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CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE REPORT - CHOCOLATE CATEGORY - US Region

Taste, Flavor & Utility Tops as The Integral Components of Chocolate Customer Experiences

  • Five factors are driving customer experience in the US chocolate Industry.
  • Clootrack’s AI-driven real-time customer experience platform uncovers deep and valuable insights into consumers’ preferences.

Claymont, Delaware, May 24, 2022 / -- Taste and Flavor are the product characteristics highly desired by chocolate consumers when picking chocolates. This aspect rules across categories such as white, dark, and milk chocolate and all price bands.  These findings are based on an analysis of 12,964 customer conversations discovered in March 2022 on major US eCommerce platforms conducted by Delaware-based Clootrack, a real-time customer experience analytics platform. The report covers changing dynamics in the chocolate industry and presents opportunities for brands to enhance customer experience and sustain category growth.

In addition, customers accord high value to utility (gifting, snacking, treats, & deserts)/purpose and are sensitive about the price factor, highlighting the importance of value for money for the perceived chocolate quality and price. Another significant customer experience finding is that delivery, shipping, packaging, and wrapping gain prominence as price increases, according to the report published by Clootrack, deciphered by its proprietary deep learning algorithms. The report offers a complete picture of the happiness and pain points of customer experiences of chocolate purchases, explores the logistics and delivery challenges, and provides a sneak peek into the authentic voices of individual customers.

The chocolate industry has witnessed many new customer experience trends and customer expectations fluctuations. In this era of multi-channel online shopping, these findings highlight the need to redesign and revamp eCommerce platforms' packaging & delivery operations to eliminate defective delivery of melted and broken chocolates.  Studies say that if brands still think only a consistent taste and texture is enough to satisfy customers, it’s not enough!  The shipping, packaging, and wrapping of chocolates play a vital role in the customer experience of chocolates, a key message for brands.

The consumers’ online buying trend has brought a drastic shift in various aspects of the customer experience in the chocolate industry. Consumers across different price bands have different expectations. Personalization is the key. 

Key findings from the report include:

  • What do customers want from chocolate products? Out of 12,964 customer conversations, Top category drivers include taste & flavor (1301) utility (738), price (568), texture & consistency (457) and size & quantity (372).
  • Texture & consistency are the top factors in creating positive experiences, followed by utility, the ability to package and gift-worthy chocolates, and taste & flavor.
  • Do customer expectations differ across different price bands? Yes, size and quantity become less prominent at higher price bands, but packaging and wrapping gain high priority.

  • What are the top three aspects that customers are happy about? And why?  The customers are enormous fans of smooth, creamy, and crunchy chocolates. Their utmost desire is to have delicious chocolates with a great texture, which is a significant demand driver. Customers are looking for that special gift for special occasions, and brands need to make chocolates a perfect purchase experience.

  • Is the happiness trend increasing over a while? There has been a decreasing trend in the positivity around the top factors that delight chocolate customers. It’s an alert to brands that texture, taste, and utility cannot be compromised.
  • Are there any aspects that customers are unhappy about? And why? Customers are low about delivery and shipping, packaging & wrapping, price, and size & quantity. Melted chocolates, broken boxes, high prices, and smaller than expected chocolates are why customers are unhappy. With increased online shopping, brands have to embrace better and innovative packaging methods and delivery in proper shape to ensure that customers receive their best-loved chocolates in good condition.  These insights will bring to a sharp focus on the role & responsibilities of fulfillment centers and last-mile delivery persons. 

  • Is the unhappiness increasing over a while? Brands need to fix the size and quantity aspect of chocolates, as it has seen a massive rise in negative customer experience. 

  • Despite two years of a difficult time, consumers seek new treating moments and are fully engaged with their preferred chocolate brands.
  • Chocolate brands need to pay attention to making delicious chocolates with a great texture as it is the most crucial demand driver. Customer loyalties are with certain preferred brands with a substantial emotional connection and expect a perfect purchase experience, as expressed in their literal expressions.
  • Popular brands rank higher on a few key drivers, but not many brands tag on top for all key drivers. For example, one of the popular brands is leading in almost all drivers, but falling behind on ‘Price’.

Happy Emotions: Verbatims from Chocolate Customers

“These are delicious, fresh, and very giftable, as they are beautifully and individually wrapped! I highly recommend it without hesitation!”

“This milk chocolate was so smooth and creamy, and this is like royalty of milk chocolate lol.”

“This is one of my favorite treats I like to get around the holidays. Anything in this brand is amazing, but the peppermint bark is hands down my favorite.”

When the sales of chocolate keep growing and growing, some of the findings will further boost innovations in packaging and premiumization of chocolates. It enables capturing of the untapped market, thus contributing to the growth of the market share of the chocolate industry.

Report Methodology

The analysis is based on customer reviews and conversations available online in the chocolate segment. Essentially unbiased and without being judgmental, data sources are from publicly available online forums and social media.

These insights were the topics of an insightful and engaging discussion in the Clootrack’s CX See Why Show hosted by Dan Gingiss, a renowned CX keynote speaker with the leading chocolate industry professionals.

Clootrack’s real-time CX analytics, backed by AI, gathers and analyzes many customer reviews revealing granular visibility into factors that impact customer experience.

The Customer Experience Report – Chocolate Category has been compiled by www.clootrack.com, and for a bite-sized taste of the 2022 report, please visit https://www.clootrack.com/insights

About Clootrack

 Clootrack is an intelligent customer experience analytics platform for enterprises and high-stake decision-makers.  Our powerful AI-driven engine helps brands understand the qualitative reasons “why” their customer experience drops.  All in real-time.  For more information, visit www.clootrack.com