A growing culture of chocolate has brought local chocolatiers international awards these last few years. Now, data shows that the demand for Israeli chocolate around the world is on the rise as well.

According to data from the Foreign Trade Administration in the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, chocolate exports reached around $10 million in 2015.

Some 28 companies exported Israeli chocolate to 42 countries around the world, according to a recent report by the Ministry of Economy and Industry. The biggest markets for trading in chocolate were North America and Europe — and there were even exports of $105,000 to Belgium, the “chocolate capital” of the world.

Chocolate exports to East Asian countries reached $618,000, with most exports going to Japan.

Chocolate from Sweet and Karem. Photo by Flash90
Chocolate from Sweet and Karem. Photo by Flash90

Among European countries, the UK was the largest importer of Israeli chocolate, with imports totaling $1,152,000. France brought in $601,000 worth of chocolate products from Israel and Russia imported $157,000.

In North and South America, the US imported more than $5 million in Israeli chocolate, Canada imported $88,000 and Argentina $15,000.

Other importers of Israeli chocolate include South Korea ($66,000 worth), Egypt ($45,000), Brazil ($11,000) and Angola ($2,000).

Even though the Israeli climate is not suited for growing commercial amounts of cocoa, chocolate production in the country is healthy.

In 2015, the world’s largest cocoa grinder, Barry Callebaut, warned that a potential chocolate shortage by 2020 was imminent. But Israeli chocolatiers weren’t worried by the forewarning.

There will always be chocolate,” Limor Drucker of Sarina Chocolate  told ISRAEL21c. “As long as there’s a demand, people will make it.”