Cupid’s arrow has struck the sweet tooth of chocolate lovers nationwide. In terms of dollar sales, Valentine’s Day is the third biggest holiday/season for the $22 billion U.S. chocolate candy industry, according market research firm Packaged Facts in the recent report U.S.Food Market Outlook 2018.
Packaged Facts estimates that holiday/seasonal chocolates account for 24% of all sales in the U.S. chocolate candy market. Valentine’s Day with its heart-shaped boxes trails only Easter and Christmas in terms of market share, and scares up a victory over Halloween, which came in fourth.
Holidays aside, the chocolate market is mature and challenges face the industry. These include changes in consumer demands for indulgent treats, the trend toward healthier eating and snacking, and the growing negative image of sugar and its impact on rising diabetes rates and concerns with childhood obesity. There are also concerns over the cocoa farming process, as well as over the supply of cocoa and other ingredients, which affects prices. Additionally shifts in shopping behavior such as self-checkout and online purchasing could decrease impulse purchases which drive a high level of chocolate sales.