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Targeting mid-lifers with sustainable chocolate

25 November 2014

According to Canadean, consumers are not concerned about natural production; however, manufacturers can tap into the chocolate market by correctly labelling the products and promoting them as an indulgent treat with natural ingredients and sustainable production methods.

Mid-lifers becoming an important consumer group

According to Canadean, the UK’s confectionery market recorded sales of £5,3 billion in 2013, with the value of chocolate expected to increase at a Compound Annual Rate Growth (CARG) of 2.7% from 2013-2018 - a growth rate higher than sugar confectionery and chewing gum.

Chocolate is becoming increasingly popular among mid-lifers (45-54 year old consumers), when compared to other demographic groups. This can be linked to the pleasure that  comes from eating a bar of chocolate during a relaxing moment of ‘me-time.

Consumers pay less attention on how products are formulated

As middle-aged consumers are under constant stress, they often turn to chocolate as a form of escapism and as such are not as concerned by issues such as healthy eating. Moreover, when it comes to chocolate, consumers pay little attention to product formulation. Canadean's survey finds that 46% consumers aged 45-54 claim that ‘natural products’ are neither important nor unimportant when they look for chocolate. Moreover, 66% have never put a confectionery product back on the shelf because it was not natural enough. This indicates that mid-lifers buy chocolate mainly because they look for a treat to enjoy during their moments of relaxation.

‘Contributing to a sustainable world’ as an added value for chocolate consumption

Only 20% of Britons believe that confectionery is artificial, meaning that the majority of consumers see chocolate as a natural product. In order to emphasise the often overlooked natural positioning of chocolate and its ‘better for you and the world’ credentials, marketers need to establish a link between concepts such as ‘natural’ and ‘sustainable’.

To improve a sustainable conscious behaviour, marketers should appeal to consumers’ emotional bonds. According to Raquel Perez-Lopez, analyst at Canadean: “Chocolate can be positioned both as an indulgent treat and a ‘good’ product. This can be done by positioning a product around the claim of ‘creating a better and sustainable world’. Moreover, appropriate labelling, such as Fairtrade certification, would allow consumers to enjoy a guilt-free moment of indulgence by eating a product that has been produced in an ethical and environmentally friendly manner.”

 Sustainable Chocolate

According to Canadean, manufacturers can tap into the chocolate market by promoting its sustainable consumption with correct labelling.


These findings are based on a recent Canadean survey of 2,000 British consumers.

Please get in contact if you have any questions to this or other Canadean reports. Analysts are available to comment. Contact Aurelija Kolesnikovaite at the Canadean press office on +44 (0) 207 936 6713 or email


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