Top Export Markets for Chocolate Products

Mufaddal K.

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If you are a chocolate products manufacturer looking to expand internationally, identifying the right countries to target internationally can be difficult.  This article analyzes import volumes for these products for different countries between 2012 and 2016.  Based on this analysis we identify the fastest growing and largest export markets for these products to help you prioritize your international expansion strategies.


The data in this analysis is from the International Trade Centre (ITC).  It is limited to the following product categories as categorized by the ITC:

Product Group 18 (Cocoa and cocoa preparations)




Chocolate Products Imports Analysis by Region



We can see that the largest import market for these products is Europe & Central Asia (approximately US$ 31 billion in 2016) .  This region also had strong annual import growth between 2012 and 2016.  The European market seems attractive to any chocolate product manufacturer.  In addition, North America, East Asia and the Middle East all showed strong growth during this time period although import volume was significantly lower compared to Europe & Central Asia. 


Targeting countries in your own region of the world first is sometimes the easiest way to start growing intentionally.  We now focus on each one of these regions individually to understand what countries might be your best targets for international expansion.  High import volume and high year over year import growth are two metrics you want to continue focusing on when looking at countries within a specific region.




Chocolate Products Imports Analysis for East Asia & Pacific Countries



Within East Asia & Pacific, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are Japan, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Indonesia.  Year over year import growth in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Indonesia is strong as well.  The Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have high growth in imports although import volume is more limited.




Chocolate Products Imports Analysis for Europe & Central Asia Countries



Within Europe & East Asia, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are Germany, Netherlands, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom.  All have very strong year over year import growth as well.  In addition, Italy, Spain Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Czech Republic and Ireleand also had strong year over year import growth making them attractive targets for expansion as well.




Chocolate Products Imports Analysis for Latin America & Caribbean Countries



Within Latin America & Caribbean, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia.  Year over year import growth in these countries however has been negative with the exception of Chile and Colombia.  In addition, Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Dominican Republic, Honduras and Cuba have all been posting high growth in imports although more limited volume.




Chocolate Products Imports Analysis for Middle East & North Africa Countries



Within the Middle East & North Africa, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Israel and Kuwait.  Most of these countries have strong growth in imports as well.  In addition, Iran, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon and Bahrain have had high growth in imports although limited volume.




Chocolate Products Imports Analysis for North America Countries



Within North America, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are the United States and Canada.  Both also have strong year over year growth as well.  




Chocolate Products Imports Analysis for South Asia Countries



Within South Asia, the country with the highest volume of imports in 2016 is India.  Year over year import growth in India has also been strong.  Other countries in the region have import volume much lower than India but Pakistan and Nepal do show strong year over year import growth rates.




Chocolate Products Imports Analysis for Sub-Saharan Africa Countries



Within Sub-Saharan Africa, the country with the highest volume of imports in 2016 is South Africa.  Import growth in South Africa however has been negative.  Other countries in the region have import volume much lower than South Africa.




Getting Serious About Expanding Internationally?


Analyzing data is the first step to building a strategic plan for international expansion.  Once you've identified your potential target countries for expansion, you can use our online platform to find local partners in those countries.  Learn more about our platform here and then signup to add your products, set your partnership terms and review partnership offers you'll start receiving from local partners within a few hours.