Europeans just aren’t eating enough chocolate.
In its latest financial report, Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli said its key markets in Switzerland and Europe are “largely saturated.” Moreover, the Swiss aren’t buying chocolate at home–instead they’re shopping for confections outside their own country. That’s partially because European retailers are under pressure from discounters to lower prices.
While Europeans have too much chocolate on their hands, parts of the chocolate-making process are becoming more expensive, especially purchases of raw material. The weather can be blamed for some of that; drought has hurt large cocoa crops in western Africa.
Those conditions aren’t making business easier for Lindt & Sprüngli, which has watched the growth of its chocolate sales slow across the continent.
Despite the rough climate in Europe, the company said sales grew by more than 10% in much of the rest of the world. Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Japan are particularly strong markets.