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Confectionery industry

Research guide

Published: 11 Mar 2019 Updated: 18 Aug 2023 Update History

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Use our industry guide to find key background information, market research, import and export guidelines, statistics, legislation, trade bodies and trade publications.

The Business & Industry Guides series is produced by the Library & Information Service for ICAEW members and ACA students.

We can compile tailored key players reports, mailing lists, market reports, benchmarking reports and industry news. Our enquiry team can also research other industry-specific information, such as taxation, for you. Call us on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or email library@icaew.com.

Trends and forecasts

Vulnerabilities of Supply Chains Post-Brexit
Study by LSE Consulting, commissioned by Arla Foods, on the vulnerability of the UK and EU food industry supply chains when the Brexit transition period ends. Considers a range of potential disruptors with the impact on trade, prices, product availability and labour estimated for both no-deal and Free Trade Agreement scenarios. Published in September 2020.

Market research

Market research reports focusing on this business sector are available from a number of market research specialists. In most cases these reports are available to fee-paying subscribers or on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Some free information is available from the following market research specialists, ranging from industry news to executive summaries of the reports.

A full listing of reference products and research reports for the confectionery industry from Euromonitor, with a range of global, country and company level reports. Each report provides a contents listing and a useful executive summary reporting on the key trends in each country report.

Business and industry research specialists offering reports on a wide range of sectors, including chocolate and confectionery production and confectionery wholesaling. Report snapshots, table of contents and a sample report are available. The company also produces global industry research reports.

Publisher of a series of reports covering the confectionery industries. The website includes a short summary and the option to view a contents listing for each report.

Industry news

The Library can carry out industry news searches for ICAEW members and ACA students.

Statistics on the UK

The Annual Business Survey (ABS) from the Office for National Statistics collects financial information covering UK production, construction, distribution and service industries. Statistics available include:

  • number of enterprises;
  • total turnover;
  • approximate gross value added at basic prices;
  • total purchases of goods, materials and services;
  • total employment costs;
  • total net capital expenditure;
  • total net capital expenditure – acquisitions;
  • total net capital expenditure – disposals;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at end of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at beginning of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – increase during year.

The dataset Non-financial business economy, UK: Sections A to S includes statistics for:

  • Manufacture of cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery (10.82)
    See Section C: Manufacturing
  • Wholesale of sugar and chocolate and sugar confectionery (46.36)
    See Division 46: Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles
  • Retail sale of bread, cakes, flour confectionery and sugar confectionery in specialised stores (47.24)
    See Division 47: Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

Statistics on Europe

Bundesverband der Deutschen Süßwarenindustrie (BDSI)

The BDSI publishes facts and figures on the confectionery industry in Germany:

Figures are available in English and German.


Switzerland's Chocosuisse offers facts and figures covering:

  • Sales by the Swiss chocolate industry (Domestic and export)
  • The most important export markets
  • Relationship between domestic sales and exports
  • Chocolate imports
  • Turnover of the Swiss chocolate industry
  • Average import prices of the most important raw materials (unpaid duties)
  • Per capita consumption
  • Employment in the Swiss chocolate industry
  • Developments in the average retail price
  • Worldwide grinding of cocoa beans
  • Cocoa harvest

European Cocoa Association

The European Cocoa Association compile quarterly grind stats showing total bean usage by European companies.


Eurostat, the EU statistics hub, collates detailed Structural Business Statistics giving the latest figures for industry, construction, trade and services by sector and country. The indicators available include:

  • number of enterprises
  • turnover or gross premiums written
  • production value
  • value added at factor cost
  • gross operating surplus
  • wages and salaries
  • social security costs
  • gross investment in tangible goods
  • gross investment in land
  • gross investment in existing buildings and structures
  • gross investment in construction and alteration of buildings
  • gross investment in machinery and equipment
  • number of employees
  • number of persons employed per enterprise.

Statistics within the database are available for:

  • Manufacture of cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery (C1082)
    See database section ‘SBS – industry and construction’
  • Wholesale of sugar and chocolate and sugar confectionery (G4636)
    See database section ‘SBS – trade’
  • Retail sale of bread, cakes, flour confectionery and sugar confectionery in specialised stores (G4724)
    See database section ‘SBS – trade’

Statistics on the Americas

Associação Brasileira Da Indústria De Chocolates, Cacau, Amendoim, Balas E Derivados (ABICAB)

The ABICAB provide statistics in English and Portuguese showing data on evident consumption and production for chocolate, peanuts and sugar confectionery domestically and worldwide.

