Who are the main manufacturers of chocolate in the world?
Candy Industry publishes an annual list of the top 100 global confectionery companies, ranking them by net sales.
The table below is an extract from this list, giving the top ten global confectionery companies that manufacture some form of chocolate, by net confectionery sales value in 2020:
|Company||Net Sales 2018 (US$ millions)|
|Mars Wrigley Confectionery, division of Mars Inc (USA)||20,000|
|Ferrero Group (Luxembourg / Italy)||13,566|
|Mondelēz International (USA)||11,467|
|Meiji Co Ltd (Japan)||10,075|
|Hershey Co (USA)||8,066|
|Nestlé SA (Switzerland)||7,636|
|Chocoladenfabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG (Switzerland)||4,574|
|Lindt & Sprungli AG||4,331|
|Ezaki Glico Co. Ltd.||3,311|
Candy Industry, January 2021
Fair Trade cocoa and chocolate
Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing their rights of, disadvantaged producers and workers – especially in the South (FINE, 2001).
Fair Trade certified producer organizations must comply with a number of requirements, related to social, economic and environmental developments. In addition, labour conditions in these organizations must follow certain standards.
The essential characteristic of Fair Trade cocoa is that producer organizations receive a higher price for their cocoa beans. The Fair Trade price represents the necessary condition for the producer organizations to have the financial ability to fulfil the above requirements, and to cover the certification fees. It is calculated on the basis of world market prices, plus fair trade premiums. The Fair Trade premium for standard quality cocoa is US$ 150 per tonne. The minimum price for Fair Trade standard quality cocoa, including the premium, is US$ 1,750 per tonne. Other benefits for certified producer organizations are better “capacity building” and “market access”.
Presently, cocoa sold with the Fair Trade label still captures a very low share of the cocoa market (0.5%).
Organic cocoa and chocolate
The organic cocoa market represents a very small share of the total cocoa market, estimated at less than 0.5% of total production. ICCO estimates production of certified organic cocoa at 15,500 tonnes, sourced from the following countries: Madagascar, Tanzania, Uganda, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, Fiji, India, Sri Lanka and Vanuatu.
However, the demand for organic cocoa products is growing at a very strong pace, as consumers are increasingly concerned about the safety of their food supply along with other environmental issues. According to Euromonitor International, global organic chocolate sales were estimated to have increased from a value of US$ 171 million in 2002 to US$ 304 million in 2005.
Certified organic cocoa producers must comply with all requirements associated with the legislation of importing countries on production of organic products. The benefit for cocoa farmers is that organic cocoa commands a higher price than conventional cocoa, usually ranging from US$ 100 to US$ 300 per tonne. However, originating countries with smaller volumes can fetch much higher premiums. This premium should cover both the cost of fulfilling organic cocoa production requirements and certification fees paid to certification bodies.
Organizations involved in the Fair Trade and organic movements
The Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO)
FLO, established in 1997, is the worldwide Fair Trade standard-setting and certification organization. Since 2004, it has been composed of two independent bodies, FLO-I for standard-setting and FLO-Cert Ltd. for Fair Trade certification and auditing activities. The FLO membership consists of national Initiatives located across Europe, North America, Mexico and Australia / New Zealand. FLO-certified cocoa producer associations are located in Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Cameroon, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
The Max Havelaar Foundation
The Max Havelaar Foundation guarantees small farmers in developing countries a fair price for their produce and intermediates in marketing products, which then bear the Max Havelaar hallmark. Max Havelaar cocoa was launched in October 1993.
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
IFOAM, an umbrella organization for the participants in the organic market, defined and adopted in 2005 revised principles of organic agriculture and is now in the process of establishing a definition of organic agriculture, which is expected to be adopted in 2008. Some of the manufacturers of organic chocolate are: Green & Black’s, a UK company, which uses organic cocoa from a village in Belize to make its chocolate bars and Rapunzel chocolate, made in the USA and using organic cocoa from the El Ceibo cooperative in Bolivia.
ICCO Chocolate Industry Links
The ICCO Statistics section collects and publishes statistics on demand for cocoa beans. For latest figures, visit our site under
Links to Commodity Exchanges
CAOBISCO (Association of the Chocolate, Biscuit & Confectionery Industries of the EU)
The European Cocoa Association
The Biscuit Cake Chocolate and Confectionery Alliance (BCCCA) (now part of the UK Food & Drink Federation)
Bundesverband der Deutschen Süsswarenindustrie BDSI