In The Age of Quarantine, Chocolate Reigns Supreme

by Megan Arnold August 06, 2020

These past few months have been difficult for everyone. Amid layoffs and time spent in quarantine, people have been struggling with just how best to cope. Some have picked up hobbies, others have ventured outdoors, and others have binged every episode of every show you can possibly find. But what’s one common way that people have decided to cope? Chocolate!

According to the Nielsen Corporation, consumers purchased $3.7 billion worth of chocolate over the past 17-week period ending on June 27th. That’s a 6.3% increase over that same time period last year. Of that $3.1 billion, $2.9 billion of it came from the sale of single-serve or multi-serve packs. In fact, Anton Vincent, president of Mars Wrigley North America, says that not only were people buying M&Ms but they were buying them in bigger bags. 

Bowl of assorted fun size M&M's and other chocolates

But, chocolate is sort of a general term. There’s milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate that’s a mix. So what exactly were people buying? It’s no surprise that milk chocolate reigned supreme, while white chocolate and mixed chocolate actually took a bit of a dip. Dark chocolate on the other hand, a chocolate that’s scientifically shown to be a stress reliever, saw a 13.6% increase in sales.

Overall, this spike seems to make sense. Not only are people stressed out, but they’re bored being cooped up in their homes all day. Naturally, they turn to sweets and snacks to help relieve a little bit of tension. In fact, in addition to chocolate sales, snack food consumption was up 8% in April. And, when polled about cookies, ice cream, and salty treats, 37% of consumers said they had at least three or more items from those categories within their pantries.

While things continue to remain uncertain, it seems for the time being that we can rely on one thing - snack foods and chocolate are still the stress-relieving treat that everyone is looking for!

Megan Arnold
Megan Arnold