India consumed a whopping 228,000 tonne of chocolates in 2016, according to London-based global market firm Mintel, making it one of the world's fastest growing chocolate confectionery markets.
The amount of chocolate sold in India ballooned by 13% in 2016, with 42% of Indian consumers having eaten sweet or sugary snacks (other than biscuits) like chocolates and cakes in the past three months, rising to 53% of consumers aged 18 to 24. The amount of chocolate sold to Indians has nearly tripled over the past decade, leaving behind the United States, United Kingdom and China.
"India has shown a steady growth in the chocolate (confectionery) segment given the growing disposable income and young population's taste for indulgence," said Marcia Mogelonsky, a director at Mintel's food and drink division.
But there are other reasons for the growth in the nation of 1.3 billion.
In India, chocolate has traditionally been seen as a treat for kids. But marketers are now specifically targeting adults -- and their efforts are paying off. Plus, 44% of Indian consumers think sweet or sugary snacks like chocolates and cakes, are healthy. These consumers say they appreciate the convenience of eating chocolate, and the energy it gives them, according to Mintel.
It's all helping to turn chocolate into a big business: Sales in rupee terms increased by 24.3% in 2016, and the volume of sales has surpassed that of China.
The most popular chocolates in India retail for about five to 10 rupees ($0.08 to $0.16). Chocolate manufacturers are under pressure to keep their prices down to encourage "impulse" purchases in India. But the rising price of ingredients means that they have to shrink the size of the chocolates every 12 to 18 months to keep inflation from eating into their profits.
Our research indicates that consumers in India believe chocolate to be beneficial and convenient seemingly the key reasons behind the growth of the country's chocolate confectionery market both in value and volume, Mogelonsky said.
The trend makes India a major outlier: The amount of chocolate sold in most other countries has steadied or declined as consumers increasingly seek out healthier options.
Dark chocolate ....the acceptable snack for wannabe healthy eaters, along with speciality organic, fair trade, non GMO, raw, cacao and other chocolate products somewhat balances this decline.