In 2018-2022, the production of chocolate confectionery in Serbia gradually decreased: in 2022, 20.5 thousand tons of chocolate were produced in the country, which is 7.2% less than in 2021. The most significant decline was observed in the production of chocolate without condiment (-32.5% or -1.7 thousand tons by 2018), chocolate with the addition of cereals, fruits or nuts (-24.3% or -937.0 tons) and white chocolate (-93.6% or -334.0 tons).

Most of the production of chocolate confectionery in Serbia in 2022 accounted for other plain chocolate confectionery — 30.9% (6.3 thousand tons). Chocolate bars with condiments occupied 22.1% (4.5 thousand tons). The smallest share was for white — only 0.1% (23 tons).

The main production facilities of local confectionery factories are located in the cities of Subotica, Parachin, Belgrade. Among international companies, Barry Callebaut has localized production in the country — in 2021, the construction of the company's new factory in Novi Sad was completed, and Nestle — in Surchin.

In 2022, the consumption of chocolate confectionery products in Serbia decreased by 0.8% compared to 2021 and amounted to 28.4 thousand tons. The average consumption growth rate for 2018-2022 was at the level of 9.0% annually, while production for the same period decreased by an average of 5.2% per year.

It is expected that in the medium term, the consumption of chocolate confectionery products in Serbia will grow at a steady pace due to their continued popularity among Serbian consumers. Also, a gradual decrease in inflationary pressure and an increase in household incomes will have a positive impact on consumer demand. Nevertheless, due to the continued sensitivity of buyers to high prices, in the short term, consumption is expected to shift towards chocolate confectionery products under the own brand of retailers.

The level of consumption of chocolate confectionery products per capita in Serbia in 2022 was lower than the European average (4.8 kg per year). So, in 2022, consumption in the country reached 4.3 kg. The leaders in consumption of chocolate confectionery products per capita in Europe in 2022 were Estonia (8.6 kg), Germany (8.4 kg), Monaco (8.3 kg), Switzerland (8.1 kg) and Ireland (7.8 kg).

The main share (21.7%) in the market of chocolate confectionery products in Serbia in 2022 was held by Mondelez International. The second largest in terms of sales was the Serbian manufacturer Pionir, which accounted for 16.8% of the market. Another 12.8% of the Serbian chocolate confectionery market was occupied by Ferrero Group. In total, the three companies listed above accounted for 51.3% of the chocolate confectionery market in Serbia.

Import of chocolate confectionery products in Serbia

In 2022, imports of chocolate confectionery products in Serbia amounted to 26.0 thousand tons by 113.8 million US dollars, which is 11.2% (-3.3 thousand tons) in volume and 10.3% (-13.0 million US dollars) in value less than 2021. During 2018-2022, the import of chocolate confectionery products on average increased annually by 11.1% by weight and by 11.0% by value.

In 2022, imports of chocolate confectionery products weighing more than 2 kg decreased significantly — by 2.5 thousand tons (-56.4%) by weight and by 7.2 million US dollars (-50.5%) by value.

In the structure of Serbian imports of chocolate confectionery products in value in 2018-2022, Germany was on leading positions, in 2022 it supplied 9.2 thousand tons of products to Serbia (35.3% of imports of this category). The average annual growth rate of German chocolate confectionery supplies to Serbia in 2018-2022 amounted to 20.5%. Poland took the second place with a share of 11.2%.

Supplies from Hungary increased most significantly in 2022 — by 3.5 times (+635.0 tons). At the same time, Poland's exports decreased by 42.7% (-2.2 thousand tons).

The largest share (more than 50%) in the structure of Russian exports of confectionery products to Serbia is traditionally occupied by chocolate bars. For 2018-2022 Russia has increased the supply of chocolate confectionery products by more than 6.5 times in volume and 3.7 times in value. The main types of chocolate confectionery supplied to the Serbian market were sugar candies covered with chocolate glaze, chocolate candies in the form of a candy bar and packaged chocolate bars.

Germany is also the leading supplier of chocolate confectionery products to Serbia in terms of value. Deliveries of German chocolate confectionery products in 2022 amounted to 42.3 million US dollars (37.2% of Serbian imports). Poland's share in the export of chocolate confectionery products to Serbia in 2022 amounted to 10.1% or 11.5 million US dollars. Croatia also entered the top three suppliers of chocolate confectionery products in value terms with a share of 9.1% (US$ 10.4 million).

The largest increase in the volume of exports of chocolate confectionery in value terms in 2022 fell on Hungary, which increased supplies by 2.6 times (+2.4 million US dollars) to the level of 2021. At the same time, imports from Poland decreased significantly (-41.6% or -8.2 million US dollars).

Over the past five years, a noticeable increase in exports of chocolate confectionery products in value terms has been demonstrated by Germany — by 20.5 million US dollars or 93.8%, and Croatia — by 2.1 times (+5.4 million US dollars).

In 2022, the average import price of chocolate confectionery products increased by 1.0% to $4,380 per ton. The most expensive products were supplied from Italy at a price of 5,728 US dollars per ton, which is 30.8% higher than the average import price. The cheapest products were purchased from the Netherlands — US$ 2,822 per ton (35.6% lower) and Bosnia and Herzegovina at a price of US$ 3,513 per ton (19.8% lower).

In 2022, the average import price of chocolate confectionery with condiment decreased by 8.9% to $4,249 per ton. The most expensive products were supplied from Sweden at a price of US$ 20,125 per ton (4.7 times higher than the average import price) and Italy — US$ 13,067 per ton (3.1 times higher). The cheapest products were purchased from the Netherlands — US$ 2,592 per ton (39.0% lower).

In 2022, the average import price of chocolate confectionery without condiment decreased by 1.1% to $4,706 per ton. The most expensive products were imported from Romania at a price of US$ 10,583 per ton (2.2 times higher than the average price) and Switzerland (92.7% higher). The cheapest products were purchased from Poland — US$ 3,405 per ton (27.6% lower).

In 2022, the import price of other chocolate confectionery products increased by an average of 1.4% to $4,343 per ton. The most expensive products were imported from Italy — 7,016 US dollars per ton (61.6% higher than the average import price). Croatia, the Czech Republic and Belgium exported other chocolate products at a price above the average by 37.0%, 33.6% and 26.6%, respectively. The cheapest products were purchased from Bosnia and Herzegovina — US$ 3,227 per ton (25.7% lower than the average import price).

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