1. The current situation of Chinese chocolate market

The material life of Chinese people has improved and consumer goods have been enriched. Chocolate is no longer limited to Valentine’s Day, and its consumption scene is gradually moving towards a more everyday and popular direction. According to the data of China Association of Industries, the size of China’s chocolate market reached RMB 40 billion in 2020, nearly doubling compared to 2018.

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2. Who are the chocolate consumer groups in China? 

According to the statistics, women aged 18-34 in second and third-tier cities are the first major consumer group of chocolate.

3. In China, what are the famous chocolate products brands?

In China’s chocolate market, imported chocolate brands dominate. The market share of the four major brands represented by Mars, Ferrero, Nestle and Hershey is as high as 80%, among which, the market share of famous brands such as Dove, M&M, and Snickers under Mars is as high as 39.8%. In addition, the Swiss high-end chocolate brand Godiva and Japanese Meiji are also well received by Chinese consumers.

4. What is the price range of chocolate products in China?

Chocolate products within RMB 50 account for nearly 80%, with the largest number of products in the price band of RMB 20-50, accounting for 42.1% of the overall proportion. From the analysis of the sales conversion rate of products with different prices, the lower the product price, the higher the sales conversion rate.

5. What are the characteristics of China’s chocolate market in 2022?

Chocolate product consumption upgrade

Consumers prefer niche, imported and high-end brands. “Ritual” and “tone” are an important launching point for brands, while premium packaging, high-end positioning, rare ingredients and professional origin usually add a layer of value to brands while enriching the consumption scene. For example, truffle chocolate, Belgian chocolate, French chocolate, blueberry chocolate, etc.

Professionals analyze that in recent years, chocolate category goods are good at increasing sales price through packaging. The proportion of bagged chocolate and bulk chocolate located within 20 yuan price is 56.8% and 57.1% respectively. High-priced products, especially those above 200 yuan, are only found in the gift box category.

Chocolate positions shift from “offline” to “online”

The competition in China’s chocolate market has also shifted from “offline” to “online”: major e-commerce platforms have become the main position for chocolate brands, and many brands are constantly innovating marketing methods to attract traffic to their own stores. This not only makes shopping more convenient for consumers, but also gives them more choices.

Chocolate consumers pursue health and low sugar

The trend of great health is also reflected in the choice of chocolate. Consumers desire low-burden attributes such as no additives and low sugar, which gives brands more opportunities to create efficacy premiums. In addition, chocolate’s energy-supplementing and satiating characteristics are well suited to consumers’ needs for replenishment in their fast-paced lives. It can also act as a meal replacement for fitness and diet management, which also provides brands with new product line directions.

6. How can international chocolate brands expand their awareness in China?

Generally speaking, Chinese consumers have a fixed consumption logic and path: accidental/long-tail keyword search to discover the product (Xiaohongshu/Douyin) – check the brand’s information to confirm its authority (Baidu/WeChat) – check the evaluation of consumers who have already purchased — Purchase (Taobao Tmall / Jingdong)

It is worth noting that under chocolate related search entries, many Chinese consumers’ concerns are focused on food safety and health issues. For example, “How many calories does XX chocolate have?” and “Is XX brand chocolate cocoa butter substitute?” “Is it true that so-and-so chocolate is imported from foreign countries?” And so on. This is not a very tricky question, but if the brand does not deal with these questions in a timely manner, consumers will stop there; if there are one or two negative comments, consumers will completely lose their trust in the brand.

Let’s learn about each of these online platforms that can’t be avoided in the Chinese market!

Xiaohongshu/Little Red Book

Little Red Book is a very important social platform in China, the platform’s consumer groups are mostly young women who love to share, pay attention to quality of life and live in the city. And on Little Red Book, people post content that pursues authenticity and interactivity, which can achieve a good publicity effect for chocolate products, whether by using information flow or keyword search.

Chocolate brands can use various forms of product marketing and brand building, such as publishing graphics, KOL+KOC combination with goods, short videos, live streaming and answering questions.


Douyin is very popular both in China and other parts of the world. It has a huge user base and precise algorithms, which is naturally an important platform for product promotion. In China, there are a large number of food influencers, lifestyle influencers and anchors who use live streaming or short videos for snack reviews, snack sharing, holiday marketing or discount coupons distribution, which often get very high interaction and conversion rates.

Such a format can accumulate rich data assets for brands such as user profiles, placement data and transaction data, and use data to drive more efficient and scientific business optimization.


Baidu is the largest search engine in China, and Chinese consumers usually verify the history and authenticity of a brand first when they are exposed to something new. Due to its powerful ability to crawl web pages for information, Baidu becomes an important factor in the user’s impression of the brand. If negative search results are presented on Baidu, this is very bad for the brand’s reputation. So optimizing the search results of your brand keywords in Baidu is also an important direction for brand building.


WeChat is the largest social media in China, it is powerful and has users of all ages and groups. So establishing an official account on WeChat is a must for all brands entering the Chinese market. Brands are able to use the account to publish product information, live streaming, content marketing, customer service, sales and after-sales services and everything else online.

Such official authoritative accounts are important for building brand image, enhancing customer trust, increasing customer stickiness and accelerating the localization shift of foreign brands.

7. What are the channels for international chocolate brands to sell in China?


Tmall is the online mall of Alibaba Group; Tmall International is the online import retail platform of Alibaba, which provides overseas original imported goods directly to Chinese consumers. Tmall has integrated thousands of brands and manufacturers to provide one-stop solutions for merchants and consumers.

According to Tmall’s New Product Innovation Center, online sales of chocolate grew 19% year-on-year in 2020. Among them, dark chocolates and flavored chocolates have gained amazing momentum, with the growth rate of black chocolates even reaching 90%.

Tmall is divided into two models: Tmall Self-Employed and Brand Flagship Store. Brands can sell their goods directly to Tmall Self-Employed, which is fully responsible for the sales and services of the products, which is like a big supermarket.

Tmall flagship stores, on the other hand, provide brands with many store locations, and brands can pay Tmall a fee to set up their own official flagship stores and then take full control of the store operations. This gives brands a lot of autonomy.


Jingdong International is a brand belonging to the Jingdong Group, which focuses on cross-border imports and has earned a high reputation among Chinese consumers for its efficient logistics. Jingdong has also created a professional shopping platform for imported goods for international brands.

Jingdong Self-Employed:

Jingdong self-supporting from the chocolate manufacturer unified purchase, shelves for sale, the brand can enjoy the logistics and after-sales service of Jingdong self-supporting.

Brand flagship store:

The brand pays a fee to open a store using the Jingdong platform, and Jingdong is not involved in the specific operation except for managing the merchant and customer services (refunds, complaints, etc.).


For brands that are new to China and do not know the market yet, it is a good option to grant full rights to a Chinese distributor. This is because agents generally have their own more established sales channels. A good distributor can use its original sales network to quickly spread the goods to the end market and buy time for the brand to occupy more market share.

8. Summary

At present, the competitive concentration in the Chinese chocolate market is at a medium level, with the growth of industry giants slightly sluggish and emerging and niche brands having better market opportunities. If imported chocolate brands can strengthen their health attributes, enhance their creativity and leverage their product features, it is not difficult for them to enter the Chinese market successfully.

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