LONDON, April (Xinhua) -- As millions of British children tucked into more than 300 million U.S. dollars worth of traditional chocolate Easter eggs Sunday, government officials in London revealed exports of chocolate have risen 84 percent since 2010.
Last year Britain recorded exports of chocolate to 150 countries with a value approaching a billion U.S. dollars, said the Department for International Trade (DIT)
Britain's independent chocolatiers are making the most of a growing global demand for their tasty treats this Easter, said DIT.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the number of independent chocolatiers in Britain has grown in recent years, with more artisan and specialised products launched to meet consumer demand in both Britain and abroad.
Meanwhile the manufacture of cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery is now worth more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to the British economy, said the DIT.
"The government is supporting many small businesses to taking advantage of this by helping them explore export opportunities in the 149 worldwide markets that currently import UK chocolate," said a spokesman for DIT.
Food and Farming Minister George Eustice said: "There has been a huge growth in the number of independent chocolatiers in the UK and they are very adept at creating delicious products that are shaping consumer tastes around the world.
"There are great opportunities to increase our food and drink exports and increasing market access around the world is a major focus for government."
DIT cited one business taking advantage of the increasing global demand for Britain's high quality, artisan chocolates. Amelia Rope Chocolate, which started as a kitchen business in 2007 creating truffles and chocolate-dipped crystallised flora and now sells products in Hong Kong and Asia.
Amelia Rope said: "Exporting is vital for me and my brand. It can be hard work but I am quite resourceful. I'm excited about now expanding into the U.S. and the Middle East."
Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said: "It is great to see British businesses exporting increasing amounts of chocolate around the world as they seek to meet the ever-growing demand for our produce."
Britain's biggest chocolate buyer is neighbour Ireland which last year imported chocolates worth 300 million U.S. dollars, followed by the Netherlands (99 million U.S. dollars) and in third place Germany (71 million U.S. dollars).