September 16, 2021
National Choose Your Chocolate Day is celebrated on September 16th, and it’s a chance to honor what may be the sweetest invention on the planet. For thousands of years, this precise blend of cocoa, milk, and sugar has been enjoyed by monarchs, presidents, celebrities, and, of course, while maintaining a prized spot on your grandmother’s kitchen table.
Chocolate is the ideal present. Simply walking inside a store will reveal why. The wonderful smell of cocoa greets you. Perfect for any occasion, you can’t go wrong with the idea of chocolate! According to a 2020 report by ResearchAndMarkets.com, chocolate is one of the most consumed food products globally, with a massive market valued at approximately $137.6 billion in 2019. That market is expected to grow to more than $182 billion by 2025. With that in mind, let’s celebrate National Choose Your Chocolate Day with a quick look at some of the publicly traded companies with brands that tap into the near-universal love for the cocoa-based confection.
Let’s start with The Hershey Company (Tii:HSY). After all, the Pennsylvania-based candy producer has the largest U.S. market share for chocolate and is one of the world’s top producers. With iconic chocolatey brands that include Reese’s, Kit Kat, Mounds, Almond Joy, and its namesake Hershey’s Kisses and chocolate bars, Hershey Company has remained a favorite among consumers since its founding more than 100 years ago. On the business side, Hershey is doing very well. Second-quarter sales gained 15.5% to hit $2 billion. More than a chocolate producer, Hershey also benefited from strategic acquisitions over the past few years, including snack food providers ONE Brands and Pirate Brands.
Based in Durango, Colorado, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (Tii:RMCF) is an international franchisor, confectionery manufacturer and retail operator in the United States, Philippines, Panama, and South Korea that produces more than 300 chocolate candies and other confectionery products. The company’s website offers a wide range of chocolates for the discerning palate that would make ideal gifts – for a loved one or for yourself.
With over three dozen brands under its belt, Mondelez International, Inc. (Tii:MDLZ) is a major global confectionery, food and beverage producer. Among the brands in the Chicago-based Fortune 500 mainstay is Cadbury, the second-largest chocolatier in the world, the Chips Ahoy! brand of chocolate chip cookies, the 100-plus-year old Oreo brand of sandwich cookie, and Swiss chocolate brand Toblerone. The company, which increased its quarterly shareholder dividend 11%, recently reported a 12.4% increase in second-quarter net revenue.
While not a leading chocolate producer by any means, consumer foods manufacturer the General Mills Inc. (Tii:GIS) portfolio includes popular breakfast cereals Cocoa Puffs and Count Chocula. While one might argue about the levels of actual chocolate in these products, several generations of kids have grown up enjoying their ‘chocolatey’ goodness. Underscoring the popularity of chocolate, Häagen-Dazs, which General Mills also owns, reported in 2020 that its Vanilla Milk Chocolate Almond Bar was its fourth best-selling flavor of 2020.
There’s something about chocolate that gives its long-lasting worldwide appeal. With origins that can be traced back to the ancient Mayans and the Olmecs before them, chocolate is likely to remain an important part of our diets – whether we want a sweet treat, to cheer ourselves up, express our fondness for a loved one, or just because. So, get out there and choose your chocolate!