A new study into the chocolate eating habits of 9000 people across the APAC region (including Australia) has found that 43 per cent of respondents admit to eating less chocolate than they did a year ago namely due to health concerns around sugar and calories.
Interestingly, respondents to the YouGov study also found that faitrade chocolate was a far more important factor in their buying decisions over, say, advertising or packaging.
The study found almost three in five consumers (58 per cent) think calories are an important factor in making a purchase decision. Some 43 per cent reported that they eat less chocolate now than they did a year ago. Of those, three out of five respondents (60 per cent) do so because they are increasingly health conscious. The next frontier for chocolatiers will be to rise to the challenge of keeping the same great taste while alleviating health concerns.
Traceability and transparency have gained prominence in recent years, a trend reflected in consumers’ priorities when purchasing chocolate. Over half of the APAC respondents (58 per cent) now consider fairtrade certification to be an important factor when buying chocolate, suggesting that ethical consumption is a priority for many in the region.
This rises to as many as 77 per cent in Indonesia and 70 per cent in Thailand. By contrast, Hong Kong consumers are the least concerned in the region, though 38 per cent still consider fairtrade certification to be important.
Fairtrade certification is considered to be more important than advertising (33 per cent) or packaging (49 per cent) across APAC. However, taste is still the most important consideration – highlighted as important by a whopping 93 per cent of those polled.
Cadbury is APAC’s favourite brand of chocolate
Among the 11 brands that we covered in the survey, Cadbury is APAC’s favourite brand of chocolate, chosen by a quarter (25 per cent) of respondents regionally. Other popular brands include Ferrero Rocher (14 per cent), Nestlé (12 per cent), Hershey’s (12 per cent) and Lindt (nine per cent).
But tastes differ over which is the best brand of chocolate: Godiva is particularly popular in Hong Kong (chosen by 23 per cent locally but just seven per cent regionally); Toblerone is a firm favourite in the Philippines and Indonesia (favoured by 16 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, against six per cent regionally); while Nestlé is more than three times more popular in Vietnam than it is regionally (chosen by 39 per cent locally but 12 per cent regionally).
Almonds are APAC’s favourite filling
APAC residents are a nutty bunch, with nuts making up three of the top five most popular fillings for chocolate. Given a choice of twelve ingredients, the most popular are: almonds (33 per cent), caramel (10 per cent), cashews (10 per cent), peanuts (seven per cent) and raisins (five per cent). However, a fix of pure chocolate is more than enough for 14 per cent of respondents, who prefer to eat theirs plain.
As for the outside, dark chocolate is the most popular type of chocolate, favoured by 44 per cent of those polled, followed by milk chocolate (35 per cent), white chocolate (14 per cent), then flavoured chocolate (seven per cent).