Chocolate, biscuits & confectionery of Europe

Facts and figures

Key data of the European sector (EU27 + Switzerland and Norway)

The figures presented below describe the European sector as a whole. They are based on the NACE classification, which is the nomenclature of economic activities in the European Union.

The latest Statistical Bulletin of Caobisco demonstrates that the chocolate, biscuits & confectionery industry is a major contributor to the European economy.


In 2013 the industry directly employed over 330.000 people in Europe. This represents a rise of 5,5% since 2010. The three sectors also had a great impact on employment in the agriculture, retail and transportation sectors.


These figures show that the sector is economically reliable and positioned for growth. This has been realised through investment and innovation, which is a huge benefit for the overall European GDP.


The European chocolate, biscuits & confectionery industry is composed of 12.708 companies, including thousands of small and medium-sized family-owned businesses (around 99 %) and multi-national companies operating all over Europe. In 2013 they together manufactured 11,5 million tons of products. Since 2009 production has increased by 19,8%, showing that the sector is recovering extremely well from the economic crisis.


The success story of the chocolate, biscuit & confectionery industries greatly relies on its fast developing exports: within 5 years exports outside the EU have increased by more than 40,2% to reach 1,87 million tons in 2013. The high value added, globally acknowledged savoir-faire and creativity of European manufacturers enable them to export their products all around the world, the top 3 export markets being the USA, Russia and Switzerland.


Patrick Poirrier, President of Caobisco stated: “The statistics clearly confirms the trends observed since 2009, with production and exports on the rise while EU consumption remains stable. New companies have opened their doors in 2013 demonstrating that the passion and entrepreneurship of our manufacturers remain vivid.”

Consumption remained stable meaning that consumers understand the role of chocolate, biscuits & confectioneries in their lives and choose to enjoy them in moderation. This also means that the industry is on the good path. It provides consumers with the information, options and support they need to make the choices that are suitable for them. Companies innovate to offer a wide variety of product formulations and portions to allow consumers to treat themselves mindfully. In 2014 the three sectors together came in at the first place of the most innovative food sectors in Europe with 8,7 % of total European food innovation(source: XTC World Innovation Panorama 2015).

Statistical data

CAOBISCO releases each year a Statistical Bulletin providing key information illustrating the importance of CAOBISCO sectors on the European economic scene and presenting global market trends for production, consumption and trade. The figures are based on PRODCOM and COMEXT data (only for EU countries), as reported officially by EUROSTAT, and, corrected and completed where appropriate by our members. Figures are based on the official product codes of the EU (combined nomenclature), i.e. codes 1704 (sugar confectionery), 1806 (chocolate products) and 1905 (fine bakery wares).


The 2016 Statistical Bulletin is available (data from 2014). If you wish to order it, please visit this page:

Here is a taste of the information contained in the Bulletin:




Photo Gallery