Chocolate market in India growing at 16% until 2023

The Chocolate market is growing in India. The chocolate market is estimated to be USD 1.51 Billion in India in 2018 and will grow at CAGR of 16% till 2023. Due to rising middle class income and expanding distribution of chocolates, consumption of chocolates is increasing in both rural and urban India.

  • Definition / Scope
  • Market Overview
  • Market Risks
  • Top Market Opportunities
  • Market Drivers
  • Market Restraints
  • Industry Challenges
  • Technology Trends
  • Pricing Trends
  • Regulatory Trends
  • Other Key Market Trends
  • Market Size and Forecast
  • Market Outlook
  • Technology Roadmap
  • Distribution Chain Analysis
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Competitive Factors
  • Key Market Players
  • Strategic Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix

Definition / Scope

Scope of the report is chocolate Market in India. Chocolate market is growing in India.

Chocolate market in India is about chocolate manufacture by international and local companies such as Mondelez, Fererro, Nestle, Mars, and Amul and mostly consumption by consumers in India.

The total chocolate market is segmented into two broad categories: mass and premium, with three major product type Milk chocolates, White chocolates and Dark chocolates. 

Milk chocolate is the most popular category contributing 75 % to the total sales of chocolates, followed by white chocolate – 16 % and dark chocolate – 9%. 

Milk chocolate: Milk chocolate, as the name implies, contains at least 12% milk and must contain a minimum of 10% chocolate liquor ( pure cocoa butter and cocoa solids), though higher quality milk chocolates often contain as much as 30-40% cocoa. The rest is comprised of sugar and sometimes vanilla or emulsifiers. Milk chocolates referred in this report are cow milk chocolates unless otherwise specified.

White chocolate: It’s effectively pure cocoa butter and sugar (at least 20% cocoa butter and 14% milk, cream, or milk solids). Often there’s added vanilla.

Dark chocolate: A chocolate that is at least 35% chocolate liquor may be called dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is chocolate without milk solids added. The basic ingredients in dark chocolate bars are cocoa beans, sugar, an emulsifier such as soy lecithin to preserve texture, and flavourings.

Market Overview

India is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for chocolates. India’s strong economic growth over the past decade has catalyzed the country’s per capita disposable incomes resulting in the strong growth of the chocolate industry

Another major factor driving the chocolate industry is the country’s large young population which represents a key consumer segment for chocolates. Around half of the total population in India is below the age of 25 years and two thirds are below the age of 44 years.

On a per capita basis, Indians consume roughly 120 grams of chocolate a year, the least among emerging markets, and ten times lower than developed ones, but the sheer size of the market makes the country attractive for chocolate makers. 

India has a growing appetite for chocolates. In 2016, India consumed an estimated 228 thousand tonnes of chocolate confectionary, up 50% from the 152 thousand tonnes consumed in 2011. 

Market Risks

There are lot of new snacks which have managed to attract audiences looking for healthy alternatives to confectionery, snacks such as energy bars, nuts and meat snacks, cereals, and yoghurt.

These products are here to stay and will make it difficult for chocolate to grow, unless it can tap into local health trends.

Top Market Opportunities

Growth opportunity in rural areas: More than 70% of chocolate consumption is from urban consumers and the country is posing huge opportunity in untapped rural segment. In India 66% of population live in rural areas.

Improving rural distribution network in the country would boost the India chocolate market forecast revenues over the coming years. Rural customers were not able to afford chocolates previously, but now the economic situation has changed, they have more money to spend on chocolates. Chocolates below 30gm and priced Rs 5 (USD 0.072) and Rs 10 (USD 0.14) are likeliest to succeed in rural markets.

Growth of premium variety of chocolates including dark chocolates and organic chocolates: Mostly in Urban areas there is growing demand for premium varieties of chocolates and this gives a potential opportunity for foreign brands to tap the market. There is 20%/annum growth in the premium segment compared to the mass category that is growing at 9%-10%.

Premium chocolates form 5% to 8% of the total category and they are the fastest growing. Premium chocolates are predominated by dark chocolates. While milk and white chocolate varieties are available in the premium category, but dark chocolate consumption is driving faster growth.

