The key to mid-lifers' hearts? Their consciences - at least for chocolate

Tuesday, 02 December, 2014

Who do you think eats the most chocolate? Increasingly, it’s ‘mid-lifers’ - those aged 35 to 44. According to market research firm Canadean, targeting this demographic with ‘natural’ and ‘sustainable’ chocolate products is the way to go. Chocolate with labelling such as Fairtrade gives consumers permission to enjoy the treat free of guilt.

Chocolate is a form of escapism for many mid-lifers, eaten in times of stress or as an indulgent treat, so normal concerns about healthy eating don’t come into play when chocolate is on the agenda. A Canadean survey found that 46% of British consumers aged 35-44 say that a chocolate product being ‘natural’ is neither important nor unimportant.

Interestingly, only 20% of British consumers think that confectionery is artificial, meaning that the majority of consumers see chocolate as a natural product. Canadean says that marketers need to establish a link between concepts such as ‘natural’ and ‘sustainable’ in order to emphasise chocolate’s ‘natural’ positioning and its ‘better for you and the world’ credentials.

“Chocolate can be positioned both as an indulgent treat and a ‘good’ product. This can be done by positioning a product around the claim of ‘creating a better and sustainable world’,” said Canadean analyst Raquel Perez-Lopez.

“Moreover, appropriate labelling, such as Fairtrade certification, would allow consumers to enjoy a guilt-free moment of indulgence by eating a product that has been produced in an ethical and environmentally friendly manner.”

These findings are based on a recent Canadean survey of 2000 British consumers.

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