Chocolate Sales Are Bittersweet
Battle to elevate taste to expensive brands proves bittersweet as economy sours
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 24, 2008 9:03 AM CST
A Peruvian farmer dries cacao beans used to make chocolate in Uchiza, Peru.   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
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(Newser) – Chocolate sales, reputed to be recession-proof, are taking a hit in this downturn as consumers’ taste for more expensive brands has soured, reports the Financial Times. Companies that jumped into premium candies have been hurt by the downturn, and analysts say the market has been “trading down” from premium to private label brands over the past six months.

“For some years, there was significant growth at both ends of the spectrum,” says Patrick de Maeseneire, CEO of the world’s biggest chocolate, Barry Callebaut. He says chocolate sales have also been hit by retailers de-stocking as they try to preserve working capital and trim costs.