Chocolate sales spike during lockdown, surpass overall candy sales

delicious chocolate balls for desert

Chocolate is leading the charge on the candy front as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

A data-driven report from the National Confectioners Association shows that demand for chocolate has surpassed demand observed in the candy market overall from March 15, 2020 to Aug. 9, 2020.

Between those five months, the premium chocolate market saw the largest growth with a sales spike of 12.5%. Non-premium chocolate, on the other hand, saw a sales increase of 5.5%.

The candy market, which also includes chocolate products, saw an increase of 3.8%.

Grocery stores have been credited as the “key driver for chocolate and candy sales,” according to the NCA.

Premium chocolates eclipsed all the other categories in the grocery channel with a sales increase of 21.4%. Non-premium chocolates and candies overall trailed behind at 17.9% and 16.6%, respectively. Non-chocolate items saw a sales increase of 13.5%.


“Chocolate might not be an essential item, but it is a source of indulgence and comfort that consumers look for in times of uncertainty,” said an April report from CBI - Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries. “The chocolate market is expected to survive the current lockdowns without too much damage.”

CBI also credited early pantry-loading habits at the beginning of the pandemic as a factor for chocolate consumption.

The U.S. chocolate market is expected to surpass $20 billion by 2025, according to a forecast put together by global market research firm IndexBox.


In 2019, the average chocolate and confectionery import price for a single ton was $4,156, the firm’s findings show. Conversely, the average export price per ton was $4,857. The U.S. is listed as the second country with the “highest volumes of chocolate and confectionery consumption in 2019” with 4.7 million tons.

China took the number one spot with nine million tons of chocolate and confectionery items consumed in 2019.