NCA Reveals What Chocolate Lovers Want

NCA Reveals What Chocolate Lovers Want

NCA Debuts New Sweet Insights Report on Chocolate Consumers

WASHINGTON – Today, the National Confectioners Association released a new report exploring chocolate consumption patterns and preferences titled Getting to Know Chocolate Consumers 2021: Exploring Consumer Demographics, Consumption Preferences and Shopping Habits for Mainstream, Premium and Fine Chocolate.

Conducted by 210 Analytics and made financially possible by the Fine Chocolate Industry Association and Barry Callebaut USA, the report provides an in-depth look at consumer perceptions, attitudes and behaviors regarding chocolate to help the confectionery industry optimize production, marketing, merchandising and branding decisions as they relate to everyday, premium and fine chocolate selections. 

“Chocolate has always been a consumer favorite, but preferences for type and format vary widely based on consumers’ age, income and lifestyle,” John Downs, president & CEO of NCA, said. “This past year was a strong one for chocolate. COVID-19 dramatically changed shopping behaviors, spurring tremendous growth in chocolate e-commerce, for instance. The research in this new report breaks down the changes we’re seeing to help the confectionery industry continue to adapt, grow and thrive.”

The Getting to Know Chocolate Consumers 2021 report also takes a closer look at the rapidly growing fine chocolate segment, which has seen a significant increase in frequent and exclusive consumers since the start of the pandemic.

“Over the past year and a half, we’ve seen consumers more willing to treat themselves to a piece of fine chocolate in order to support their emotional well-being during this stressful period,” Bill Guyton, executive director of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, said. “This wave of interest in fine chocolate has spurred all sorts of new experimentation and inclusions from the fine chocolate industry as consumers find new ways to fit fine chocolate into their everyday routines – from single origin recipes to rare ingredients.”

Laura Bergan, Director of Marketing for the Barry Callebaut Brand, North America, agrees that consumer preferences have evolved over time. “Looking at our own consumer insights and research in parallel with watching our customers’ business, we agree there have been shifts in consumer purchases at the shelf. This research aligns with our observations that consumers are more than ever seeking chocolate experiences in their sweet treat consumption moments.”

The full Getting to Know Chocolate Consumers 2021 report is available to NCA member companies at, and key insights from the research can be found in the report’s executive summary at Infographics related to the report’s findings are also available for download. For more information on the findings of the report, NCA and FCIA member companies can view the Getting to Know the 2021 Chocolate Consumer webinar.


About the National Confectioners Association (NCA):
The National Confectioners Association is the leading trade organization for the $48 billion U.S. confectionery industry. NCA advocates for an environment that enables candy makers to thrive and works to ensure that chocolate, candy, gum and mints are celebrated for their contributions to culture, society, the economy and everyday moments of joy. The industry employs nearly 58,000 workers in more than 1,600 manufacturing facilities across all 50 states and supports an additional 635,000 jobs in related fields. The U.S. confectionery industry has made a commitment to increasing transparency, providing more portion guidance options and educating consumers about the role of confectionery in a happy, balanced lifestyle. Learn more at or follow NCA on Facebook, X and Instagram.

About the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA):

The Fine Chocolate Industry Association is an international industry association supporting professionals throughout the fine chocolate supply chain. Through educational events, advocacy, strategic partnerships and an online marketplace, FCIA provides a collective voice on quality and innovation and promotes the art of fine chocolate. The association has nearly 350 company members. Learn more about FCIA on and its online marketplace: