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Does chocolate make a sweet investment?

Bars of chocolate including Hershey and Cadbury
With Easter around the corner it seemed like a good time to take a close look at listed chocolate companies. The imagery looks wonderful and the products taste great, but do chocolate producers make good long term investments? Read on for our in-depth look at the major confectionery groups.

How many times have you been tempted by a chocolate bar at the check-out? Or snacked on a packet of cookies as you browse the shops? Or bought a packet of sweets at the petrol station to sustain you on your journey. According to research compiled by Morgan Stanley, this is how 70% of chocolates are sold: impulse, spur of the moment purchases as hungry shoppers are tempted by a sweet treat.

But the investment bank also warns that this trend is changing. Rising interest in wellness, accompanied by a proliferation of healthier snack options in recent years, could hurt impulse-driven sales of chocolates. Meanwhile, planned and gift purchases are going to increase in importance over the long term. With focus increasing on product quality, rather than short-term indulgence, premium chocolate makers could be best placed to benefit as consumers seek the best ingredients.

That shift is already starting to hurt traditional mass-market confectioners, while the manufacturers…

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