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 occurred.


Even though cocoa beans were discovered in the Americas, about two-thirds of the world's cocoa is produced in Africa. The main cocoa-producing country was the Ivory Coast in 2015/2016, followed by Ghana and Indonesia. The Ivory Coast was also reported as one of the main cocoa bean processors in that year.

During the production process, chocolate is manufactured from cocoa butter. The all-time favorite treat recorded retail sales of about 101 billion U.S. dollars worldwide in 2015. One year earlier, some 35 percent of all chocolate sales were generated in Western Europe. According to industry experts, Switzerland had the highest chocolate confectionery consumption per person than any other country. On average, every Swiss citizen consumed about 8.8 kilograms of chocolate in 2015, with the United States coming in at fifth position at 5.5 kilograms.

The key players in the confectionery business included Mars Inc., Mondelez International, and Nestlé SA in 2015. Lindt and Sprüngli was also ranked among the leading confectionery companies.



Picture: istockphoto.com / andristkachenko

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