François Lenglet tells you all about the chocolate economy


Whoever says Easter necessarily says chocolate. France is one of the countries in the world that consumes the most this delicious pasta: 7.3 kilos per year and per inhabitant, according to the Chocolate Union. This is 50% more than the European average, although we are still overtaken by the Germans and the Swiss. This passion for chocolate is also largely European, Asians hardly consume it. As for Americans, they mostly eat it in the form of chocolate bars.

For Easter, In our country 15,000 tons of chocolate are swallowed, represents over 200 million euros in turnover. An orgy of bells, eggs and rabbits, which however does not reach Christmas records, with volumes three times greater. But chocolate is actually consumed all year round, with a French peculiarity, dark chocolate accounts for nearly a third of the local market. And the total volumes account for more than 300,000 tons, largely produced in France.

The French chocolate sector is very active, with around a hundred companies, according to the union. It has large international groups such as Mondelez, Nestlé or Ferrero, but also SMEs and many artisans. 30,000 people work in this sector, which exports more than half of its production, mainly to neighboring countries, 80% to Europe. The spread of Normandy Nutella is therefore the largest in the world. Chocolate is therefore one of our few exporting sectors that are largely net.

Has fair trade chocolate found its audience?

Now we find what is called fair trade chocolate on the market, which pays the best for cocoa bean producers. But has this product really found its place among consumers? It is aimed at a very specific clientele, attentive to social and environmental issues. The annual increases are very strong, but it still represents only 5% of the market. It must be said that it is often more expensive, while the inflation of raw materials and cardboard packaging, not to mention the energy required for production, has already caused the price of chocolate to rise by around 10%.

Medium basket of Easter chocolates: 19.30 euros

Did the case of salmonella in Kinder products change the consumption habits of the French for Easter 2022? These were only products from the Belgian factory Kinder, owned by the Italian chocolate giant Ferrero. We can imagine that this deplorable case will transfer part of the purchases to the artisans of chocolatiers. But only part of it, due to the price difference. Usually, 70% of chocolate sales are made in supermarkets and supermarkets and this year, due to inflation, families are particularly sensitive to the difference in labels. Purchases of Easter chocolate represent an average of € 19.30 per family.

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