The global chocolate confectionery market is anticipated to reach $154.5 billion (USD) by 2025. Its growth has been aided by the pandemic, during which consumers have often turned to comforting, indulgent foods, like milk chocolate bars.
In fact, data from the National Confectioners Association shows that chocolate sales increased 5.5% between March and August in 2020.
Vegan chocolate, a relatively new player on the global scene, is projected to outpace the chocolate market growth with a 15% CAGR from 2021-2028, according to a report by Grand View Research, due largely to the increase in people following vegan/flexitarian diets.
FACTORS AT PLAY
The Plant Based Foods Association found that one-third of Americans are “actively reducing their intake of meat and dairy,” reported Business Insider. Environmental concerns about animal welfare and the large carbon footprint of animal livestock are also driving consumers toward more plant-based products.
Additionally, rising cases of lactose intolerance and food allergies contribute to people searching for alternatives since milk chocolate, the most popular chocolate product, relies heavily on milk and cream.
The modern consumer is looking for healthier and more diet-specific food options than ever. Along with the rise in plant-based products, allergen-free and better-for-you products (ie: low sugar or high protein) are also flooding the market. For example, the global sugar-free confectionery market size and gluten-free chocolate market size are expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% (2020 to 2027) and 7.8% (2019-2025), respectively.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Major players in the vegan chocolate confectionery market include:
- Alter Eco
- Equal Exchange Coop.
- Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG
- Mondelēz International
Several confectionary powerhouses and artisanal chocolate makers have picked up on this trend. In June, Nestle debuted KitKat V in some European countries, which is a vegan twist on their venerable chocolate bar brand that uses a rice-based alternative.
Hershey also announced plans in June for a new dairy-free chocolate product line that includes Hershey’s classic chocolate bar, Reese’s, and Hershey’s Special Dark, reported Totally Vegan Buzz.