The Chocolate Industry by the Numbers

Chocolate pralines.
GMVozd / Getty Images

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and chances are, you’re going to buy some chocolate. If so, you’re not alone, as it’s definitely the unofficial fare of the holiday.

Related: How To Make the Perfect Valentine’s Day Present With Gifts From the Drug Store

More than just a delicious snack, chocolate is big business. Here’s a look at some interesting facts associated with this sugary goodness.

  • $2 billion: Not surprisingly, Americans are expected to spend $2 billion — or $15.32 per person celebrating — on candy for Valentine’s Day 2021, according to the National Retail Federation. By far the most popular purchase, 54% of people plan to buy candy for the most romantic holiday of the year.
  • $2.4 billion: Another candy-centered holiday, Americans were projected to spend $2.4 billion — or $27.55 per person — on Halloween candy in 2020, according to the NRF. An impressive 95% of people planned to buy sugary treats for the holiday.

Find Out: Unexpected Places To Buy Valentine’s Day Gifts

  • $2.49 billion: Americans planned to spend $2.49 billion — or $20.78 per person celebrating — on candy for Easter 2019, according to the NRF. It’s usually a tight race, but historically, more people purchase candy than food for the holiday, making it the most popular category.
  • $100 billion: Chocolate is a $100 billion industry, according to Bloomberg.

Read More: Most Popular Gifts for Valentine’s Day at Home

  • 25 pounds: As of 2018, Germans consume an average of 24.25 pounds of chocolate per person each year, according to the CBI Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Quite impressive, this ranks them as the highest per capita consumption of all countries.
  • $16 billion: The U.S. chocolate production industry market size is $16 billion, according to IBISWorld. This includes 3,305 businesses that employ a total of 45,022 people.
  • 5.4%: In 2020 alone, restaurant and bakery closings in the U.S. were expected to cause a 5.4% decline in U.S. chocolate production industry revenue, according to IBISWorld.
Make Your Money Work Better for You

Save Money: Top Valentine’s Day Gifts To Buy on a Budget

  • 4: A total of four companies hold a combined 87.2% of the U.S. chocolate market, as of 2017, according to a Mordor Intelligence report. This includes Hershey’s (43.8%), Mars (30%), Lindt/Ghiradelli/R.Stover (9.1%) and Nestle (4.3%).
  • 80+: More than 80 brands around the world are part of The Hershey Company, including Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers and Brookside, according to its website.
  • 18,000: A major name in the chocolate game, The Hershey Company employs approximately 18,000 people globally, according to the company website.

Plan a Date: Valentine’s Date Night Ideas That Won’t Cost a Fortune

  • $8 billion: Serious business, Hershey’s 2019 net sales totaled $8 billion, according to the company’s 2019 annual report.
  • $2.5 billion: Reese’s 2019 U.S. sales totaled $2.5 billion, according to Hershey’s 2019 annual report. It consistently tops the rankings of the most popular candies in America, but sometimes falls second to M&Ms or Snickers, depending on the metrics used.
  • 180: Beloved around the world, Mars Wrigley Confectionery — maker of M&M’s, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Dove and more — distributes products in 180 countries, according to the company website.

Did You Know: The Most Reliable Flower Delivery Services

  • 34,000: Mars Wrigley has 34,000 employees globally, according to the company website.
  • $37 billion: Major money, Mars, Inc. — the parent company of candy division Mars Wrigley — realizes $37 billion in annual sales, according to Forbes.
  • 400-1,200: One cacao tree produces 400-1,200 cocoa beans per year, according to the Rainforest Alliance.
  • 400: It takes 400 cocoa beans to make 1 pound of chocolate, according to the Rainforest Alliance.

Read: Here’s How Much Restaurants Mark Up Your Food

  • 60%: Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana produced a combined 60% of the world’s cocoa each year, according to the Bureau of International Labor Affairs.
  • 1.56 million: Horrifically, 1.56 million children engage in hazardous work on cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, according to the latest estimates from the ILAB. The agency has been fostering partnerships and securing commitments to help combat child labor in West African cocoa and create a global supply chain without exploitative labor practices.
Make Your Money Work Better for You

Fun Facts: 12 Most Expensive Meals in the World

  • 80%: In the last 50 years, 80% of Côte d’Ivoire’s forests have been removed, largely due to cocoa farming, according to Yale Environment 360.
  • 8%: Chocolate confectionary from sustainably farmed cocoa equaled 8% of the entire global market in 2017, according to Euromonitor International.

Now that you’ve spent time learning about chocolate, it’s time to take a break and enjoy some.

More From GOBankingRates

Last updated: Feb. 11, 2021


See Today's Best
Banking Offers