Gourmet Chocolate Industry Growing Despite Recession

Industry experts say more people are willing to pay more for quality chocolate

Chocolate devotees probably aren't surprised to hear this, but today The Daily reports that the gourmet chocolate movement is on the rise.

"There has been a surge in the number of people who are willing — no, make that determined — to pay $6, $7, $8, or more, for a bar of chocolate," they say, citing the increased interest in fair trade, locally sourced, and organic products as a cause.

According to research from Vreeland & Associates, premium chocolate only accounted for 12 percent of the chocolate business in 2009, a number which will jump to 17 percent in 2014. The chocolate market itself will be worth $19 billion.

Head of Vreeland & Associates, Curtis Vreeland, expects the premium chocolate market to grow twice as fast as the total retail market, which currently grows around 6 percent a year. So expect $6 chocolates to be the norm — we can blame Mast Brothers for starting the trend.