Friday, February 6, 2009

Is Chocolate Recession Proof?

Is Chocolate Recession Proof? That's the question of the week. Last year, total chocolate-candy sales grew 2.1% to hit $7.5 billion. Chocolate was 80% of all candy bought last year. No big surprise to me! Of course, I buy chocolate, not candy. I know, I know. I'm a chocolate snob.

A headline this past week in The Wall Street Journal reads "Premium Chocolate Holds Steady in Tough Economy. More Selective Consumers Make Each Morsel Count with Emphasis on Ingredient Sourcing and Artisanal Production."

According to the editors at Gourmet, consumers that dine out less frequently to save money, will turn to wine and chocolate - since they are affordable luxuries. Both industries have seen an explosion of boutique brands and products over the past few years, especially at the high end.

The selective consumer will appreciate quality chocolate that's produced from bean to bar. I was introduced to several new artisan chocolates recently at the San Francisco Fancy Food Show including two chocolate makers that grow, harvest and make their own chocolate in the same place. More on that in a later blog. It is delicious, but it doesn't come cheap.

So with Valentine's Day coming up, my advice is go out there and buy the very best chocolate you can find to boost the economy. It's a stimulant!

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