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The sugar-free chocolate market is witnessing a robust growth owing to its increase in consumption of confectionery items across the world. Sugar-free chocolate indicates that the product contains less than grams of sugar per serving. The consumers nowadays prefer sugar-free chocolates due to their low-calorie content and their change in eating habits. The sugar-free chocolates are formulated using sugar substitutes such as maltitol and stevia that helps in keeping the normal optimum sugar-level in the body. Furthermore, many sugar-free chocolate manufacturers are launching new organic and non-GMO varieties due to their growing demands, which aids its market growth.
The chocolates and other confectionery products are mostly consumed as a snack due to their convenience and high-energy content. However, consumers are becoming health conscious and hence, seek for innovative and healthy food products. The launch of various sugar-free chocolates in new flavours and attractive packaging is a growing trend to draw consumers’ attention and this would further support the growth of chocolate and confectionery products including sugar-free chocolates.
In the recent years, consumers have inclined towards sugar-free and low-calorie products due to the rising incidences of various health problems such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. According to a survey by the World Health Organization, the obesity rate has increased by 18% since 1975. This has positively aided in the sales performance of sugar-free chocolates. The changing lifestyles and in response to the various nutritional recommendations has led the consumers to shift towards foods that offer indulgence without the need for sugar. Thus, these factors have contributed in driving the global sugar-free chocolate market.
Key Market Driver -
Rising Health Consciousness and Occurrence of Health-Problems
Key Market Restraint -
Fluctuations in the Price of Raw Material
The high fluctuation in the price of cocoa, which is one of the main ingredients in the chocolate production, is a major factor that hampers its market growth. Further, the seasonal dependency for cultivation of cocoa and its harvest is also affected due to climatic changes such as drought has also contributed in its price fluctuation. The high price of organic sugar-free chocolates has impeded its market growth.
The key companies operating in the global sugar-free chocolate market are, The Hershey Company, Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., Lindt & Sprüngli, Russell Stover Chocolates, LLC, Think Thin LLC, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, The Margaret River Chocolate Company, Pascha Chocolate Co., The Cacao Group, Inc., and Super Natural Chocolate Company.
The sugar-free chocolate market is segmented by form, type, category, distribution channel, and geography. By form, the chocolate bars and candies segment is anticipated for to hold the major share in the market owing to the its high preference among consumers. Also, the wide availability of the candies and bars as well as their ease of utility is a major factor driving its market growth. On the basis of type, the 100% sugar-free segment is projected to be holding the major share as it does not contain any sugar, instead is sweetened using artificial sweeteners, and has low-fat content. By category, the organic sugar-free chocolate segment is leading the market due to the rising consumer inclination towards organic food products, which are perceived to be healthier than the conventional.
The hypermarkets and supermarkets are the leading distribution channel for purchasing sugar-free chocolates and is followed by the retail stores. The mass merchandisers offer a wide range of products to the consumers in different brands and price range. They also provide product distinct shelves, product informative boards, various schemes, bundling offers, and the convenience of shopping products all under the single roof. The retail stores are also gaining traction as they are convenient and easy to reach and have numerous product options to choose from.
Europe is anticipated to observe substantial growth in the foreseeing years, as it is one of the largest chocolate processing and manufacturing market. Countries such as Switzerland and Germany are among the highest consumer of sugar-free chocolates. This is mainly driven by the growing demand for dark chocolates and sustainable as well as organic cocoa products. Moreover, the presence of many established players in the region such as Hershey’s and the strong product supply chain has boosted the sugar-free chocolate market growth.
Asia Pacific region is the fastest-growing market for sugar-free chocolate due to the rapid urbanization and the willingness to pay premium prices for such products by the consumers have propelled its market growth. Further, many players are establishing their production bases in the potential markets such as India and China due to the availability of labour has driven the sugar-free chocolate market.
North America is expected to witness a significant growth in the sugar-free chocolate market due to the increase in consumption of low fat and sugar free products. The rise in the working population has also influenced the rise in sugar-free chocolate consumption as snacks between the meals due to the healthy snacking trend. Moreover, the manufacturers are launching innovative products to draw the consumers attention that contributed in its regional market growth.
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