Although the vegan food sector is still described as a niche market, it has developed much more rapidly than the conventional food sector in recent years. This also reflects the growing demand for plant-based chocolate which, according to Transparency Market Research, will significantly boost the global market for these products in the coming years.
Health trend drives demand up
The positive forecasts of the market study extend through to 2027. The driving force behind this trend is consumers themselves, who see vegan food as a healthier alternative to conventional food. The growing wellness and health trend among consumers is therefore also leading to the assumption that plant-based chocolate is healthier than traditional varieties. Since vegan chocolate contains no dairy and therefore no animal ingredients, it has the advantage over conventional varieties of having a very low cholesterol content. In addition to the wellness trend, many lactose-intolerant consumers also choose plant-based alternatives.
The growing awareness of animal suffering in food production and the environmental impact of the food industry are also contributing to changes in consumer behaviour; many studies suggest that livestock farming is one of the main contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions.
Regional trends: Europe leads the chocolate market
Europe is expected to dominate the vegan chocolate market in terms of value share for the period under review, closely followed by North America. This is not just due to growing awareness of animal welfare, health, and sustainability among consumers, but can also be explained by high average incomes, advanced technologies, existing research and development centres, and production sites. The vegan chocolate market is expected to grow moderately in the Asia Pacific region, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.
The ever-growing range of flavours and the resulting wider choice for consumers is creating greater demand. Higher prices compared to traditional chocolate are seen as an obstacle to unrestricted growth in the plant-based chocolate market.