Indians are back to their sweet tooth indulgence. After clocking a negative volume growth in 2015, and a low single-digit growth in the subsequent year, the Indian chocolate confectionery market rebounded to a double-digit volume growth in 2017, according to industry reports. In value terms, the chocolate market — an impulse-driven category — witnessed a steady growth of over 12% since 2016, says a report by Mintel Group, shared exclusively with TOI.
The value growth clocked by the Rs 15,600-crore industry in 2017 was 12.4%. In 2016, the growth level was the same at 12.4%, but higher as compared to 9.7% in 2015. In volumes, however, from a high growth rate of 16.6% in 2014, the category witnessed a de-growth of 1.5% in 2015. It returned to a doubledigit growth of 12.3% in 2017, from 4.8% in 2016. The report said Ivory Coast and Ghana — which account for 60% of cocoa bean supply — feared the spread of the ebola virus in 2014. This led to a significant increase in prices of cocoa.
The slow growth for 2015 is due to increasing inflationary conditions in the country. Mondelez India director marketing (chocolates) Anil Viswanathan concurred that the reason the category faced a challenge in 2015 was commodity costs. “There was a slowdown in growth in 2015 and the category came back on the growth path in 2016 and 2017. Prices of cocoa were significantly higher. Cocoa prices were at unprecedented levels in that particular year. This led to higher product prices. So 2015 was an exception. Otherwise, chocolates is a consistent growth story,” said Viswanathan.