Nut chocolate consumption increases globally, says Almond Board of California-backed study

SRG said the almond chocolate consumption has remained stable globally since 2012.  Photo: Almond Board of California

A survey conducted by the Almond Board of California (ABC) and Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) suggests 70% of consumers across the globe prefer chocolate products with nut inclusions. 

The survey, conducted in July, 2016, includes a total of 5,400 consumers without nut allergies from 10 different markets around the world. Each market covers 500 consumers, except China and India, each of which has 700.

ABC noted that the 2016 study is used to update and expand its previous learnings from 2012 and 2014.

Almond chocolate consumption remains stable

The global chocolate consumption bounced back after a dip in 2014, the study said, with consumer reported eating chocolate an average of 10.6 times per month in 2016, compared to 10.4 times per month in 2014.

Despite the chocolate bar consumption tapering off in several markets, including Russia, China, India, and South Korea, chocolate with almond consumption remained stable over the years.

“Average monthly chocolate with almond occasions increased or stayed the same in seven out of 10 countries (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Brazil, and Japan),” SRG said in the report.

However, there was a fractional decrease in China, India, and South Korea, the group added.

“82% (up three points versus 2014) of consumers believe chocolate with almonds is more nutritious, while 81% (up two points versus 2014) of consumers worldwide believe chocolate with almonds is crunchier,” SRG added.

Increasing nut consumption

SRG data suggested fruit remains the top replacement food for chocolate despite a 10-point drop from 2014.

Meanwhile, yogurt, nuts and ice cream all gained three points each versus 2014, according to the data. Nuts consumption in particular has increased seven percentage points since 2012.

The study pointed out that among all the surveyed markets, the US and Brazil both saw a highest growth of preference for nuts in chocolate (4%) during the period.

“Milk chocolate with nuts continues to be the most popular type of chocolate, followed by plain milk chocolate and dark chocolate with or without nuts,” the study added.

The data included in the survey also indicated that almonds remain the top nut in chocolate, now appearing in 59% of recent nut/chocolate occasions, even though it decreased by four percentage points from 2014.

Pistachio outpaced other nuts in dark chocolate

In the dark chocolate segment, other nut types have experienced stronger consumption growth compared to almonds, the study said.

While almonds consumption increased by 3% in dark chocolate globally, walnuts, macadamias and pecans all grew by 5% each.

Pistachio nuts outpaced all types of nuts by with a seven-point increase during the two-year period (2014 to 2016). 

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