It seems that a little bit of sweetness can help drown out the bitterness that is 2020. According to iPrice Group’s research, the Philippines’ interest in chocolates, sweets, and candy has been on a consistent upward trend since the pandemic started. 

In a normal year, February and October would garner the most Google searches on sweets and chocolates due to Valentine’s Day and Halloween. However, this year, Filipinos have been searching more and more for these delicacies as the year went by. 

For instance, if you compare September 2020 (a random month) with February 2020 (Valentines’ Day month), September has 38% more Google searches. The number of searches has been on a constant increase over the months. In April 2020, just when everyone was transitioning into the new normal, search interest for chocolates & sweets started to increase by 20%.

But is the data enough to blame the pandemic for this phenomenon? Well, the monthly average of Google searches in 2020 is 91% more than 2019’s. Furthermore, October 2020 (Halloween) has 122% more interest in chocolate than the year before (October 2019). This year-by-year comparison could certainly be a telltale sign. 

iPrice’s data also shows that the Philippines ranks #3 in Southeast Asia when it comes to interest in chocolates & sweets. Nearly 18.8% of the country’s Google population are looking for sweets, the highest number after Malaysia (21.8%) and Singapore (19.3%). These figures are validated by the International Diabetes Foundation & Diabetes Atlas’ data on diabetes prevalence in Asia. Malaysia ranks #2, while the Philippines is at #24.

Out of all the chocolate brands the e-commerce aggregator recorded, it reveals that Western chocolate brands reign in most of Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, people look for Toblerone, Maltesers, and Ferrero Rocher the most. Its searches are way more than local brands like Chocnut, Flat Tops, and Curly Tops. The top three Western chocolates have 254% more searches than the top three local chocolates. In terms of local chocolates, Philfoods’ Flat Tops rank #1, followed by Chocnut and Curly Tops. It seems that only Indonesia is the most interested in Southeast Asian chocolates. It has the most search interest in brands from the region. Choki-Choki, a humble liquid chocolate snack in a narrow plastic package, ranks #2 in the country. 

Methodology

The search interest is based on the Philippines’ Google searches on keywords “sweets,” “candy,” “chocolates,” “tsokolate,” and “tamis.” The period of google searches was taken from October 2019 to November 2020. The interest in sweets is based on Southeast Asia’s google searches on certain keywords like “sweets,” “candy,” “chocolates” in each of the countries’ respective languages and in English. The top 3 chocolate brands are based on the highest monthly average google searches of each country. Whenever there is a tie in rank (when brands have the same number of average monthly searches), the ranking is determined by recording the total searches. The % interest in sweets is based on Google searches in relation to the population number that uses Google in each country.

About iPrice Group

iPrice Group is a meta-search website operating in seven countries across Southeast Asia namely; MalaysiaSingapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Currently, iPrice compares and catalogs more than 5 billion and receives about 20-30 million monthly visits across the region. iPrice currently operates three business lines: price comparison for electronics and health & beauty; product discovery for fashion and home & living; and coupons across all verticals.

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