A strained supply chain has resulted in bare shelves and shortages at grocery stores across the country, but the ongoing problems are impacting more than just U.S. businesses. After one of the world's most beloved chocolate makers saw sales increase last year, the Swiss company expects growth to slow in 2022.
Demand went down in 2020 at the start of the pandemic, but sales of truffles and other chocolate items from Lindt rebounded in 2021 as restrictions ended, according to Reuters. "People ate more treats and bought gifts for friends and relatives they had been unable to see at the height of the pandemic," the outlet's Silke Koltrowitz reported.
Data shows that the act of buying chocolate changed dramatically during the pandemic. Here's what Bill Guyton, the executive director of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, said in October after the National Confectioners Association released its "Getting to Know Chocolate Consumers 2021" report:
"Over the past year and a half, we've seen consumers more willing to treat themselves to a piece of fine chocolate in order to support their emotional well-being during this stressful period. This wave of interest in fine chocolate has spurred all sorts of new experimentation and inclusions from the fine-chocolate industry as consumers find new ways to fit fine chocolate into their everyday routines, from single-origin recipes to rare ingredients."
Nonetheless, Lindt's growth slowed in the second half of 2021. This "was partly due to temporary supply chain bottlenecks caused by a lack of labour and materials at Russell Stover's three production sites," the company told Reuters.
The myriad of problems straining the supply chain aren't going to be fixed anytime soon, and Lindt predicts that its organic sales will only grow about 5 to 7% in 2022.
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