The past year has been tough on everyone, and the confectionery industry has been no exception. Global cocoa grind, a measurement of confectionery demand, contracted nearly 3 percent in 2020, with many traditional routes to market such as impulse purchases and food service disrupted and e-commerce/at-home consumption only partly filling the void. With major social-gathering holidays like Easter and Halloween affected, demand for chocolate lagged most of the year.
Fast-forward 12 months, and we are starting to see signs of life again, evident in this week’s grind data from major reporting regions. Both Malaysia and Ivory Coast posted positive numbers for Q1 to start the week, indicating that demand for products produced at origin is picking up again. Western European grind was down 3 percent for Q1 2021, not that surprising considering the fourth wave of lockdowns and closures in the wake of new COVID-19 variants across the continent.
Meanwhile, North American grind posted a 2 percent rise in the most recent quarter, the second consecutive quarter of expansion.