- Nestle USA is introducing the Damak Turkish premium chocolate brand to the U.S. market, a brand that has been available internationally for more than 80 years.
- Damak combines chocolate with pistachios sourced from the Gaziantep region of Turkey. The product contains no artificial colors or flavors.
- Nestle USA timed the release to coincide with World Pistachio Day Friday.
Premium chocolate continues to post double-digit growth, including an 11% increase in the U.S. market over the past year, according to Confectionery Trends. As of late last year, premium chocolate accounted for 8% of total U.S. chocolate market sales. But as the category expands and manufacturers introduce more premium brands, such as Hershey's Kisses Deluxe, that market share will grow along with it.
Consumers' willingness to pay higher prices is one of the key motivators for manufacturers to produce more premium chocolate brands, as premium commands higher margins than traditional chocolate. This is especially important as chocolate prices continue to rise due to weather-related production declines.
Cocoa prices jumped 10% last year and 40% since 2012. Chocolate makers like Hershey, Nestle, and Lindt & Sprüngli have raised prices to compensate, but premium chocolate enables companies to charge a higher price that consumers will pay in exchange for a higher-quality product.
International chocolate has always held an allure for U.S. consumers, such as Swiss and German varieties. As the demand for premium chocolate continues to grow, more international brands will cross over into the premium chocolate market in the U.S. Nestle has already begun capitalizing on this trend by bringing its nearly 200-year-old Cailler premium chocolate brand out of Switzerland and to the U.S. and other markets last year.