Chocolate Trends: Analyzing French Expectations Just Before Easter

Let’s have a look at new consumer expectations and local competitors in the French chocolate market. The chocolate industry must quickly adapt to fast-moving consumer behavior by launching the right innovation into the market. How do we make sure to make a brand offer match the true consumer demand? Let’s analyze chocolate search trends with Trajaan to reveal what kind of chocolate French people truly want.

Trajaan / Chocolate trends

The chocolate market is a well-implanted industry in France, evaluated at 4 billion euros in 2021. And despite the Covid-19 crisis, the market is growing faster than ever in 2022. Especially with the rise of new categories.

  • +4,2% growth of online searches in the last 6 months

The Easter Bunny has new expectations 🐰

Reacting fast to new consumer expectations has become crucial for both marketing & product teams to steer innovation with new products, new packaging, and local marketing campaigns. Let’s review together the overall direction the market is taking:

  1. The Covid-19 crisis pushed people to consume more “comfort food

  2. Healthy chocolate (low/no sugar) has become a trending category among consumers

  3. The chocolate’s industry impact on the planet is generating concerns among consumers

  4. Dark milk chocolate (stronger in cacao than milk chocolate), seduces more consumers.

  5. Checking if products are dairy-free, allergen-free, and not causing intolerances have become a critical part of the purchase journey

A guilty pleasure to confront a shady period.​

While Covid-19 has shaken the world in the last two years, consumer behavior has changed as consumers began to take the time to hunt for products that truly match their requirements and desires. 

We talk here about “comfort food” referring to biscuits, cakes, pies, and – of course – chocolate. Therefore, since Covid-19 has changed our habits, the chocolate industry has strongly re-emerged from the crisis, with some sub-categories like vegan chocolates even growing faster than others.

🔥 +4,2% growth of online searches in the last 6 months

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Not (always) guilty! Chocolate can be healthy (they say).​

Many people started to reconsider their lifestyle during the Covid-19 crisis. How to eat better, how to live, how to better exercise.

2021 registered a growing interest for low/no-sugar, vegan, or bio chocolates.

These new trends are rapidly spreading and are expected to be a top priority for main customers in the near future.  

🌱 +6,2% growth since the last 6 months (2 points more than the global market)

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True brand awareness 🧠🍫​

Jeff de Bruges is one of the most famous brands in the chocolate industry when considering online searches.

Indeed, the brand can rely on more than 2 million queries in 2021.

Some brands such as Lindt or Kinder have also special collections with a substantial impact on people’s minds – like special editions like Lindt Lindor (3.600 searches), Excellence (550 searches), or Champs-Elysées (350 searches).

Even more with Kinder Bueno (28.000 searches), Kinder Country (13.100 searches), Kinder Pingui (15.000 searches)… Jeff de Bruges has absolutely no collection standing out from the crowd (>100 searches). The chocolate maker is more famous for all its stores spread all over French territory (489 stores in France) than its collections. 

🛍 Jeff de Bruges is 4x more associated with the query “shop” than its competitors. Individuals are more looking for buying their chocolates in shops than online. 

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Le Comptoir de Mathilde, gaining awareness at the speed of light 💝​

Le Comptoir de Mathilde is a chocolate maker established in 2007, offering a sensitive experience inside their shops by mixing visuals, smells, and tastes.

The brand is selling premium chocolate, from more than 33 franchised shops in France.

Even if the hearth of experience is within the shops, the company invested massively in digital performance and social media presence.

🍫 Very influent in South of France where the first shops were implanted (Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur & Auvergne-Rhônes-Alpes).

🍫 +101% during the last 6 months ‼️

🍫 Already the 9th most searched brand with 35.000 queries monthly.

Winners & losers at celebrating Easter & Christmas.​

Obviously, Xmas and Easter are the most important dates for the chocolate industry every year. Chocolate is culturally linked with these dates, as a nice gift to offer & a sweet to share with friends & family. Explaining why search volumes are very high in March, November & December. 

However, some brands are not really gaining from these specific dates – which means that some companies are seen as good chocolate brands to buy for celebrations, while others are more likely to be searched all along the year. 

  • Kinder: A Easter chocolate 🥚 +38% in March/April compared to the monthly average
  • Jeff de Bruges: A Xmas chocolate 🎄 +280% in December compared to the monthly average
  • M&m’s: the perfect gift for Saint-Valentine’s day 💝 +58% in February compared to the monthly average
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The sun cuts down on chocolate cravings ☀️🍫​

Noteworthy fact, the Chocolate industry goes through an off-peak period during summer. 

Culturally, chocolate used to be consumed in households daily. When people abandon their daily routines, chocolate ceases to be a product of first necessity.

The summer warmth removes the desire to eat chocolate from many consumers.

☀️ Around -40% during summer (June, July, August) compared to the average monthly mean.

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Directly to home 🛍🏠​

One of the most impactful changes in our lives due to the Covid-19 crisis was the closure of most unnecessary shops. The customers adapted quickly, we saw the explosion of Amazon commands and online shopping. The chocolate industry didn’t derogate the rule: people ordered their favorite chocolate online!

🛍 Almost 50.000 monthly queries in 2021 for online chocolate shopping.

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