Asociación Nacional de Exportadores de Cacao

The Asociación Nacional de Exportadores de Cacao of Ecuador provides annual and monthly statistics on cocoa exports.

National Confectioners Association (US)

The National Confectioners Association provides data and insights including an overview of the US confectionery industry and quarterly cocoa grinds reports.

Global statistics

International Cocoa Organization

The International Cocoa Organization produces a range of statistics covering:

National Confectioners Association (US)

The National Confectioners Association offers a comprehensive International TradeStatistic and Regulation Database covering:

  • Import/export trade statistics
  • Monthly and annual export statistics


The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) collects and compiles industrial statistics known as INDSTAT, which give information on:

  • number of employees
  • number of establishments
  • output
  • value added
  • total wages and salaries.

Statistics by country are available for:

  • Cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery (1543)

UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade)

The UN compiles and publishes international import and export statistics in the Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade), giving figures for goods traded by value, quantity and weight for each country.

Statistics are available for:

  • Sugars and sugar confectionery (17)
  • Cocoa and cocoa preparations (18)

UN Industrial Commodity Statistics Database

The UN provides statistics on the quantity of goods produced by country in the Industrial Commodity Statistics Database.

Figures are available for:

  • Chocolate and chocolate products (23)
  • Sugar confectionery not containing cocoa (23)


The annual Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES), published by the Office for National Statistics, includes total employee and employment estimates for different industries for Great Britain and the UK. Figures are broken down to show full-time/part-time and public/private splits. The dataset Industry – Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES): Table 2 includes statistics for:

  • Manufacture of cocoa and chocolate confectionery (10821)
  • Manufacture of sugar confectionery (10822)
  • Wholesale of sugar and chocolate and sugar confectionery (46360)
  • Retail sale of bread, cakes, flour confectionery and sugar confectionery in specialised stores (47240)

The Office for National Statistics publication Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) includes average employment costs within this sector which can be found in Table 14. Average employment costs are provided for full-time employees, part-time employees and all employees.

The data includes average employment costs for bakers and flour confectioners.

Other regions

Please see individual country profile pages for links to sources of national statistics.

Legislation and regulation


Gov.uk provides information and guidance on food, catering and retail businesses, including advice on:

The Food Standards Agency produces guidance on Running a food business. Covers a range of areas including setting up a food business, food hygiene and safety, imports and exports, general food law and operational and chemical safety.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a section on health and safety in food manufacturing, which includes latest regulations affecting this industry.

The guidance Food and drink businesses: working with the EU has been published by Gov.uk. Areas covered include food labelling, importing and exporting, marketing standards, non-harmonised food products, employees and data protection.

Other regions

The US National Confectioners Association offers a comprehensive InternationalTrade Statistic and Regulation Database covering:

  • Tariffs and taxes
  • Standards of identity
  • Content restrictions
  • Packaging and labelling requirements
  • Documentation requirements
  • Trademark laws
  • Other import requirements
  • In-country contacts and resources

Import and export

Trade Tariff

The Trade Tariff is a useful Gov.uk database listing tax, duties and licenses for the import and export of goods between the UK and other countries. The database is searchable by product or commodity code and results can be filtered by date and country. Information also includes links to relevant conditions and regulations.

See import and export information for:

UK business guides

Tactical and Information Packages

HMRC published a series of Tactical and Information Packages (TIPs), replacing Business Economic Notes in 2007, offering guidance to HMRC officers to support compliance activity in the department. The TIPs provide trade-based information with some explanation of key features and trading practices. However, they were subsequently removed from the HMRC website following a policy change.

The text of TIP 14 on Confectioners, Tobacconists and Newsagents (CTNs) as published at this time is still available from the article TacticalInformation Packages (TIPS) on the AccountingWeb website, however this should be treated with caution as this may no longer be the current version.

UK key players, ratios and trends

A range of reports on this sector are available to ICAEW members and ACA students via the Library.

UK benchmarking

The Library can supply benchmarking reports to ICAEW members and ACA students.

Trade bodies

Trade journals and publications

Trade journals, B2B magazines and specialist consumer magazines are another useful source of news and statistics.

Further reading

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post or email through our document supply service.

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