Growing demand of dark chocolates for its health benefits: There is lot of scope for growth of dark chocolates for its health benefits. Dark chocolate is quite nutritious as it contains decent amount of soluble fibre and is loaded with minerals.

It is a powerful source of antioxidant. It improves vision and it is a mood booster. It improves heart health. As mentioned dark chocolates are growing at fast pace in India and is the fastest growing chocolate in premium segment.

Organic chocolates: Organic chocolate is manufactured using organic cocoa beans. The production of cocoa to produce organic chocolate is done without using pesticides or fertilizers. The upsurge in demand for healthier options of chocolate has been conducive to the growth of the organic chocolate market. Organic food market in India is projected to register growth at a CAGR of over 25% during 2015-20.

Fair trade chocolates: Chocolates that are having the label of Fair Trade are called Fair Trade chocolates. Fair trade chocolates are having a small presence in India but they are slowly gaining popularity in India and across the world. Fair trade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.

Fair trade chocolate will have growth in Indian market as more people in India will know about Fair trade chocolates and as more people purchase premium category of chocolates as Fair-trade chocolates presently is in premium category of chocolates.

Seasonal chocolates and non seasonal chocolates as potential gifts: Seasonal chocolates are launched and sold by business and are being bought by customers to celebrate holidays or special occasions. For example many seasonal chocolates are launched and sold during Christmas and Diwali.

Companies like Lindt & Sprüngli are already popular for their limited edition seasonal chocolate like Limited Edition Lindt & Sprüngli Holiday Dark Peppermint Truffles Bag, Lindt & Sprüngli Lindor Limited Edition Seasonal Milk and White Milk chocolate, and others. Some seasonal chocolates are sold during winter seasons only.

Also in Urban India and tier I and II cities both seasonal and non seasonal chocolates are now being considered as potential gifts, while until recently sweets were the only option in delicacy gifting.

Overt media exposure and smart marketing techniques have positioned chocolates as an alternative to sweets. Mondelez has launched Cadbury assorted chocolate special gift box, CadburyCelebrations chocolate packet for gifting in the range of Rs 100 (USD 1.44) to Rs 680 (USD 9.76). Ferrrero has launched Foerrero Rocher chocolates gift packs priced from Rs 150 (USD 2.15) to Rs 1400 (USD 20). Chocolate gifts are used for festival gifting, personal gifting, and corporate gifting.

There is opportunity for the nascent, bite-size, shareable snack category. Snickers from Mars chocolates is doing very well in this category and is the biggest selling brand of Mars in India.

Besides retail supermarkets and convenience stores, online sale of chocolates is also a tremendous opportunity. For example On Amazon, Consumers can purchase not only conventional gift packs of Chocolates for birthdays as well as seasonal occasions like Raksha Bandhan, Diwali, New Year but also exclusive ecommerce packs as per relevant occasions.

Amul, Kocoatrait Indian brand of chocolate are sold online International brand of chocolates such as Ferrero Rocher and Cadbury Celebrations are also sold online. Online sale of Amul chocolates went from USD 2913 on Jan 2018 to USD 72,830 in Dec 2018.

Market Drivers

Online shopping that provides exciting offers and brands is attracting Indians. Convenience, ease of searching, billing, wide selection of products and discounts and promotion fuelled the online chocolate sale. For example Mondelez expects its online sales of chocolate to be 5% of total sales in India by 2020, from 1 % in 2017.

Expanding retail chain in the country offer a potential growth opportunity to the chocolate market. Supermarkets and Hypermarkets are also growing retail channel in India. India’s food retail market is expected to touch USD 827 Billion by 2023, up from USD 487 Billion in 2017, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.23%. 

Multiple factors such as higher economic growth, rising per capita income & buying capacity of the consumers, population growth, and brand proliferation play a vital role in influencing the retail market conditions. However, the overall contribution of supermarkets and organized grocery stores still remains 10% of overall FMCG sales with greater concentration in urban areas.

Till now Kirana (Mom and pop store) has massive presence in Indian grocery retail market. Chocolates are sold both in Supermarkets and kirana stores, with premium chocolates mostly sold in supermarkets.

