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India is fast becoming one of the world’s biggest chocolate markets.
According to Mintel, an agency that studies consumer markets, India exhibited a 13% growth in chocolate sales in 2016. The study found that Indians consumed an estimated 228,000 tons of chocolate, exceeding sales in China, where chocolate sales dropped by 6%. A drop in sales was also observed in other countries like Russia and Brazil.
A stronger economy contributed to the success of the chocolate industry in the country. Marcia Mogelonsky [MAR-shuh MO-gul-on-ski], director of Mintel’s food and drink division, connected the sales growth to the increase in people’s income and ability to purchase. Aside from this, Mintel found that Indian’s view of chocolates also boosted sales.
In their study, the agency found that many Indians believe that chocolates are healthy and are a good source of energy. Dark chocolate is particularly becoming popular because of its health benefits. The study also found that Indians like to snack on chocolates when they get hungry between meals.
Because of the rising popularity of chocolate in India, more varieties of the product are continually being introduced in the country. Chocolates in India used to be limited only to milk chocolates, but stores now sell other variants such as those with nuts or raisins.
Handmade and customized chocolates, which cater to wealthy customers in the country’s urban areas, are also increasing. There is also a growing demand for organic chocolates in India from consumers who want snacks without artificial preservatives.