Ahead of the festivals, demand for chocolates is steadily increasing in the range of 45% majority in cities like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Cochin, etc. as the corporates and others are using it as gifts, reveals the Assocham survey.
While releasing the Assocham Survey on ``Traditional Sweets v/s Chocolates demand during festivals``, DS Rawat, Assocham Secretary General, said, ``With an increase in use of adulterated mawa and other milk products by mithaiwallas in city, Delhiites have turned to chocolates to satiate their love for sweets. Wary of the quality of traditional sweets available in the market this Diwali, people have been flooding chocolates boutiques with gift orders, which have been increasing as Diwali gets closer.``
Major metropolitan cities in which respondents were interviewed by Assocham Social Development Foundation (ASDF) include Delhi, Mumbai, Ahemdabad, Cochin, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Indore, Patna, Pune, Chandigarh and Dehradun and it was observed that there has been a surprising rise in the demand of chocolates in the Indian market all this is because the lifestyle of people changed drastically and also rising awareness about adulterated and high-priced traditional sweets available in the market. Similar findings were observed in Chennai and Chandigarh.
Majority of confectioners confess that the increase in demand for chocolates is primarily due to increasing adulteration. They also attribute it to the narrowing gap difference between tradition and modernity. About 86% of chocolate wholesaler`s owners said the demand has gone up with each passing year. Since the past two or three years there has been a lot of interest in branded and sugar free chocolates during the festive season. Bulk orders from big companies who gift chocolate boxes to their employees or vendors.
``With changing lifestyles and their youth appeal, chocolates have also emerged as a good choice for gifting purposes. A box of chocolates costs lesser than the kaju barfi and is liked by all. Also, it has many options of imported as well as dry fruits chocolates.``
Over 82% of the confectioners said that the industry caters to a variety of consumers with over 65% of the consumption being in the urban market. However, over the years, chocolate is increasingly becoming popular among Indians and gradually replacing traditional sweets.
Nearly 76% of the confectioners said demand for designer chocolates, handmade truffles, ganaches and solid chocolates of different types and exotic flavours have been at an all-time high.
Chocolate sellers said, the quantity of chocolates sold in this duration was way more that what was sold in past three months and this Diwali, received bulk orders from corporates also.
Chocolates competing with other categories like soft drinks, snacks and beverages for a share of the consumer's wallet, but modern trade and other factors like liberalisation of the economy, growing income of middle class and macro-economic conditions have had a positive impact on consumer spending, said Rawat.
The per-capita consumption of chocolates has also increased from 50 gm in 2005 to 300 gm now and there is a lot of scope to grow even further. The consumption of chocolates is steadily increasing in urban and semi urban areas, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% and is expected to cross Rs 75 billion by 2015. The Indian chocolate market is currently poised at over Rs 45 billion.
``The major key challenges that the chocolate market is facing in India are inflationary pressures on raw material prices, lack of government initiative, high entry barriers due to duopolistic market and price-sensitive consumer,`` said majority of wholesalers.