Food for Thought

By the Numbers: Valentine’s Day Chocolate

By Mac Malikowski | February 5, 2013

Just as our New Year’s resolutions of staying fit slowly fade into a distant memory, we are presented with the fourth most chocolate and candy-filled holiday of the year: Valentine’s Day. According to the National Confectioners Association, the United States will be spending around 345 million dollars on 85 million pounds of chocolate in celebration.

Worldwide, there are roughly 5 million households that grow cocoa as a means of income, mostly in Africa, Asia and South America. Cocoa beans, the dried seeds that are picked from the evergreen cocoa tree, are extracted of their butter and solids which are used as the basis of almost all chocolate.

At 2.5 million tons, Africa produces the majority of cocoa beans sold worldwide and consumes the least (just 3.28%). The harvesting exists within a similar framework to artisanal foodstuffs like coffee and wine; there are organic and not organic means of cocoa harvesting.

Below are two graphs that breakdown chocolate production by country as well as worldwide consumption.

In considering the impact of cocoa on the world, this Valentine’s Day, be sure to gift responsibly if possible. A few notably responsible and dedicated purveyors of delicious chocolate include:


Theo Chocolate

Mast Brothers Chocolate

For more topics by the numbers:

More about: , , , ,

You Might Also Like:


Featured Recipe

More Recipes

Meet the Team

About The Team

Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


Streetbird Rotisserie
Marcus’ Bermuda
Eatery Social Taqueria
Red Rooster Harlem
Ginny’s Supper Club
Uptown Brasserie
American Table Cafe and Bar
Kitchen and Table
American Table Brasserie and Bar
Marc Burger