SOME 90 per cent of Britons regularly eat the low-cost comfort food, chocolate, as a treat or to lift their mood, research suggests. Considering that chocolate includes endorphins and opioids which make people feel more relaxed this is not surprising that people reach for this treat to help them feel better.
Sales of chocolate have gone up by 9.2 per cent in two years to reach 3.6bn pounds (€4.1bn), during a time where most households are ‘tightening their belts’.
Sales will continue to grow to 4.1bn pounds (€4.6bn) by 2015, according to predictions by retail analysts Mintel. The preference for milk chocolate over dark fell by 52 per cent to 35 per cent from 2008 to 2009.
This is possibly due to studies suggesting its numerous health benefits including longevity, pain relief, reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer and lifting depression. Unfortunately the price of chocolate is being driven-up by a global shortage of cocoa.
Numerous firms have warned shoppers over the impact of soaring cocoa costs, Thorntons being the latest.
Both Cadbury and Nestle have reportedly increased prices by 7 per cent among some of their products including Dairy Milk, KitKat and Yorkie.
“Our over-riding desire for indulgence will keep the chocolate category going, helped by continued new product development,” said a Mintel spokesman, who believes that the small price hike wont affect public spending on chocolate.