Market Share - Hershey’s, Nestle, and Mars: Chocolate Industry
According to multiple sources, Hershey's market share of the US chocolate industry is approximately 43.5%, followed by Mars at 30.0% and Nestle at 4.0%. However, it should be noted that Nestle chocolate brands are now owned by Ferrero, an Italian company. Below is a complete breakdown of our findings, followed by an explanation of the research methodology used to find this data.
US Chocolate Industry: Market Share
- A 2018 deliverable for investors produced by Hershey's breaks down the US chocolate industry by market share, with Hershey's leading the industry at 43.5% market share, followed by Mars at 30.0%, and Nestle at 4.0%.
- A 2017 report from Statista largely corroborates these figures, stating that the 2017 market share percentages were 43.8% for Hershey's, 30% for Mars, and 4.3% for Nestle. A screenshot of this data has also been provided in an attached document, as Statista data may not be accessible to all.
- A 2019 report from Forbes also corroborates the Hershey's and Mars market shares, stating that their market shares are about 45% and 30%, respectively.
- Technically, Nestle's US confectionery business is no longer owned and operated by Nestle, as this segment of Nestle's business was sold to Italian confectionery producer Ferrero in the summer of 2018. Nestle cited the company's "low market share," which reduced its "ability to win in that market," as a reason for the divestiture.
Your Research Team Employed the Following Strategy:
To find information regarding the market share of Hershey's, Nestle, and Mars in the US chocolate industry, we first conducted a search of company documents, such as letters to shareholders and annual reports. Both were available in the case of Hershey's and Nestle, which are public companies, but Mars is a private company (and a "historically secretive" one, at that), so little company-provided data was available as a result. This search located the Hershey's deliverable referenced above, which provides the market share for all three companies, as of 7/15/2018. While searching these company documents, we also looked for information regarding each company's units sold, but this data was not included in any company-provided documents.
To find corroborating sources for the market share data provided in the Hershey's deliverable, as well as to continue to search for data regarding units sold, we conducted a secondary research approach, this time searching third-party databases and other entities that might supply relevant data. Sources searched in this regard include Statista, market research organizations like Grand View Research, and company information databases like D&B Hoovers. While some sources that may contain relevant information, such as certain market reports, were hidden behind paywalls, this segment of our research did provide corroboration of the data supplied by Hershey's, in the form of the Statista report referenced above. Still, no data regarding the three companies' units sold was found.
To find additional corroborating evidence and continue to search for units sold data, we conducted a third research approach entailing a search of relevant media organizations. The primary focus in this segment of the research was on media outlets geared toward financial news, such as Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, CNN Money, and similar outlets. Still, none of these sources contained information regarding the total units sold for Hershey's, Nestle, or Mars. However, this search did reveal the Forbes report referenced above that further corroborated two of the market share data points provided in other sources.