Belgium has national laws that insure the quality of their chocolate. For instance, A minimum of 35% pure cocoa must be used in production. This standard applies to milk chocolate as well, while the minimum in the United States is 10%.

What Type of Chocolate is Consumed the Most?

In America, we like our milk chocolate. Over 50% of us prefer it to semi or bittersweet chocolate. Though we are unlikely to give up our Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, there is a trend to shift our loyalties. For one, the benefits of eating darker chocolates are becoming more accepted and so the share of people preferring dark chocolate (about 35%) is creeping up. Secondly, the quality and availability of white chocolate is increasing, accounting for 11% of Americans identifying it as their favorite.


Who are the Biggest Chocolate Companies?

In America, Hershey is still king and produces over 40% of the chocolate made here since 1894. Its closest competitor is Mars with 30% of the market share. Lindt, headquartered in Switzerland, also produces in the US and enjoys a modest market share. Interestingly though, both Mars and Lindt control a much larger presence internationally. Also across the pond, Cadbury, Nestle, and Rocherro enjoy a significant worldwide presence.

Chocolate statistics can be inconsistent and changing. At the end of the day, most people will agree that there’s nothing wrong with a little chocolate therapy.


Lori Gilmore

Lori Gilmore

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.

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