Premium chocolate market remains strong

by Staff
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NEW YORK — Even though premium chocolate experienced a sales growth decline of 50% in 2008, this is still a 9% gain over 2007, according to market researcher Packaged Facts.

While Americans might be scaling down on consumerism, they are allowing themselves to indulge in little pleasures. In fact, sales of upscale chocolates are expected to increase at a rate more than five times that of chocolates overall by 2012, according to Packaged Facts.

Research suggests chocolate makers should increase gourmet and green offerings. Product premiumization claims such as "upscale" or "gourmet" accounted for 60% of all claims staked in chocolate packaging and promotion, and wellness and health claims represent an 11% share.

Words such as "no preservatives," "high antioxidants," and "no trans fat" are encouraging the consumer crowd to pay more for chocolate.

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