MINNEAPOLIS – Consumers view chocolate as a reward, a mood lifter, an energy booster and a secret to surviving a tough day, according to ChocoLogic research from Minneapolis-based Cargill. The company fielded a proprietary survey in February of more than 600 primary US grocery shoppers.

“The adage that ‘everyone loves chocolate’ really is true – less than 3% of consumers report avoiding chocolate,” said Gretchen Hadden, marketing lead for Cargill’s North American cocoa and chocolate business. “However, while chocolate may be the world’s most beloved ingredient, our research suggests consumers have strong opinions on what they like — and don’t like — about this timeless indulgence.”

In the survey, 72% agreed chocolate lifts their mood while 59% said it boosts their energy. More than half (52%) said chocolate gets them through a tough day, and 52% said they choose dark chocolate because “it’s healthier.” Other findings were 71% said they notice when chocolate has a grainy, coarse texture; 84% said they were extremely or very likely to consider whether an item had a claim of “made with real chocolate” in their purchase decisions; and 45% said they always were looking for new types of chocolate.

“The insights gleaned from this research give us — and our customers — a window into consumers’ attitudes and evolving expectations around this much-loved ingredient,” Ms. Hadden said. “It can help guide our thinking on whether to revitalize tried-and-true products or adapt to changing tastes with new-to-the-world innovations and is one more example of the added value we offer our customers.”