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Dark Chocolate Brands: 6 Exciting Consumer Insignts from Markets Analysis

Category Analysis – Dark Chocolates

April 2018 – September 2018

Region – Romania

Dark chocolate global market is valued at US$ 43.4 Billion as of 2017 and is expected to reach US$ of 69.6 Billion by 2023. The growth rate of dark chocolate industry is expected to be growing at a CAGR of nearly 8.2% during 2018-2023. In this report, we provide deep insights into the dark chocolate industry covering the perception drivers, emerging trends and much more interesting aspects. This report is an important-read for entrepreneurs who plan to foray into the dark chocolate industry.


The analysis is based on customer reviews and conversations online in the segment. The analysis results presented are completely unbiased and not based on any subjective judgement. The source data used for the analysis are user conversations available publicly online like public forums and social media.


Total number of customer conversations analyzed

Top 6 Perception Drivers

Perception is awareness or an understanding of something. Consumer perception plays a vital role in the consumption behavior thereby affecting the demand for a product. Hence it becomes key for a manufacturer to understand the perception drivers. A manufacturer must understand the likes and dislikes of his customers to be successful marketer.

Through a detailed analysis of 675 online consumer conversations, Clootrack has listed down the top 6 perception drivers that buyers consider while making a purchase of a dark chocolate. In this report we have presented the relationship between different perception drivers in the form of a graph that can be used to sense the degree of importance consumers attach to various factors.

Below are top 6 factors that consumers consider while making a purchase of a dark chocolate: 

1. Taste of Chocolates

Dark chocolate has an original chocolate taste than milk chocolate because it does not contain milk and sugar that usually overpowers the chocolate taste. This is the main reason why a lot of consumers like dark chocolate over the milk chocolate.

From customer conversation study, it is inferred that taste is the primary driver for buying a dark chocolate.  Research study shows that 95% males and 93% females buy chocolates because of its taste.

Dark chocolates have loyal fans that would never choose any other chocolate bar over a dark chocolate.  Its nice taste that is addictive and so perfect that is neither too sweet nor too bitter is driving more consumers to buy dark chocolates.

Though dark chocolate lovers like the inherent high cocoa present in it, they still get dark chocolate bars that has varieties of cocoa concentrations, ranging between 35 percent cocoa content all the way up to 100 percent cocoa.

 2. Cost

Consumers of dark chocolates prefer that the cost of the chocolate bars should be able to offer value for their money. Many a times the price of chocolates fluctuates due to the change in price of the various ingredients that go into making chocolates. But consumers do not worry about it since they prefer value out of the money they spend towards buying a dark chocolate. Consumers prefer that dark chocolates should come in a range of prices starting for low price to high price.

The chocolate makers should come up with more options for consumers to make it affordable for all sections of the society.  Lining the market shelves with dark chocolates that range from low cost to high cost can satisfy variety of customers.

3. Ingredients/Flavors

Consumers are very particular about the ingredients and flavors used in dark chocolate production. They look for natural ingredients without additives, artificial ingredients and chemicals.

The variation in chocolate taste is brought about by the type of cocoa bean, roasting, terroir, fermentation, conching and roasting. The proportion of the various ingredients added to dark chocolates brings out a different taste. Dark chocolate comes in numerous flavors such as semisweet, unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate.

Dark chocolate manufacturers should ensure to source organic chocolate ingredients to promote sustain sustainable chocolate practices.

4. Bitterness

Dark chocolate is known to be bitter than the milk chocolate due to the higher levels of cocoa and lesser sugar content. A typical dark chocolate contains anywhere between 70 percent to 99 percent of pure cacao or cocoa solids. Chocolate lovers rejoice the bitterness in the dark chocolate that come with benefits of antioxidants. Consumers love the bitterness that brings loads of health benefits.  Though bitter, consumers savor the hit of bitterness that come with natural flavors of chocolate.

Dark chocolate manufacturers need to consider this factor of bitterness as consumers prefer to enjoy the healthy and nutritious benefits of dark chocolate without altering its properties. They should offer dark chocolates in different combinations of cocoa starting from low cocoa of about 35% and all the way up to 85%, thereby offering more choice for the consumers.

 5. Texture

The best chocolate is the one that melts instantly in the mouth! Texture is enormously important for a consumer to have a pleasant chocolate experience. Consumers remember the smooth and creamy melt-in-your-mouth texture that will leave them craving for more.

Consumers are delighted by the snap, the sound of a piece of chocolate upon the first bite. The thinner a chocolate, the better is the texture. The texture can be gained by adding the right amount and quality of finely grounded chocolate particles and cocoa butter in the making of a chocolate.  Consumers prefer to enjoy the melting of chocolate and feel its smooth and creamy texture. 

