Chocolate industry - Statistics & Facts

Chocolate industry - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts on the chocolate industry

Produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree, cocoa has been cultivated for at least three millennia. This food originated in Mexico, Central and Northern South America and dates back to around 1100 BC when the Aztecs made it into a beverage known as Nahuati or "bitter water" in English. The chocolate-making process remained unchanged for hundreds of years. It wasn't until the Industrial Revolution, when mechanical mills were used to squeeze out cocoa butter which created durable chocolate, that many changes occured.


Even though cocoa beans were discovered in the Americas, about two-thirds of the world's cocoa is produced in West Africa. In 2011, 32 percent of all chocolate sales were generated from Western Europe. According to Euromonitor, the United Kingdom had the highest chocolate consumption per person than any other country. On average, every U.K. citizen consumed about eleven kilograms (24.25 lbs) of chocolate in 2011, with the United States coming in at fifteenth position at 4.6 kilograms. Milk chocolate also appears to be favored throughout the United States compared to any other chocolate type. In 2012, just over 50 percent of consumers preferred to eat this type of chocolate.

Chocolate is a global industry that will continue to grow steadily and is prevalent on five out of the seven continents.
Picture: istockphoto.com / andristkachenko

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