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SNACKS & CONFECTIONERY
Indian chocolate industry expected to touch Rs 122 billion-mark by ’19
Tuesday, 18 April, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Mamta Thakur, Ishrat Majid
Chocolates, one of the mouthwatering foods, are relished by kids, young and middle-aged people in India. That’s why chocolate industry is growing day-by-day in India. Nowadays chocolates honour the most auspicious festivals in India like Diwali and Raksha Bandhan and occasions such as birthdays, weddings and engagements. Chocolates enter the market with different sizes, shapes and designs according to the occasion and are priced correspondingly. People are now slowly shifting from traditional Indian sweetmeats to the well-wrapped chocolates.
Scenario of chocolate industry in India
The Indian chocolate industry was worth Rs 58 billion at the end of 2014 and is predicted to reach Rs 122 billion with a CAGR of 16% by 2019. Mondelez India (formerly Cadbury India) and Nestle India are the major players with a colossal 92% of the total sales in 2014. The Indian companies like Amul and ITC are working hard to grab bigger part. The domestic chocolate market is estimated to be little more than Rs 7,000 crore. International brands like Mars and Ferrero India are also making space with their delicious products. The premium chocolates contribute 10-12 % to chocolate market which is persistently on an upward growth.
The chocolate industry can be segmented by the types of ingredients which are used to produce the chocolates. This includes milk, white and dark chocolates. Milk chocolate contains as little as 10% cocoa while dark chocolate has more than 60% cocoa with very little or no milk. No doubt milk chocolate consumption is monumental with 75% of the total market. However, the urban masses are tempting more towards dark chocolates than calorie-padded variants due to increasing health-consciousness. The dark chocolates are fastest growing chocolates with a 9% market share. Moreover, chocolate companies are instigating products like Bournville and Dark Chocolate to push the dark chocolate segment.
Urban population in India is main chocolate eater with a share of 80% of India’s chocolate consumption. But today the children and youngsters from villages and towns are much aware about products and enjoy chocolates frequently. Small pack of chocolates containing less than 30g and priced around Rs 10 and Rs 5 is the fastest growing segment with largest sales volume in India. However, per capita consumption of chocolate is very less compared to Western countries which means there is tremendous potential for chocolate market growth. Last year, a report from French investment bank Societe Generale estimated that global confectioners will see the highest growth in Indian market.
Factors responsible for growth
Due to the rising disposable incomes of middle-class population in the country, their changing lifestyles and urbanisation, India is now on the way leading to be the world’s fastest growing chocolate market. Another big reason is the young population - the chocolate lovers - showing great potential for varying kinds of chocolates in the country. Moreover rising trends of gifting chocolates during occasions instead of traditional Indian sweets and a hike in the sale of dark chocolates are expected to drive the industry growth.
Recent trends in chocolate market
The latest trend that has fixed its foot in the Indian market is the increasing demand for dark and sugar-free chocolates. Therefore, manufacturers are introducing new products with antioxidant claims, low/no/reduced trans fat & calorie, diabetic claims and so on suggesting that the potential for market growth in this segment is very positive. Market also has calorie-conscious customised handmade chocolates, which are guaranteed high on taste, flavour and low on calories for the people who are calorie-conscious. Less cholesterol and calories than traditional Indian sweets is the major reason behind consumer’s attraction towards such types of chocolates as more and more people are turning health-conscious in the country.
The preferences of Indian consumers are slowly evolving and getting accustomed to the taste of dark chocolate. Urban and metro consumers are the prime target group as they are more health-conscious. Since it contains more cocoa, dark chocolate consists of polyphenol specifically flavan-3-ols (which also contribute to bitterness), a strong antioxidant thus helps to protect the body’s cells against free radicals and diseases, including cancer, heart disease and chronic inflammation. Further, dark chocolates also carry sufficient amount of theobromine which increases serum HDL cholesterol, stimulates heart muscle, relaxes bronchial smooth muscles in the lungs and has antioxidant activity. Dark chocolate is also an important source of magnesium, copper, potassium and iron. Thus, these healthy components have been driving strong growth for heavier cocoa weighing dark chocolates. It is consumed on the basis of low sugar levels because the country often known as the diabetes capital of the world has the highest number of diabetic patients in the world. Even doctors are now recommending regular consumption of dark chocolates to the patients.
In order to maintain a healthy diet, consumers are showing more interest in sugar- free chocolates. Globally, sugar-free chocolate market is expected to grow at CAGR over 2.83% post the year 2022. In India, this market is having only a tiny share but endless potential. Increase in demand for healthy chocolates with specific nutritional profiles including low calories which can be further categorised as low sugar, sugar-free which can be further categorised as natural sugar-free and artificial sugar-free is boosting sales of sugar- free chocolate. Inclusion of new flavours, bioactive components and increasing health awareness particularly with sugar intake is supporting growth of the sugar-free chocolate market. However, in chocolate confectionery, sugar-free products represented just 1% of new launches. Fears over the health impact of sugar consumption and concerns over the safety of some artificial sweeteners are prime reasons for this.
Premium chocolate segment has become an area where chocolate manufacturers are paying large attention. The exposure to global chocolate brands by Indian consumers will drive the premium chocolate market and manufacturers are tapping the rising affluent urban population by introducing premium or higher priced products. Growing demand for premium chocolates has attracted several international brands like Hershey’s, Patchi, Mars, Lindt and Fererro Rocher to enter the domestic market. The premium category chocolates also command a price premium on account of improved and sophisticated packaging and make it adapt the flavour of chocolate like the taste of Indian consumers.
Indian market is also shifting towards the highly priced homemade brands of chocolates embracing the world culinary. These are relished for their exotic tastes and flavours adding varieties due to various shapes and sizes. During Christmas, new year celebration and even as gifts, homemade chocolates are on great demand. Homemade chocolates are a highly shattered area and operate independently. Likewise, designer chocolate market is small in India but one can easily find it in Metro cities of the country. Designer chocolates, looked at as status symbol, are coming out with a range of flavours like Wild Berry, Date and Pan Supari tempting the consumers.
The introduction of medicinal and organic ingredients in the manufacturing of chocolates has led to a new trend and development in the country, which will be adapted by major manufacturers to remain active in the market over the past five years. Organic chocolates are manufactured using cocoa beans which have not been treated with synthetic fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides. True organic chocolate should not stop at the cocoa bean—any other ingredients included in the blend (sugar, milk, nuts, fruit, spices, and so on) should be organic as well. Further, the high price is always a problem related to the organic chocolate because it’s very difficult to make cocoa beans certified organic since this is the crop with almost 90% of its cultivation, fermentation and drying in the hands of the individual farmer. Besides this, organic certification chocolate does not denote fine flavour. They vary widely in quality. Thus, there are many issues regarding organic chocolate market, but has wide scope in market for long run.
Other products containing chocolates
The introduction of new varieties due to introduction of new ingredients has increased sales. New varieties contain ingredients such as dry fruits, toffee, and sea salt. The range of chocolate products available is seemingly without any limit, from cereal bars to candy cakes. Various health bars also include single or more layers of dark chocolate for improving taste and flavour.
(The authors are research scholars at department of food engineering and technology, Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering & Technology, Punjab. They can be contacted at email@example.com)
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