Chocolate retailers recorded a further jump in business in the week leading up to March 14, White Day. This is a commercial holiday observed in some Asian countries, when men are supposed to offer gifts to their sweethearts, one month after Valentine’s Day, when women gifted them chocolates. Chocolate sales in China are expected to expand to $4.3 billion by 2019, rising nearly 60 percent from $2.7 billion in 2014, lifted by outstanding demand from the growing urban population, Bert Alfonso, president of Hershey International, forecast in a recent webcast at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference…Full Article: China Daily Mar 2015

Key Point

  • According to the French handmade chocolate maker Debauve & Gallais, Chinese women comprise 60% to 75% of chocolate consumers in China.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In May 2013, Hershey announced that launched a new chocolate product in China. The product, called “Lancaster”, is a “Nai Bei” styled candy made from high-quality imported milk (three flavors total).
  • In 2011, America’s Mars (via its Dove brand chocolate) had a 40% market share in mainland China. Following Mars was Nestle with an 11% share and Italy’s Ferrero Rocher with 9% share. In the rear of the pack were Cadbury and Hershey’s.
  • In 1995, Hershey established a representative office in China. However, the company was not able to obtain significant market share, with Hershey products reportedly “missing” from store shelves in 2004.
  • In the late 1980s major international chocolate companies began entering the Chinese market.
  • From 2009 to 2013, mainland China imports (excl. Hong Kong & Macau) of “chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa” (HS 1806) increased from 16,624 MTs to 49,167 MTs, an increase of 196%. The top supplier was Italy (30% import share in 2013), followed by the USA (9% share in 2013), Belgium, Germany, and Singapore.
  • From 2009 to 2012, Hong Kong imports (excl. China & Macau) increased of “chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa” (HS 1806) increased from 17,875 MTs to 26,909 MTs, an increase of 51%. Like in mainland China, Italy was the top supplier (25% import market share in 2012), followed by the Netherlands (9% share), USA, Belgium, Australia, and Germany.

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