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Surprise! Chocolate sales drop in lockdown


Swiss chocolate makers have discovered that while everyone thinks of their product as comfort food, that doesn't mean being confined at home in the face of a pandemic is good for sales. A leading manufacturer reported that its sales dropped sharply during the three months that included the bulk of the lockdown.

Barry Callebaut, whose products are mostly at the high end of the market, reported an overall drop of 14.3% overall, led by a drop of 17.1% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company is optimistic, though; in Asia, where lockdowns began ending earlier, sales are picking up.

Among reasons for the drop are higher spending on groceries, with less left over for 'luxury' products. But especially serious was the impact of the closing of hotels and restaurants; the company says that "The out-of-home and impulse consumption was particularly impacted, as restaurants, hotels and most shops were closed." 

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At the beginning of the lockdown here in California, instead of booze as I'm not much of a drinker, I put in an order for delivery of some nice cannabis-infused dark chocolate which I've enjoyed from time to time.  Maybe the Swiss chocolatiers are missing an essential ingredient aimed at the times we're in.

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