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Chocolate sales seen rebounding this Christmas, Valentine’s Day

Chocolate consumption will rebound to pre-pandemic levels during the first festive season in three years without widespread COVID restrictions, the International Cocoa Organization said.

The return of family gatherings and office parties will drive chocolate buying, ICCO Executive Director Michel Arrion said in an interview.

“We will see a full recovery in consumption this year and then at the start of next year with the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day celebrations,” Arrion said, referring to the upcoming holidays.

With COVID infections in countries such as the U.K. projected to decline until January, there’s likely to be an uptick in spending in stores, restaurants and airports. Chocolate consumption in Asia is expected to remain resilient, highlighted by rising cocoa grindings in the last two quarters, according to Arrion.

Still, there are concerns that Europe’s cost-of-living crisis is squeezing consumer income, with possible repercussions for spending on nonessential items like chocolate.

“It is unclear what will be the impact of inflation and loss of purchasing power of disposable income for the traditional consumers in Europe,” Arrion said.