The cocoa bean, also known as cacao or cocoa, is the dried and fully fermented seed of Theobroma cacao tree. Its scientific name, Theobroma, which was given by the famous Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, literally means “food of the gods”.
The cocoa tree originated in the tropical regions of Central America. Cocoa beans’ tasty properties was first discovered by the pre-Colombian Mayans. It has become their traditional drink, and eventually, cocoa became a staple among the South Americans.
When the Spanish came to the America in 1600s, they developed a love for chocolate. When they returned to Europe, they brought along their fondness for chocolate, which led to its popularity in that continent from then, up to these days.
Although the Spaniards planted cocoa trees in their lands, the global production still remained in South America up to the beginning of the Twentieth Century. At the same time, however, West Africans, particularly Ivory Coast and Ghana have started growing cocoa trees. Eventually, they took over a huge share in the global cocoa production.
Cocoa beans are essential ingredients in the production of chocolates and other food products available in the market today. According to statistics (Statista), in 2015, the consumption of the beans in the United States amounts to 5.3 pounds per capita.
Chocolate Industry Statistics
- As mentioned earlier, West African countries produces a large number of cocoas – 70% to be exact. Americas is at 17%, while Asia and Oceania at 9%. (Source: FranchiseHelp)
- Chocolate covers the largest part among confectionary products in the United States at $34.5 billion. Confectionary products are composed of “candies” and “sweets”. It includes gummies, sugar cookies, and gum. (Source: FranchiseHelp)
- The seasonal candies are considered as the major driver of the confectionary industry. A 21% sales or over $7 billion was accounted for in 2014. (Source: FranchiseHelp)
- Based on the National Confectioners data, chocolate sales reached a massive $21.1 billion in 2014 on the candy industry. That is a 2.9% increase compared to the 2013 revenue. (Source: FranchiseHelp)
- Based on the same data, the biggest increase of 11% came from revenues of premium products, as well as dark chocolate products, which has an 8% growth. A 6% surge in sales was expected by 2017, amounting to $22.4 billion. (Source: FranchiseHelp)
- In the US, the Cocoa and Drinking Chocolate Production industry has increased by 0.1% over the past five years. By this, the revenue for 2019 has grown to $857 million in 2019. At the same time, businesses has increased to 0.6%. Thus, employment has grown to 0.8%. (Source: IbisWorld)
- Nestle SA, Conagra Brands Inc. and The Hershey Company are the companies that hold the largest market the Cocoa & Drinking Chocolate Production industry. (Source: IbisWorld)
- In 2018, there was a 0.8% growth in the Global Candy and Chocolate Manufacturing Industry. I reached a revenue amounting to $145 billion. On the same year, there was a 3.2% growth in businesses and a 2.0% increase in employment rate. (Source: IbisWorld)
- Companies with largest market share in the said industry are Mars Inc., Mondelez International Inc., Ferrero SpA, The Hershey Company, and Nestle S.A. (Source: IbisWorld)
- In the United States, the chocolate industry reaches $17 billion worth of revenues every year. Since 2013, it has an average annual rate of 0.7%. (Source: IbisWorld)
- The chocolate industry is responsible in creating 41,000 direct employment opportunities with a 3,400 business that is currently operating. (Source: IbisWorld)
- Over the past five years prior to 2018, there was an increased annualized rate of 1.8% for revenues of specialty chocolates.
- For the 2015-2016 crop period, there was an approximately 3.97 million tons of cocoa produced worldwide. (Source: Statista)
- For the 2016-2017 period, Africa produced a total of about 3.5 million tons of cocoa beans. Most of which came from the Ivory Coast. (Source: Statista)
- In December 2016, the global price of cocoa per metric ton is at approximately 2,287.80 US dollars. (Source: Statista)
- With 0.5% of total production, organic cocoa has a very small share in the total cocoa market. The production of certified organic cocoa is at estimated 15,500 tons only. (Source: International Cocoa Organization)
- There is an increase demand for organic cocoa products because most consumers nowadays are changing to healthier lifestyle, plus the environmental issues concerning the world today. From an estimated value of $171 million in 2002, the global organic chocolate sales increased to $304 million in 2005. (Source: International Cocoa Organization)
- Organic cocoa benefits cocoa farmers with its higher price in the market compares to the conventional. Organic cocoa’s prices ranges from $100 to $300 per ton. (Source: International Cocoa Organization)
- For over 5.5 million small scale farmers from all around the globe, cocoa is their primary source of income. Mostly live on about $1.25 per day. (Sourse: CNBC)
- By 2015, the chocolate market in the United States is expected to go over $20 billion according to a research by IndexBox of United Kingdom. (Source: Candy Industry)
- The U.S. chocolate market had an average growth of 4.1% each year from 2008 to 2016. (Source: Candy Industry)
- In the same research, it is noted that the market had a $17.6 billion growth in 2016. This reflecting producers and importers total revenue including logistics and retail marketing, as well as retailers’ margins. (Source: Candy Industry)
- From 2016 to 2025, the chocolate market is expected to grow by 1.8% every year, with a $20.7 billion market value by 2025. (Source: Candy Industry)
- The shipments value in the chocolate business has grown to $16.6 billion in 2016 or a 3.9% average annual rate from 2008 to 2016. The increase is brought by a string demand in the domestic market at a time of population and income growth. (Source: Candy Industry)
- More than 60% of chocolate and confectionary manufacturing in the Unites States is from chocolate and chocolate-type confectionary products made from purchased chocolate and not retailed at a manufacturing facility. (Source: Candy Industry)
- A 14.5% growth each year between 2008 and 2016 was recorded on chocolate and chocolate-type products from purchased chocolate and retailed at a manufacturing establishment. (Source: Candy Industry)
- Cacao is a delicate species. In fact, an estimated 30% of plantation owners’ trees die at any given season. (Source: National Confectioners Association)
- Approximately 1.5 million cocoa farms today are located in Western Africa. (Source: National Confectioners Association)
- Around 50 million people from all over the world relies in the chocolate industry as their source of livelihood. (Source: National Confectioners Association)
- Fifty-three percent of the total market in the chocolate industry comes from the top 10 importers. To date, the United States is the top importer of chocolate products in the world, amounting to $2 billion. (Soure: Food and Agriculture Organization)
Chocolate Industry Trends and Analysis
Like in most of the business industries in the world today, the chocolate industry copes with the emerging lifestyle and environmental changes. While traditional sweet chocolates like milk chocolates are still a favorite, the dark and organic variations are setting a trend. In fact, organic chocolates are slowly conquering the market today.
Although the United States is still the world’s top importer of chocolates, Western Africa owns a large number of cocoa farms today. The shipment value of chocolate products mark an increase in the periods between 2008 and 2016.
The increasing demand in the chocolate industry because of the growing demand for chocolate and chocolate-based products in the market today boost an increase in the employment rate. In the United States alone, the chocolate industry revenue reach up to $17 billion worth.
With all the numbers growing continuously, there is no doubt that the chocolate industry is booming. Expect that in the coming years, the number of chocolate manufacturers will add up, which is good as it means more job opportunities for the people.