Chocolate is one of the world’s most popular foods. The sweet treat is popular with both children and adults, with global chocolate consumption reaching an all-time high of eight million tons last year. Switzerland is first in terms of kilos of chocolate consumed per person per year, with the average Swiss ingesting 10 kilograms each year. Furthermore, nine of the top 10 chocolate-consuming countries are in Europe, a fact that is also evident when the list of the world’s major chocolate exporters is examined (as you will see throughout this essay.
However, just because Europeans consume the most chocolate does not imply that they also make the most chocolate. Chocolate in its purest form is bitter and manufactured from cacao seed kernels. This plant is primarily found in Africa, where it is estimated that up to two-thirds of the world’s cocoa seeds originate. The fact that Africa contributes so much cocoa is simply owing to the fact that the cacao tree can only thrive in areas 20 degrees north or south of the equator. The usage of this plant for food, for the earliest form of chocolate, makes it one of the world’s oldest food products as well, with some estimations putting the cacao plant’s first consumption in the 19th century BCE.
The industry has evolved with the passage of time. Chocolate, like corn, has witnessed the application of gene editing technology. These have enabled manufacturers to investigate how the consequences of global warming on Africa might be reduced in order to ensure that the world continues to receive chocolate. One such example is a collaboration between Mars and the University of California, Davis to investigate DNA sequencing for plant breeding in order to better Africa’s orphan crops. Furthermore, their direct partnership will investigate strategies for using CRISPR DNA sequencing to alter the cacao plant and assure its survival in hotter regions. CRISPR is a proprietary technology developed by the Swiss company CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) that is largely employed in healthcare.
Other applications of technology in the chocolate industry are similar to those in agricultural production in general. Machines and connection are assisting workers throughout the chocolate manufacturing process, including processing, mixing, conching, tempering, shaping, and storage. Intelligent factories allow equipment to interface with a central platform for data processing and analytics needs, with roller refiners breaking down crystals before refining them into fine powder. Companies such as Artisan Industrial in Australia make these systems, and processing plants are increasingly using rollers instead of sugar milling machinery for production. Buhler Industries Inc. (OTCMKTS:BIIAF) is another significant competitor in the chocolate producing equipment market.
Moving on to the market as a whole, Fortune Business Insights estimates that the global chocolate confectionery market was worth $114 billion in 2019 and will rise at a CAGR of 2.3% through 2027, reaching $136 billion by the end of the forecast period. The firm expects that rising demand for speciality chocolates will fuel expansion, while obesity and diabetes-related health issues would stymie it. Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG (SWX:LISN.SW), Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ), and The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) are some well-known confectionery firms that manufacture and sell chocolate. If you want you can also read – 6 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate [You Should Know]
The Best Chocolate-Producing Nations Worldwide
1. Federal Republic of Germany
Chocolate Exports in 2021: $5.3 billion
The Federal Republic of Germany is one of Europe’s largest nations in terms of both geographical area and GDP. It is located in Central Europe. It is one of the biggest consumers of chocolate in the world, and the country’s sector is expected to reach $10.8 billion in 2028 after growing at a CAGR of 3.9% from $7.9 billion in 2020. The Mozartkugel and Schokoladenkuss are only two of the distinctive chocolates that the Germans are renowned for. Halloren Schokoladenfabrik Aktiengesellschaft (FRA:H2RB.HM), a sizable publicly traded German chocolate manufacturer, dates back to 1804.
2. Kingdom of Belgium
Chocolate Exports in 2021: $3.6 billion
One of the wealthiest countries in the world is the Kingdom of Belgium, a country in Northern Europe. Belgian chocolate has been manufactured since the 1600s and is a significant industry in the nation. A type of chocolate with a firm exterior and a soft interior filling is known as praline, and some Belgian chocolates fall under this category. Belgians produce figurines, truffles, and chocolate eggs as well. With thousands of producers, the Belgian chocolate market is one of the biggest in the world. Godiva Chocolatier, Planète Chocolat, and Leonidas are a few well-known chocolate manufacturers and brands.
3. Italian Republic
Chocolate Exports in 2021: $2.4 billion
The Italian Republic is a nation in both Southern and Western Europe. Its thriving chocolate sector generated 377,858 tons of the food, valued at EUR5.1 billion, last year. Chocolate spreads, chocolate eggs, and chocolate bars are just a few of the numerous chocolate items made in Italy. Ferrero SpA is the owner of Ferrero Rocher, the most well-known chocolate brand in Italy. Privately owned chocolate businesses, including the speciality chocolate producer Amedei and Caffarel, which was the first to make chocolate in Italy, make up the majority of the market.
