Mmm, World Chocolate Day. A day to pile on the Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and M&M’s -- in moderation, of course. (Nope, we’re not playing favorites here. These are the three chocolate brands consumers voted as their top picks in 2015.)
While July 7th may be the official holiday, it seems like our love of chocolate is strong year round. In the US, we ate nearly 18 percent of the world’s chocolate by value last year -- a cool $18.27 billion worth. That’s about 9.5 pounds of chocolate per person. (tweet this stat!) Think that’s a lot? We’ve got nothing on the Swiss, who eat about 20 pounds per person.
With all of this chocolate eating going on, we wanted to know what’s happening at grocery stores. A quick check in the Label Insight product data engine revealed 2,213 chocolate bars and confections available at grocery stores.
That’s a lot of chocolate, so how do shoppers choose? What kind of information is shared on packaging that may sway consumers to pick one chocolate bar over another? Here are some of the top marketing claims, certifications and nutrient content attributes we found:
13 percent of chocolates include a gluten-free claim, while 11 percent are organic (tweet this stat!)
More than half (54 percent) are Kosher certified
14 percent are certified non-GMO or USDA organic
More than 1 in 5 (21 percent) tout being a good or excellent source of iron
86 percent are trans-fat free
On its own, this product data may not explain which attributes drive sales. But layer it with point-of-sale or shopper data and the story becomes a lot clearer. The result? Brands and retailers can more accurately pinpoint what factors are driving strong (and weak) performance.