Chocolates as gifts: The key growth drivers of chocolate industry in India are the tradition of gifting sweets, shifting in consumer preference from traditional mithai to chocolates; rising income levels; and attractive pricing which is suitable for every pocket.

Chocolate as an affordable luxury: It means that although some chocolates fall into the premium category, still these are not unaffordable. Luxury chocolates in India are considered to be overly expensive and reserved for special occasions, festivals, however with changing buying capacity of growing middle class the high quality chocolates are becoming more accessible.

For example chocolate Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk by Mondelez is available in USD 1 in India which can be considered premium in India, however premium chocolates of different brands are available in different price range be it USD 1 to USD 20 or more, but with higher prices the chocolates are consumed daily by few but for many are still considered for gifting purposes or bought for special occasions.

Millennial preference for chocolates: The overall chocolate consumption in the country is also being driven by a significant growth in the young population which presently represent the major consumer segment. An important factor for growth of chocolates in India is Millennial young population showing great potential for varying kinds of chocolates in the country.

Millennials refer to the generation born between 1980 and 2000, these are fast entering their prime spending years. India is expected to become the youngest country by 2022, with an average age of 29.

Demand for chocolate confectionary: Widespread demand for chocolate-flavored milk, drinks, bakery products, ice creams, functional foods, and liquor chocolates will be there in upcoming years. The demand for chocolates is also increasing from FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) companies, such as Parle, Britannia, Unibic, etc., which are incorporating chocolate in their premium baked products such as cookies, cakes, biscuit sandwiches, etc.

Revenue in the chocolate Confectionery segment in India is estimated to be USD1.77 Billion in 2019. The market is expected to grow annually by 6.3% (CAGR 2019-2023).

Growing middle class purchasing power: Rising demand for premium and dark chocolate as a result of growing middle-class purchasing power coupled with marketing and promotional activities triggered the chocolate demand. Number of household in India with disposable income USD 10,000 or more increased from around 3 Million in 1990 to around 50 Million in 2015.

It is predicted that Indian middle class will reach to 200 Million by 2020 and to 475 Million by 2030 hence having more middle class consumers than China at that time. A wide variety of goods and service will see a growth in demand with rising middle class. By 2035 one in 4 middle class consumers are expected to reside in India.

Market Restraints

Ivory Coast and Ghana which account for 60% of cocoa bean supply feared the spread of the ebola virus in 2014. This led to a significant increase in prices of cocoa. The slow growth for 2015 was due to increasing inflationary conditions in the country. This led to higher product prices in 2015.

Increasing tariffs and rising custom duty also makes the imported chocolate costly thereby affecting the sales of premium chocolates in the country. A Basic duty of 30%, CVD (Countervailing Duty) of 12%, and Special CVD of 4% has been levied on chocolates and other food preparations containing cocoa on imports in India.

Industry Challenges

The chocolate industry has a considerable growth potential in the country but raw material costs have risen in the last few years Although retail prices have not increased, a rise in input costs cost of raw materials such as sugar, cocoa, milk powder and increasing packaging cost will force the manufacturers to consider a price hike. And this may affect the sale of chocolates.

One of the major challenge for the local manufacturers is the increasing cocoa prices in the country which is mostly being imported and act as a main raw material used for preparing chocolates by many leading players. Global cocoa prices have increased 28% over the past year and are set to climb further.

Prices have shot up to $2,516 per tonne in April 2018 from $1,961 per tonne in April 2017. The increase is reflected in the price of Indian cocoa, which has advanced 6% in April 2018 to Rs 170 per kg (USD 2.5 per kg) over the past few months.

Price of chocolate raw material sugar and milk are also increasing. The Central Government of India has hiked the minimum selling price (MSP) of sugar from Rs 29 per kg (USD 0.42) to Rs 31 per kg (USD 0.45) in Feb 2019 to boost the liquidity of cash strapped millers. 

Amul Milk and has increased the price of Milk by Rs 2 (USD 0.029) per litre a move likely to prompt other suppliers to follow, and thus Mother dairy Milk has also increased the price of Milk by Rs 2 (USD 0.029).

The major sustainability problem in the cocoa economy is the lack of economic sustainability of cocoa farming. The core problem is the low income levels of cocoa farmers.

