What to Expect from the Chocolate Market in 2011

By Charlie Kesler, Supply Concepts and Mascot Pecans & Chocolate
February 2011


Product fundraising distributors should expect the chocolate and chocolate candy market to continue to be volatile throughout 2011 due primarily to reduced supply of raw materials. This will likely drive distributor costs up by 4-8%

There are several reasons for these market pressures:

  1. Continuing civil unrest on the Ivory Coast will keep cocoa supplies tight and drive higher chocolate prices. Cocoa of course is the main ingredient in chocolate and the Ivory Coast grows approximately 70% of the world’s supply.
  2. The current pecan crop is in one of its off years and there is significant new demand from China. These two factors have caused raw pecans to increase 57% from $4.30 /lb. last year to $6.75/lb. in 2011. Be prepared to see significant price pressure on popular sellers like Pecan Caramel Clusters (Turtles) and Chocolate Covered Pecans.
  3. Sugar prices are also up again this year.
  4. New regulatory pressures from federal governmental agencies to inspect food manufacturing facilities are also causing higher operations costs for chocolate manufacturers.

Despite higher costs consumer purchasing trends are not expected to change much from previous years. People tend to rely on their favorite comfort foods in difficult economic times and the staple chocolate candies will still sell the best. Those include Pecan Caramel Clusters (even at a higher price), Peanut Caramel Clusters, Chocolates with a peanut butter filling, English Butter Toffee and nuts covered in chocolate.

Charlie Kesler is a principal partner in Supply Concepts, LLC the exclusive supplier of Power of Time magazine vouchers to the fundraising distributor community. He also provides product representation to Mascot Pecan and Chocolates, Old Fashioned Cheese and Spectrum Print Resources.