Roughly 17.9 million Americans buy boxed chocolate in an average 12-month period, according toRoy Morgan data. A 2011Roy Morganreport found that 65% of chocolate buyers are women; 52% are over the age of 50 and 66% live either in the Midwest or the South.

Roy Morgan Research, an established Australian market research and public opinion survey company, finds that American values and attitudes about chocolate illustrate traditional middle America, with the average buyer being mostly female, with a tendency to love shopping: 67% “enjoy grocery shopping”; 55% “enjoy clothes shopping”; and 39% agree they “were born to shop.” In addition, 86 % like to try free samples in supermarkets and almost 77% say they will go out of their way in search of a bargain.

But the report also indicates that chocolate buyers are more likely than the average American to be watching their weight and doing things to improve their health.  For example, 69% “would like to be able to lose weight”; 68% “prefer to eat healthy snacks”; 62% “restrict how much fattening food they eat”; 52% are concerned about their cholesterol level, and more.

The analysis also points to chocolate buyers not necessarily being focused on cooking or family meals. They are more likely to order carryout food or eat out, but are interested in their homes and homemaker activities. They are above average readers of magazines and their TV preferences steer toward soaps, home shows, talk shows and most other shows except sport, business and comedies.