In such circumstances, it is clearly not economically sustainable for the farmer to remain in cocoa farming. With lower yields, the income of the family easily drops below the poverty line. This situation is not acceptable and clearly makes cocoa cultivation not economically sustainable.

Technology Trends

Sale of chocolates through E commerce is growing. E commerce in India is growing. Chocolate companies and E commerce stores are entering into partnership to sell chocolates online.

For example, Mondelez India and Amazon are in a partnership to sell chocolates through the online marketplace in the country. Mondelez India will sell products such as Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk, Cadbury Bournville via a virtual chocolate and sweet store on Amazon.

Pricing Trends

The chocolate market in India operates primarily on price and the most popular chocolate products are priced at Rs 5 (USD 0.072) and Rs 10 (USD 0.14). The chocolates priced Rs 5(USD 0.072) to Rs 10(USD 0.14) are sold both in urban and rural markets. Rural markets provide much growth opportunities with improvement in distribution channels. Premium chocolates are much growing in urban areas with rise in income level of middle class.

Chocolate manufacturers are in pressure to keep their prices down to encourage “impulse” purchases in India. But the rising price of ingredients means that they have to shrink the size of the chocolates every 12 to 18 months to keep inflation from eating into their profits.

Milk chocolate is available in price range of USD 0.14 for Cadbury Dairy Milk 13.2 gm to USD 90 for Lindt Lindor Milk Truffles 337 gm. White chocolate is available in price range of USD 3.37 for Compound pure white chocolate 100 gm to USD 52 for Lindt Lindor white chocolate truffle 145 gm.

Dark chocolate is available in price range of USD 0.64 for Cadbury Bournville rich cocoa dark chocolate 31 gm to USD 265 for Brookside Dark chocolate for Goji and Raspberry flavours 907 gm. Organic chocolate is available in price range of USD 4.2 for Mason & Co. 75% Zesty Orange Dark Organic Exotic Artisanal chocolate 70g to USD 32 for Beond Organic Raw chocolate 35 gm.

Chocolate prices has gone up in India as its key ingredients – cocoa and its products – have become costly. Global cocoa prices have increased 28% over the past year and are set to climb further following a crisis in West Africa, the top producing region. The increase is reflected in the price of Indian cocoa, which has advanced 6% to Rs 170 per kg in 2018. Essential ingredients to chocolate the products like cocoa butter and powder have also become costly.

Regulatory Trends

Government has reduced the GST(Goods and Services Tax) on chocolates from 28% to 18%. However the price of chocolate was not reduced as Cocoa price has increased.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has finalised the new quality standards for chocolates and has asked the chocolate industry to follow a new set of quality norms to ensure that the best quality product is made available to the customer. The new regulation came into effect from January 1, 2018.

The regulator permitted 5% vegetable fats and artificial sweetener isomaltulose, a move that is likely to benefit importers. Earlier the FSSAI allowed use of cocoa butter in chocolates and not vegetable fats, whereas international food standards authority Codex permits 5% vegetable fats.

Other Key Market Trends

Other factors driving the market include changing lifestyles, westernization, growth of the food services sector, value addition, etc. Flourishing food service sector in the country has led to the large-scale utilization of chocolates in the preparation of syrups, cakes, and pastries. Indian cakes and pastries market is estimated to be USD 0.29 Billion in 2018. Indian bakery market is estimated to grow 12%-15% from 2018-2023.

Chocolates are launched and sold at airports in India. For example UAE based luxury chocolate brand Al Nassma introduced first of its kind camel milk chocolate in India at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB). Chocolates such as Lindt, Toblerone, Cadbury and Nestle are also sold at Airports in India.

Chocolates are launched and sold in hotels. ITC launched its chocolate brand Fabelle in premium segment in its ITC group of hotels. Fabelle brand has cow milk chocolates and dark chocolates. Fabelle was then launched in ITC retail outlets in shopping malls in Kolkata and Delhi. After launch in retail outlets Fabelle was launched online in its own e-commerce site.

Market Size and Forecast

Indian chocolate market stood at USD 1.3 Billion in 2017, and USD 1.51 Billion in 2018, and is expected to reach USD 3.2 Billion by 2023 growing at CAGR of 16% on account of increasing young population base, growing urbanization and rising trend of gifting chocolates.

