New Delhi, Oct 18 IANS | 2 years ago

Demand for chocolates as a gift item this festive season has increased by almost 40 percent due to reports of adulterated traditional sweets and highly priced dry-fruits, a survey said Friday.

Conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), the survey said the demand and preference for sweets as a gift option has plummeted by 35 to 40 percent due to fear of adulteration.

"Adulteration in traditional sweets eroding consumers' confidence along with dry fruit prices going through the roof are driving the demand for chocolates," said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Assocham.

"The demand will further rise as Diwali draws closer," he added.

"Growing acceptance of chocolates amid varied Indian palattes, attractive packaging, consistency in quality, rising urban affluence amid youth with high disposable incomes etc. are the other factors behind the popularity of chocolates," said Rawat.

Assocham interacted with over a thousand consumers, sweet shopkeepers, wholesale dry fruit traders etc. in 10 cities including Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Chennai etc. for the survey.

"Most of the consumers said that dry fruits would be the last thing on their minds as a gift option as its prices have already sky-rocketed," said the survey.

Growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 25 percent, India's chocolate industry size is currently worth about Rs 5,000 crore and is likely to cross Rs 7,500 crore mark in the next couple of years.

(Posted on 18-10-2013)