We've commissioned new research to show the depth of the British attachment to the nation’s favourite treat, and what UK chocolate lovers think can be done to ensure chocolate never runs out. The research was partly prompted by reports earlier this year warning of a cocoa shortfall from 2020, putting at risk the supply and cost of treat we take for granted (Chocolate could run out in 2020 due to worldwide shortage of cocoa).

Chocolate confessions

At Divine we believe that chocolate should be cherished. Our vision is a world where chocolate is celebrated by everyone, empowering consumers and farmers alike. So this was our opportunity to find out how UK consumers feel about chocolate and the emotions it inspires. We also wanted to take a closer look at what people thought about cocoa farmers and what they would do to ensure chocolate never ran out! 

How deep is my love
In our research nearly half of respondents said they “really loved” or “loved” chocolate and over a third (35%) strongly agreed or agreed with the statement “I couldn’t live without chocolate”.  Testing their love for chocolate even further, respondents were asked what they would be prepared to give up rather than chocolate to which 57% said “Facebook”, 53% said alcohol, 50% said tea…. and 44% said “sex”.

Presented with the possibility that chocolate could run out, 63% expressed sadness – saying they would be “depressed”, “disappointed” or “worried”.  Comments included “Devastated. Life wouldn’t be worth living” and “I would just have to get used to it, but I would miss it terribly”.

What about the cocoa farmers?
Despite being devoted to chocolate, UK chocolate lovers are not sure where most cocoa comes from (51% thought Brazil was one of the top three producers, whereas around 70% comes from West Africa), but there was good awareness that most of the world’s cocoa is grown by smallscale farmers (65%).

What can be done to stop cocoa from running out
Only 26% had heard about the cocoa shortages, compared to other food issues like decline in bees (68%) or horsemeat in the supply chain (63%). A surprising 47% said they were will to pay over 10p more on a £1 bar of chocolate “if it guaranteed that farmers would be paid enough money to keep producing cocoa”.  Respondents also demonstrated that they felt there were things companies and retailers could do to tackle potential shortages of cocoa – 67% said they should “Pay cocoa farmers more for their cocoa” and 55% agreed they should “incentivise the next generation to keep farming cocoa.” 42% thought that enabling “cocoa farmers to have shares in companies that sell chocolate” was a good option.

We'd love to hear more about your love affair with chocolate - tell us on Twitter @divinechocolate

Data taken from a nationally representative survey of 1,003 UK adults undertaken via an online panel by Opinion Leader Research between 11th -22nd September 2015

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