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Infometrics' Brad Olsen points out that we import three times more chocolate than we export, but our exports are growing fast again. Wellington is the centre of our chocolate industry

Infometrics' Brad Olsen points out that we import three times more chocolate than we export, but our exports are growing fast again. Wellington is the centre of our chocolate industry

With Easter here, there’s an increased interest in all things chocolate. In this month’s Chart of the Month, we dive into the numbers and see where the chocolate in Sunday’s Easter egg hunt might have originated from, where we make our local chocolate, and where it might eventually end up (aside from our stomachs).

New Zealand’s sweet tooth means we import more chocolate than we export, with the $79m in chocolate exports in the December 2020 year clearly offset by the $231m of chocolate imports. We import a fair bit from Australia (59%), followed by Italy (5.9%), China (5.7%), Switzerland (5.4%), and the US (4.2%).

However, However, New Zealand’s chocolate exports made a resurgence in 2020, with annual exports up 11% at the end of the year. The growth comes after a period of falling exports since 2018.

Most New Zealand chocolate exports head to Australia, with 73% of 2020’s exports going across the ditch (see Map 1). In a distant second-place, China took 4.8% of our chocolate exports, followed by Canada (3.1%), Qatar (3.0%), and Malaysia (2.6%).

It’s clear there’s more potential for our chocolate exports to move further afield. And although New Zealand’s chocolate sector isn’t massive, expanded chocolate exports could have large impacts for some areas.

Infometrics analysis shows that our chocolate activities are concentrated in Wellington Region, with a third of national activity located in the region. The J H Whittaker & Sons chocolate factory in Porirua means the city has 26% of national output itself, with Auckland (24%) coming second, followed by Hamilton (7.8%), Horowhenua (5.7%), and Wellington City (5.0%).


This article was first posted at Infometrics. It is re-posted here with permission.

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14 Comments

I'm guessing much of the imports from OZ will be Cadbury.
Seeing that company closed it's profitable factory here because of overseas factors, New Zealanders should boycott it.
Many folk in Dunedin do just that.

That was my first thought. Haven't bought cadburys since they changed the recipe to palm oil no matter how big the discount( still eat it if someone else buys it cause it's still chocolate just nowhere near as good, and I'm a pig).
Whittaker's all the way.

Cadbury is rubbish anyway. Weird brittle plastic texture, very little chocolate flavour. Strictly for children, and the kind of people who will only ever order sweet n sour at the Chinese and butter chicken at the Indian. I’m no corporate shill usually, but I’ll make an exception here - we’re lucky to have Whittaker’s as an everyday option.

I thought they stopped using palm oil after a public reaction to the change. I actually quite liked the different flavour of the palm oil one.
That said the chocolate appears to be more than 50% sugar:
https://www.cadbury.co.nz/product/cadbury-dairy-milk/
Whittakers on the other hand is less than 50% sugar but still pretty high:
https://www.whittakers.co.nz/en_NZ/products/creamy-milk/block-250g

I have to think really hard when was the last time I bought Cadbury, it is the bottom of the barrel in chocolates.
You have so many better options in NZ.

Some years ago we had a conversation at AKL Intl with middle aged husband & wife returning to the USA from Australia but stop over here purely to stock a suitcase full of Whitakers. That says something ie buy that not Cadbury’s.

The Kraft takeover of Cadbury really was its death.
Rich Hall sums it up from 1:40
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9UlBR-rHzlY

Sweet !

Looks like Nestle is going the same way as Cadbury, so that is another one to boycott. Their chocolate is better than Cadburys, but not as good as the NZ options so see no difficulties.

The problem is that as soon as a kiwi brand gets successful one of these companies will snap it up and ruin it just like Cadbury's....
https://infographic.tv/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Infographic-Only-10-Co...

So we import coca then export chocolate and where do we get sugar from? I suppose a bit of milk go's in.

"We import coca then export chocolate"
That would give you one hell of a chocolate rush!

OK I should have spelt "cocoa' but we don't produce it as such nor sugar. I think the recipe for chocolate you are suggesting would be a winner.

Sugar is a horrendous drug, ALL the Dairies here in Christchurch should perhaps be regulated along the lines of liquor stores. I like freedom of commerce, yet when your shop is wall-to-wall drugs (sugar), mostly targeted at minors.. there should be consumer protections!

Easter just glorifies the sugar-cane and coco-bean.. hastening tooth decay and waist-expansionism. Many countries that celebrate Easter do so without chocolate - true story.

I'm 100% for chocolate exports and hope producers do extremely well. As for dairies and advertisers selling/pushing drugs (sugar) on minors - there should be legal redress available.

At the very least there should be warning labels (which include pictures) on these consumables and at the worst dairy-owners/advertisers should be liable for the dental needs of the MINORS they're knowingly harming.

I don't have children.. HOWEVER, I know how to open my eyes and be aware of what's going on around me. Let's export the garbage, NOT ship it in and associate it with cute bunnies whom actually eat bloody carrots lol :) :)