London — Germany commanded one-fourth of the $11.9 billion Western European market for chocolate during 2012, accounting for approximately $2.9 billion in sales, according to research from the Mintel Group, Ltd. Sales are expected to grow four percent by the end of 2013.
Further, at eight kilograms per person, German consumption of chocolate outpaced per capita consumption in the UK (6.5 kg), French (5.7 kg), and the Italians and Spanish (1.7 kg each).
Germans bought chocolate on impulse 45 percent of the time, second only to the British (54 percent), compared with 33 percent of French, 30 percent of Italian and 20 percent of Spanish consumers.
Buying chocolate as a treat was common among 84 percent of French and 76 percent of German consumers. Just 41 percent of British, 58 percent of Italian and 66 percent of Spanish respondents bought chocolate for that purpose.
Appeasing cravings for chocolate spurred purchases among seven in ten Britons (71 percent) and 66 percent of Italians. Sixty percent each of Germans and Spaniards also used chocolate to satisfy a sweet tooth, but just 36 percent of French consumers did so.
Although slightly more than half (56 percent) of British consumers bought chocolate to share with others, 42 percent of Italians, 30 percent each among French and Spanish consumers, and just 29 percent of Germans shared that motivation.
Marcia Mogelonsky, Mintel director of innovation and insight, suggests retailers can capitalize on Western Europeans’ tendency to buy chocolate for solo consumption: “Increasing visibility at checkout areas in supermarkets and other outlets as well as positioning personal-sized chocolate bars or tablets throughout retail environments could grow sales among impulse buyers.”