6. Packing

The main purpose of packing is to protect the food. But it has gone beyond just protection. Today, consumers prefer to have cool packs that come in beautiful designs. Consumer prefers to buy well packed and attractive packages that care of hygiene and cleanliness. Chocolates have become a favorite gifting options during birthdays an d valentine’s day thereby making consumers look for attractive and beautiful packages to be given away to their loved ones. 

A package has the power to evoke an emotion from the consumers.  Chocolate manufacturers realize that the packaging of the product is the first point of contact your customer will have with your brand. Packing is the first way of communication that your brand makes with the consumer. Packaging should be used to reinforce and enhance your brand. 

Brand Equity

Consumer perception, which is a combination of knowledge and experience, towards a brand and its products, builds brand equity. The perception that a consumer segment holds towards a brand directly results in either positive or negative effects. Brand equity is an indicator of the company’s strength and performance, specifically in the public markets.

Download the detailed report for free to get to know the brand names in the below chart. The detailed report also covers list of features that delight users and several other interesting insights.  

Brand Equity

Consumer perception, which is a combination of knowledge and experience, towards a brand and its products, builds brand equity. The perception that a consumer segment holds towards a brand directly results in either positive or negative effects. Brand equity is an indicator of the company’s strength and performance, specifically in the public markets.

Download the detailed report for free to get to know the brand names in the below chart. The detailed report also covers list of features that delight users and several other interesting insights.  

Consumer Beliefs

Brand must reflect customer beliefs. When it comes to convincing consumers, the secret is to understand the consumer beliefs and their behavior. This will eventually leads you to know what a buyer wants from your business. A customer has a deep understanding of what they want from a product.

When it comes to dark chocolate, customers have their own list of beliefs. They truly differentiate a dark chocolate that satisfies the below beliefs from the rest of the chocolates that they see in the market. These customer beliefs help chocolate makers to personalize the products for the customers.

1. Bitter Chocolate Is Healthy

Customers believe that dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients and is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium and many other minerals, and also a wide variety of antioxidants. Dark chocolate contains cocoa solids that have shown to help in lower blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes, and improve cognition.

2. Bitterness Is Indicator Of Purity Of Chocolate

Especially for a dark chocolate, the cocoa percentages play a large role to decide the flavor of the chocolate. Bitterness of the dark chocolate increases with the increasing cocoa percentage thereby indicating that the quality of the dark chocolate. Good quality dark chocolates usually have a minimum of 60 percent cocoa and goes up to 80 percent cocoa which has a higher bitter taste.

3. Most Brands Have Chemical Additive, Check And Buy

Customers believe that most of the dark chocolates are lined with chemical additives which keep them cautious while buying a dark chocolate. From additives, synthetic colors, emulsifiers to artificial flavors, customers cannot be sure what dark chocolates are made of. Hence customers believe that it’s high time that they start reading the product label and be sure of what they are really eating.

Top 3 Emerging Trends To Look Out If You Are Chocolate Maker

Every piece of chocolate bar can bring a smile on customer’s face. Chocolate has been always related to an emotion. But it is going just beyond emotions, and consumers overwhelmingly are accepting the health benefits of eating dark chocolate. So it is quiet natural that sale of dark chocolate is booming in many markets.  Consumers are becoming more vigilant about what goes inside making of the chocolate and are willing to pay  more for chocolates that are organic and of high quality.

The dark chocolate world is constantly evolving and has never been the same from one year to the next. Below is the list of the top 3 emerging trends in dark chocolate industry. If you are chocolate manufacturer, you better pay attention to the emerging trends to take your business to greater heights:

1. Dairy Free, Nut Free, Gluten Free

Customers are becoming more and more specific about the ingredients that go into a dark chocolate. The emerging trend is to buy chocolates that are dairy free, nut free and gluten free. Consumers are looking for chocolates that are free of any allergens and are asking for chocolates that are milk and dairy free, peanut free, gluten free, tree nut free, soy free and egg free. This is giving way for the production of chocolates that are natural, vegan free and common allergen free.

2. Single Origin And Organic Ingredients

Single origin chocolate is created out of the cocoa beans taken from a single source or origin meaning the beans comes from a single country. Consumers are moving towards chocolates that are made from cocoa that is sourced from a single source as well as chocolates made from organic ingredients. The emerging trend in dark chocolate industry is to utilize beans that are not treated with synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. All other ingredients such as the milk, sugar, nuts and fruits used in the chocolate bar should be organic.

3. Ethical Sourced Ingredients

Consumers are thinking about the way the ingredients are sourced and want to know the journey from a bean to a chocolate box. Consumers today do think about the child labor involved in cocoa plantations. Consumers prefer to have chocolates that are made by fair trade companies that ensure they are not contributing to slavery. The emerging trend in chocolate industry is to take up social and environmental responsibility to make the world a better place by supporting the chocolate production in an ethical and sustainable fashion.

Detailed Report

Learn much more about the chocolate lovers and the factors that delight them. You can download the pdf version of the complete report for free. Enter your email at the end of this report and we’ll send it to you for FREE.

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