Further increasing disposable income of middle-class population, growing awareness about health benefits of chocolate, growing online sales of chocolates, increasing demand for premium chocolates, and rising popularity of dark and organic chocolates are expected to boost sales of chocolates in India during forecast period.

Market Outlook

India is a growing market with market potential for both domestic and international brand of chocolate manufacturers. India is an important market for chocolate manufacturers and they will continue to grow as they invest in growing their sales network and ramping up production capacity.

Some factors that would drive the market are growing online sales of chocolates, increasing demand for premium chocolates, and rising popularity of organic and sugar-free chocolate. Ferrero Rocher is a premium chocolate brand launched in India at USD 2.17 for 50 gm, Nestle has launched premium chocolate brand Les Recettes de l’Atelier in India which is priced USD 3.5 for 100gm.

There is growing demand for chocolate confectionary in India such as chocolate-flavored milk, drinks, bakery products, ice creams, functional foods, and liquor chocolates. Revenue in the chocolate Confectionery segment in India is estimated to be USD1.77 Billion in 2019. The market is expected to grow annually by 6.3% (CAGR 2019-2023). 

Technology Roadmap

Expansion of E-Commerce in Retail in India is providing facility for sale of chocolates through online channels. India is the fastest growing market for E commerce sector.

Chocolate companies have been selling its products online through marketplaces such as Big Basket and Amazon. Chocolate companies are strengthening their relationship with E-commerce companies by having product customisation and promotions, exclusive to online.

Many chocolate companies such as Mondelez, Nestle are using innovative pigging (product recovery) technology. One such provider of pigging technology is HPS(Hygienic Pigging Systems). Pigging technology recover up to 99.5% of the product from the process pipelines.

This product can then be packaged and sold. Because pigging technology saves considerable amounts of the product, it massively reduces the associated waste and disposal costs. Therefore, due to the reduction in waste, product recovery solutions help improve sustainability and enhance environmental credentials.

Distribution Chain Analysis

Companies are trying to rationalize and upgrade their value chain to expand their sales and revenues. Companies are trying to do so to have a strong supply chain with the right margins and volume growth that will generate incremental margin dollars. This will allow them to drop part of that to the bottom line, and also to reinvest part in future growth.

Mondelez has rejigged its distribution model in India by dividing its portfolio into two parts, with separate sales teams to take on rising competition. The teams were divided according to where products were stocked – shelves or refrigerators.

Chocolate companies are trying to have their products present in the farthest corners of the country. Mondelez is constantly increasing their stores coverage, so in 2018 alone, they added 2 lakh outlets and installed an extra 70,000 mini fridges in India.

Nestle’s core distribution strategy consist of considering India as a combination of 10-15 regional clusters. They have set up teams who will be responsible for tailor made strategies for brands, distribution, channel strategy, marketing, and promotions for these regions. They are planning to expand their scope beyond the top 100 towns, considering that top 100 towns will continue to be major contributor to sales.

Companies are trying to expand beyond big cities and towns. Over the past few years, companies have launched a slew of new products in India and expanded beyond the bigger cities and towns.

Convenience stores managed the sale of chocolates with a share of more than 70% in the distribution channel. Mounting retail chain in the country offers a potential growth opportunity to the market in India.

Advent of e-commerce industry has created new routes for manufacturers as well as importers to reach their customers. Online sales channel is enabling companies to widen their distribution reach and serve their customers even in the farthest of regions across the country.

Competitive Landscape

There are about 7 to 8 chocolate companies, mostly international such as Mondelez, Nestle, Mars, Rocher and Ferraro, etc that have a presence in Indian market. Companies are launching a range of brands that satisfies different consumer needs. Indian market is growing, it is big and the Indian consumers are looking for different kinds of products and companies are eager to bring them that.

As per Porters five forces:

Bargaining power of Supplier is high as there are a few large supplier of Cocoa, Ivory Coast and Ghana account for 60% of Cocoa beans supply. A small quantity of Cocoa beans is also produced in different countries.

Bargaining power of Buyer is moderate as 7 to 8 big companies are catering to the demand for chocolates in Indian market, but there are many varieties of chocolates to choose from at different price points.

