Overcoming economic crisis … with chocolate

Portuguese struggling to cope with the economic crisis are finding comfort in the consumption of chocolate which has enjoyed a 1.2% boost in sales.

The data collected by research company Nielsen has been revealed by the Associação dos Industriais de Chocolate e Confeitaria (Achoc), Portugal’s chocolate and confectionary industry association.

“Chocolate is a product which has a strong emotional and psychological influence. Therefore, it is normal that the population has increased its consumption of a product that induces physical and social wellbeing during a time in which Portugal is facing a deep economic crisis,” said Manuel Barata, secretary-general of Achoc

On average, a Portuguese citizen eats 1.9 kilos of chocolate per year, an amount which is below the consumption levels of countries such as Spain and Italy, where the average is around three kilos. However, in the UK and Germany, chocolate is even more popular, with an average yearly consumption of 10 kilos per person.

These statistics, according to Achoc, are due to the fact that chocolate is still seen as a treat in Portugal, as opposed to other countries where it is eaten as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack or as a complement to a basic meal.