Not unlike the market strategies of craft brewers, gourmet meat-snack makers and other boutique-style product lines, premium chocolatiers are seeking to become more accessible to wider audiences.
Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts’ new report “Chocolate Candy Market in the U.S., 11th Edition” articulates how premium chocolate brands are doing just that—and it’s reflected in annualized sales growth, which is 5% thanks to new flavor trends, compelling packaging and healthy and organic item introductions.
Dollar sales growth of everyday chocolate, however, is “negligible compared to previous years,” said Packaged Facts.
Everyday chocolate does dominate the overall market for chocolate candy sold at retail, accounting for 82% of industry dollar sales, compared to premium chocolate’s much smaller 18% share. But premium brands are catching fire due to innovation “around product ingredients, especially in clean-label products. The premium segment also leads in charting the path toward new flavor trends,” the report said.
What follows are several brands that are out in front of the premium-chocolate innovation curve.