The Art of Taste: Kerry Deep Dives into Hot Chocolate

Wednesday 15 February, 2017

In late 2016, Kerry carried out a survey among hot chocolate consumers from around the UK to understand the market and how we might help our customers meet the desire for amazing hot chocolate experiences. Hot Chocolate has been highlighted as a key growth category for Foodservice, driven by innovation and increased interest from consumers.

The results of the survey were quite compelling as they revealed that 57% of people are now consuming more hot chocolate now that they were one year ago! At present, hot chocolate is the third most frequently consumed hot beverage in the UK. Coffee alternatives are expected to grow by 13% to 2019 as consumers are more frequently opting for non-coffee hot beverages.

Seasonality and weather conditions proved to be two of the highest purchase motivators for the drink. Additional reasons for the increase in consumption vary from caffeine fatigue and new flavours to improved quality, and the consumer need for comfort and relaxation.

Kerry also compared the findings of our UK study with the Republic of Ireland. The main drivers of growth in consumption of the drink in ROI are linked to socialising and the increase in consumer dwell-time in coffee houses. Irish consumers are also more aware of provenance in hot chocolate and hence we are seeing more premium and flavoured varieties enter the market. The hot chocolate category is still relatively small and specialist in Ireland. However; as we see consumers frequenting independents and driving the growth of coffee chains and the café culture; hot chocolate as a category is expected to grow with the market.

Based on our research, it is clear that there is an opportunity for innovation in Hot Chocolate, particularly to satisfy the indulgent needs of less frequent coffee drinkers. The trend towards new artisan tea and hot chocolate beverages will increase the tendency towards non-coffee beverages. Coffee shop operators are in a strong position to appeal to a wider consumer set with a strong mix of coffee and non-coffee beverages such as hot chocolate.

The infographic below highlights some of the key statistics derived from the UK survey.



For more information, contact Eimear O’Donnell: