Barry Callebaut international consumer survey

Barry Callebaut international consumer survey shows: Chocolate lovers want functional chocolate with proven health benefits!

  • About 1 in 4 consumers interested in functional chocolate with additional physical or emotional health benefits, according to an international1 survey by Barry Callebaut
  • High consumer demand in Western Europe and the U.S. for chocolate that is scientifically proven to promote the feeling of well-being: 27% want chocolate that boosts their mood; 25% want chocolate that helps them to relax
  • American consumers take the lead in the consumption of functional chocolate
  • Barry Callebaut has developed an assortment of functional chocolates that preserve the naturally healthy components of the cocoa bean

Chocolate lovers increasingly seek health-enhancing treats to indulge their sweet tooth. About 1 in 4 consumers in Western Europe and the United States want chocolate with extra physical or emotional health benefits, according to a recent international consumer survey, carried out in January 2008 on behalf of Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products.

Chocolate with the scientifically proven ability to improve the sense of emotional well-being ranks highest on chocoholics’ wish lists. Around 27% of them long for chocolate with mood-enhancing qualities. A quarter of all chocolate lovers want chocolate that can help them to relax after a stressful day at work (25%). Chocolate with proven health-enhancing properties is a popular concept, with 1 in 5 (21%) consumers interested in chocolate that is scientifically proven to keep their heart healthy. Tooth friendly chocolate receives an interest score of 19%, while 17% of consumers want chocolate that provides extra benefits to strengthen their immune system.

Americans eat more functional chocolate than Europeans. More than 1 in 3 Americans (35%) has already tried chocolate with additional health benefits and 14% consume it at least once a month. Americans are closely followed by the Swiss – 12% of whom eat functional chocolate regularly.

This data show that functional chocolate is quickly gaining in popularity. Consumers are increasingly seeking chocolate that offers them clinically proven physical or emotional health benefits. The cocoa bean contains hundreds of different components that have potential health benefits. As an innovative trendsetter, Barry Callebaut harnesses and preserves the healthy components of the cocoa bean and uses them to develop chocolate with health-enhancing properties. Currently, our R&D team is working on a range of interesting new products, includinga chocolate that is scientifically proven to improve emotional well-being by naturally enhancing the consumer’s mood.
Hans Vriens, Chief Innovation Officer at Barry Callebaut

High demand for chocolate that offers an additional sense of well-being

In Western Europe, especially in Germany (36%), Switzerland (32%) and France (29%), consumers want chocolate with a proven ability to elevate their mood2. The desire to be happier is closely followed by a yearning for chocolate with stress-reducing qualities: France (28%), Switzerland (27%), Germany (23%), UK and Belgium (16%). In the US, these scores are even higher: 41% of American consumers are longing for chocolate that helps them relax, 38% for “feel good” chocolate that naturally induces a better mood.

Chocolate with additional physical health benefits

When looking at extra proven health benefits chocolate can have, these are the most popular:

  • Chocolate that positively influences the cardiovascular system: US (41%), France and Switzerland (24%), Germany (15%), UK (13%), Belgium (12%)
  • Chocolate that helps maintain body weight: US (35%), France (26%), Germany (25%), Switzerland (21%), Belgium (16%), UK (14%)
  • Chocolate that enhances the memory: US (34%), France (29%), Switzerland (21%), Germany (15%), Belgium (13%), UK (12%)
  • Tooth friendly chocolate: US (32%), Germany and Switzerland (22%), France and UK (14%), Belgium (9%)
  • Chocolate that enhances concentration: US (32%), Switzerland (22%), Germany and France (17%), UK (13%), Belgium (10%)
  • Chocolate that strengthens the immune system: US (35%), Switzerland (20%), Germany (16%), France (14%), UK (12%), Belgium (7%)

Strong rise in the consumption of functional chocolate

Chocolate with natural added health benefits has clearly gained in popularity over the last year. Whereas a consumer survey in December 2006 still showed relatively low consumption rates, the results of the 2008 consumer survey were very encouraging. In the US 35% of consumers have tried functional chocolate (in comparison to 13% in 2006), in Switzerland 23% (1%), in the UK 20% (1%), in Belgium 17% (3%), in Germany 12% (1%) and in France 7% (2%). On an international scale the functional chocolate segment grew by 15% in value on average per year over the last 4 years3, reaching 577 million USD in total sales in 2006, according to Euromonitor International.

Barry Callebaut creates chocolate with a proven healthy extra!

To help meet the growing demand for healthy and functional foods, Barry Callebaut is continually researching and developing chocolate products that preserve the healthy components of the cocoa bean and offer an improved nutritional profile. Barry Callebaut has a track record of launching innovative chocolate products, like for exampleACTICOATM, a special chocolate production process that preserves a guaranteed minimum level of cocoa polyphenols. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that help keep the body healthier. Other examples of chocolate with clinically proven health benefits include pro-biotic chocolate that helps maintain a healthy intestinal balance,sugar-reduced chocolate that uses natural cocoa fibers as a sweetener, tooth friendly chocolate that prevents caries and rebalanced chocolate with an improved nutritionalprofile (less sugar, more rich in fiber, reduced in sugar and/or fat and light in calories).

1 Belgium, France, Germany, UK, Switzerland, USA in January 2008 – 6,000 consumers surveyed (approx. 1,000 per country)

2 Other scores: UK (18%), Belgium (13%)

3 2002 – 2006 Euromonitor International


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Methodology of consumer survey:

Consumer survey carried out by Ipsos Belgium N.V./S.A. in five European countries and the United States on behalf of Barry Callebaut.

Inquiry period: 07 - 28.January 2008;

Countries surveyed: United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the United States

Number of persons surveyed: approx. 1,000 per country

Method: telephone interviews in Switzerland and the U.S., personal interviews in all other countries.


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Barry Callebaut: 

With annual sales of more than CHF 4 billion for fiscal year 2006/07, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate – from the cocoa bean to the finished product on the store shelf. Barry Callebaut is present in 24 countries, operates about 40 production facilities and employs approximately 8,000 people. The company serves the entire food industry, from food manufacturers to professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), to global retailers. It also provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing.

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