4. Republic of Poland
Chocolate Exports in 2021: $2.3 billion
Poland, often known as the Republic of Poland, is a nation in Central Europe with a GDP of $1.6 trillion. The business itself has a colorful heritage, with Polish kings introducing chocolate to the nation in the 1600s and manufacturing being halted during the Second World War. It is the leading exporter of chocolate in Central Europe. The first chocolate factory in Poland, known as C. E. Wedel, was established in the 1800s. It began to distinguish its goods from “mock” chocolate by using distinctive insignia. Wedel is still operating today under the name E. Wedel, and a South Korean corporate organization owns the company. Wawel S.A. (WSE:WWL.WA) is one of the most well-known publicly traded chocolate companies in Poland.
Chocolate Exports in 2021: $2.1 billion
The Netherlands is a nation in Europe that holds the unusual distinction of having a sizable chunk of its land under water. Even if just a few Dutch companies are well-known for their chocolate bars, the nation continues to be at the center of the contemporary chocolate industry. The “Dutch Process,” a chocolate extraction method invented in the Netherlands, is to blame for this. This technique produces sweeter, less caffeinated chocolate that is utilized in a number of products, including ice cream and hot chocolate. Australian Homemade, Droste, and Chocolaterie Stam are a few Dutch chocolate manufacturers.
Chocolate Exports in 2021: $1.77 billion
Canada is a nation in North America that is wealthy in natural resources and has a robust economy, allowing it to be considered a First World country. Between 2017 and 2022, the Canadian chocolate market grew by 2.8% year, reaching $2.7 billion in value. The Ganong Bros., Limited company, founded in 1873, is the oldest chocolate manufacturer in Canada. With a market value of CAD$609 million, Rogers Sugar Inc. (TSE:RSI.TO) is the largest publicly traded confectionery company in the country. Additionally well-known in the nation are the chocolates produced by Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG (SWX:LISN.SW), Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ), and The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY).
7. United States of America
Chocolate Exports in 2021: $1.68 billion
The United States of America is a significant exporting country and a superpower on the world stage. The largest confectionery companies in the world are American companies, and those that are publicly traded on stock exchanges are valued in the billions of dollars. The largest publicly traded American chocolate firm, with a market worth of $90 billion, is Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ). The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) is the second multi-billion dollar company in America, and a private company called Mars, Incorporated is also well-known globally and owns shares in worldwide subsidiaries.
8. French Republic
Chocolate Exports in 2021: $1.55 billion
Another affluent and powerful country in Europe is the French Republic. Chocolate was only available to the nobility, aristocracy, or the bourgeois in France in the 17th century. On the other hand, in the 19th century, chocolate was accessible to the general public. A pharmaceutical company began using chocolate in France as its first manufacturer and began using it for its therapeutic benefits. The industry has significantly grown since then, as shown by France’s $1.55 billion in chocolate exports in 2017. The majority of chocolate businesses in France are privately owned, and Cémoi is one of the biggest.
9. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Chocolate Exports in 2021: $1 billion
The U.K. or Britain, sometimes known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is one of Europe’s greatest economies and a major player in world affairs. Along with being one of Europe’s biggest chocolate consumers, it also has one of the continent’s biggest chocolate processing and grinding industries. In 2022, the British chocolate and confectionery market was estimated to be worth £3.4 billion, and 4.4% growth was predicted. One of the most well-known chocolate brands in the world, Cadbury is owned by the American company Mondelez International. Real Good Food plc (LON:RGD.L) and Hotel Chocolat Group plc (LON:HOTC.L) are two more British companies with headquarters in the UK that manufacture chocolate.
10. Russia Federation
Chocolate Exports in 2021: $863 million
A transcontinental nation, the Russian Federation has a long history with chocolate. Russian chocolate businesses date back to the 1800s, making them some of the oldest in the world. The nation’s attempts at communism, however, resulted in the nationalization of these industries at one point because chocolate was seen as a food for city people rather than farmers and the working class. Nevertheless, Russia shipped 324,334 tons of chocolate for $863 million last year. A. is one of the producers of chocolate in Russia. Korkunov, a division of Mars, Rot Front Open Joint-Stock Company, and OAO Konditerskiy Kontsern Babayevskiy Open Joint-Stock Company are the three oldest Russian chocolate manufacturers. United Confectioners’ subsidiary operates the latter two. Russian customers adore eating chocolate produced by Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG (SWX:LISN.SW), Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ), and The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY), despite their hostility toward the West.