The global chocolate confectionery market is expected to reach $265.9 billion by 2028, rising at a market growth of 6.7 percent CAGR during the forecast period.

That's according to a new report, "Global Chocolate Confectionery Market Size, Share & Industry Trends Analysis Report By Type, By Distribution Channel, By Product, By Regional Outlook and Forecast, 2022 – 2028."

Part of that expected growth is due to a rising demand for specialty chocolate products.

In recent years, there has been a tremendous rise in the demand for a premium or specialty chocolates, particularly in developed markets with an increasing trend anticipated in the coming years.

Consumer demand for information about the origins of ingredients used in chocolate products is encouraging manufacturers to provide the complete detail for the product on its packaging. The growing popularity of clean-label and organic products for general health and wellness has boosted the demand for dark and sugar-free chocolate treats with higher cocoa content. In the coming years, surging public awareness about labor rights is projected to increase demand for fair-trade chocolate.

Looking at the breakdown of milk, dark, white chocolate, milk chocolate continues to lead the sector. 

In 2021, the milk segment acquired the highest revenue share of the chocolate confectionery market. And the authors say that many companies are introducing new products with clean labels like vegan, organic, and certified Kosher to enhance their existing product assortment due to the growing developing preference for milk type categories.

Recent chocolate launches and expansions:

The report authors said there are some notable trends when it comes to new product launches. Specifically, many new products include orange, citrus fruits, nuts, and walnuts. In addition, consumers are demanding more innovative, healthy, and environmentally friendly products.

May 2022: Lindt & Sprungli rolled out Lindt Classic Recipe OatMilk bars. The new product is made with oat milk and would offer the same creamy and smooth experience as the company’s vegan Lindt Classic Recipe milk chocolate.

January 2022: Nestle released Aero Melts buttons and Kit Kat Bites, a line of new confectionery products for the spring. With this launch, the company aimed to pull out the stops for the Easter season, which is one of the most lucrative prospects for the market players operating in the confectionery sector.

February 2022: Hershey’s brand unveiled HerSHEy. With this launch, the company aimed to highlight the significance of women by creating a simple and robust change to its iconic milk chocolate.

October 2021: Mondelez International launched two new flavors of its plant bar. The new smooth chocolate and smooth chocolate with salted caramel pieces flavor of the plant bar would come in completely plant-based packaging made up of natural resources.

June 2021: Mondelez introduced Cadbury Caramilk, a caramelized white chocolate. With this launch, the company aimed to help retailers in recruiting new shoppers to the range, especially millennials who are seeking sweeter tastes.

April 2021: Snickers introduced Snickers Almond Brownie. The new product would feature a chewy brownie filling along blended with chopped almonds as well as toppings of a layer of luscious caramel, all coated in dark chocolate.
February 2021: Nestle introduced KitKat V, a vegan version of its KitKat bar. This launch aimed to fulfill the demand for a vegan substitute for KitKat candy. In addition, the new product is made up of a rice-based formula as a milk substitute, crispy wafers, and 100% sustainable cocoa sourced.
October 2020: Ferrero India rolled out Ferrero Rocher Moments, an affordable premium gifting brand. With this launch, the company aimed to expand the prevailing portfolio of Ferrero Rocher with the introduction of an enjoyable, unique, and lighthearted experience for consumers.
January 2020: Hershey India introduced Hershey’s Kisses under its flagship Hershey’s brand. The new product would come in three variants including Almonds and cookies, creme flavor, and creamy milk chocolate.

Recent chocolate partnerships, collaborations and agreements

The report also details recent partnerships, collaborations and agreements in the chocolate confectionery sector, including:

September 2021: Hershey came into an agreement with Barry Callebaut, a Belgian-Swiss cocoa processor, and chocolate manufacturer. This agreement aimed to allow both companies to continue to drive strategic and long-term growth across North America. Moreover, Barry Callebaut would continue to deliver liquid chocolate as well as finished products to Hershey across the region.

February 2021: Barry Callebaut entered into a partnership with PT Sinarniaga Sejahtera, an entity of of Garudafood. Following this partnership, the companies would bring the Van Houten Professional brand’s line of compound chocolate to the Indonesian foodservice market.

May 2020: Lotte partnered with DKSH, a market expansion services vendor. Following this partnership, the company aimed to entrust a complete range of distribution and marketing activities for its products across Singapore to DKSH.

Chocolate sector acquisitions and mergers:

April 2022: Mondelez acquired Ricolino, a confectionery business of Grupo Bimbo. Following this acquisition, the company aimed to expand its Mexico business to offer an attractive entry point into the chocolate category and strengthen its position in the snacking sector.
September 2021: The Barry Callebaut Group acquired the Europe Chocolate Company, a B2B manufacturer of chocolate specialties and decorations. With this acquisition, the company aimed to strengthen its manufacturing capabilities in the expanding highly customized chocolate specialties and decorations market.
September 2021: Lindt & Sprüngli S.p.A merged Lindt & Sprüngli S.p.A and Caffarel S.p.A., subsidiaries of the company. With this merger, the company aimed to strengthen the synergies between the two organizations in order to improve them under a unified industrial and business strategy.

May 2021: The Hershey Company took over Lily’s, a confectionery brand. With this acquisition, the company aimed to add Lily’s better-for-you confection brand into its portfolio of candy favorites and iconic chocolate in order to offer a range of choices to fulfill the evolving demands of its consumers.
July 2020: The Barry Callebaut Group took over GKC Foods, a manufacturer of chocolate, coatings, and fillings. This acquisition aimed to strengthen the company’s position across the industrial chocolate market. Moreover, the company would also leverage the Specialty business and value-adding Gourmet in Australia and New Zealand. 

For more information about the report, visit the ReporterLink website.