Author Ursula Kohaupt once said, “chocolate is comfort without words.”
As it turns out, the whole of Southeast Asia is a big fan of chocolates.
Guess who topped the list?
According to iPrice Group’s research
, Southeast Asian's interest in chocolate has grown by 74 per cent in 2020, right when the pandemic hit the globe.
In a normal year, interest in chocolates spike in February (Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year), then slowly go down by April until October (Halloween) and December (Christmas), when it spikes again.
In 2020, however, there was an overall 16 per cent increase in interest by April.
Halloween 2020 has 89 per cent more Google searches on chocolates than 2019, while Christmas 2020 garnered 91 per cent more search interests than 2019.
That said, which among the Southeast Asian countries recorded by iPrice has the biggest sweet tooth?
It may come as a surprise (or not) that Malaysia ranks #1.
21.8 per cent of Malaysia’s Google population look for chocolates. That’s two out of 10 people on Google! No wonder Malaysia ranked #2 in diabetes prevalence, according to International Diabetes Foundation & Diabetes Atlas’ data
Ranking #2 and #3 are Singapore (19.3 per cent) and the Philippines (18.8 per cent) respectively. It seems that diabetes prevalence in the Philippines isn’t the best either, as they rank #24 in the aforementioned study by International Diabetes Foundation & Diabetes Atlas.
Right after the top three countries comes a huge drop in chocolate interest. Only 7.1 per cent of Thailand’s Google population look for sweets. Shockingly, only 3.8 per cent of Indonesians and 1.3 per cent of the Vietnamese look for sweets well.
Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines have the biggest market for chocolates
It seems that the market for these chocolates is mostly in Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. We all know that Southeast Asia is a cesspool of diverse delicacies and dishes, hence it is not surprising that other food keywords may garner more search interests in some countries.
That said, however, Southeast Asia still manufactures quite a bit of its own chocolate brands.
Ever heard of Choki-Choki, Flat Tops, and Chocnut? While these brands may give you a surge of sweet nostalgia (pun intended), it seems that Southeast Asia looks for Western chocolate brands more.
Out of all the chocolate brands the e-commerce aggregator recorded, it reveals that Western chocolate brands reign in most of Southeast Asia. For instance, although the Philippines is abundant with local chocolate brands, Filipinos looked for Toblerone, Maltesers, and Ferrero Rocher the most.
Its searches are way more than local brands like Chocnut, Flat Tops, and Curly Tops. Their top three Western chocolates have 254% more searches than the top three local chocolates.
Chocolate brands like Cadbury, Ferrero Rocher, Kitkat, and Hershey’s are the usual top choices in most Southeast Asian countries.
It seems that only Indonesia is the most interested in Southeast Asian chocolates. It has the most search interest in brands from the region. Choki-Choki, a humble liquid chocolate snack in a narrow plastic package, ranks #2 in the country. On the other hand, Vietnam likes Japanese-manufactured chocolate Meiji the most.
So, how many of you here are big fans of chocolate like us?