Industry rivalry is moderate as large market share is held by Mondelez(Cadbury) brand , Other companies are trying to establish themselves in the Indian market with differentiated products.

Threat of substitutes is moderate to high as snacks are selling well in Indian market and are on the go foods as chocolates are. But chocolates hold a different position in the market and are considered for gifting.

Threat of new entrants is moderate as companies need to have large distribution channel to spread the chocolates in the market, but now a day new companies both domestic and international are entering into the Indian market through online e commerce channels. For example Indian chocolate manufacturers such as Cocoatraits and Moshik’s sell chocolate online.

Competitive Factors

The chocolate market in India operates primarily on price and the most popular chocolate products are priced at Rs 5 (USD 0.072) and Rs 10 (0.14 USD). Chocolates priced Rs 5(USD 0.072) are weighing 9.5 gm to 15 gm such as Cadbury 5 star and Nestle Munch. Rs 9.70 (USD 0.139) chocolate is weighing 14 gm for Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate and Rs 10 (USD 0.14) chocolate is weighing 16.2 gm for Cadbury Dairy Milk shots.

Companies will continue to grow chocolate category, and even though a large part of growth comes at lower price points of Rs 5(USD 0.072) – Rs 10(0.14 USD) . Companies are investing across segments.

With rising middle class income, consumers are willing and many would rather pay more for better quality chocolate. The key is that they will pay more and eat less, as well as pay more for a small portion of top quality and more expensive chocolate.

Key Market Players

Mondelez International Inc: Mondelez is as American company. Mondelēz International is the company behind Cadbury Dairy Milk, Oreo cookies, and Bournvita. For the USD 26 Billion Mondelēz, the Indian business accounts for about USD 1 Billion by revenue. For Mondelz, India was one of its fastest growing markets in 2018 with double-digit organic net revenue growth helped by new launches and increased distribution. 

Mars Inc: Mars is an American company. Mars, the company behind Snickers, Mars, Galaxy, Bounty, Wrigley and Milky Way, has spent more than Rs 1,000 Crore (USD 140 Million) to set up initial assets in India. Snickers is doing really well in the Indian market . The USD 35 Billion company, Mars is the world’s largest chocolate company. Mars is poised for growth now in India.

Mars launched its range of chocolates in India one by one and continues to expand its portfolio in India. Mars is a 100-year-old business.

Mars’ top selling brand across markets, M&M’s which tops sales of over a Billion USD globally, will add to the company’s domestic portfolio of chocolates. 

Ferrero: Ferrero is an Italian company. Ferrero India is part of the Ferrero Group which has a turnover of Euro 10.7 billion (USD 12 Billion) as on 2018 and is today the fourth largest manufacturer of chocolate and confectionary products in the world.

Ferrero started its commercial operations in India in 2004. it has established itself as a strong player in the premium category of chocolate and confectionary products in India. The Ferrero product range in India comprises of Ferrero Rocher , Kinder Joy, Tictac, and Nutella.

Over the past decade, Ferrero has spent over Rs 1500 Crore(USD 210 Million) in India in ramping up production and distribution capabilities and has plans to invest Rs 500 Crore(USD 70 Million) additionally. It is the second largest confectioner in the country trailing Mondelez. 

Nestle SA: Nestle is Swiss Company. Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company with a subsidiary in India with 8 factories and a large number of co-packers spread across the country. Some of their bestselling chocolates include: MilkyBar, KitKat, Bar-One, Aero, Munch.

Amul: Amul is an Indian Dairy company and one of India’s favourite brands for milk and milk products, Amul’s range of chocolates are also highly sought after. Their best-selling chocolates include: Amul Mystic Mocha, Amul Fruit n Nut, Single Origin Dark chocolate

Strategic Conclusion

Chocolate market in India is expanding with growing economy of India. Besides retail stores which are growing both in urban and rural sectors, chocolates are now being sold online at E commerce sites, which is growing at fast pace.

Brand such as Cadbury Dairy milk is holding a large market, with brands from Nestle, Mars, Fererro, Amul are also trying to establish a significant presence in Indian market.

Due to large young population base and rising middle class income chocolate market will continue to grow in India in next 5 years.


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