As Easter rolls around, chocoholics will be pleased to know that the number of independent chocolatiers in the UK is on the rise, according to new figures from Simply Business.
The statistics, taken from business insurance quote data, also show which areas boast the most local chocolate shops, and where to watch for an independent confectionary boom.
Could artisan chocolate now be more popular than big brands like Cadbury’s and Thorntons? The number of independent chocolatiers has skyrocketed in the past year, increasing by 63% between 2015 and 2016.
The rise won’t come as a surprise to many, given the general shift towards artisan, craft, and street food in the UK in recent years. What might surprise, though, is which city has seen the biggest rise, and where's leading the race to be crowned the UK's chocolate capital.
Many people associate the independent food trend with London, but it’s actually Birmingham that has seen the biggest increase in small chocolate businesses since 2015.
Birmingham has a long and proud chocolate history. It’s where the great John Cadbury himself was born, over 200 years ago, and to this day Cadbury products are produced at the company’s factory in Bournville.
Now its residents are following in Cadbury’s footsteps and striking out to create new and exciting chocolate creations. Last year Birmingham hosted its very first chocolate festival, which will be returning this year on 21 and 22 October.
But while the West Midlands can boast the fastest growth, for actual number of chocolatiers you need to head south.
The South East now has even more independent chocolatiers and chocolate shops than London, with places like Brighton, Hertford, and Oxford proving particularly popular locations for new chocolate businesses.
Number of independent chocolate businesses by region
But there’s bad news for chocolate lovers in the South West, as it’s the only area in the country where the number of chocolate businesses has actually decreased since 2015.
However, if you’re looking for something new and exciting, the Midlands is the place to go. The East Midlands and East Anglia have both doubled their numbers of chocolatiers, while the West Midlands, with Birmingham leading the way, has trippled theirs.
Data taken from almost 600 chocolate business insurance enquiries between 2015-2016.
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