The love for chocolate does not discriminate. No matter how old you are, where you are from, how much money you have, or what your social status is, chances are there is some kind of chocolate that you can't say no to. There is a reason why chocolate is loved by people around the world -- it actually causes a chemical reaction in the brain that makes you happy.
Chocolate promotes the feelings of excitement, attraction, and nervousness that we associate with falling in love, and it acts as an antidepressant when combined with dopamine in the brain. Some people believe it is an aphrodisiac, which is why the Aztec emperor Montezuma used it like his own personal stash of Viagra.
The benefits of chocolate are hard to ignore. And because of chocolate's popularity, there are many different brands on the market. This list of the 15 most popular chocolate brands will help you decide what chocolate treat to try the next time you have a craving.
It is said that Ferrero Rocher is the bestselling brand of chocolate on Earth, with millions of people all over the world buying this chocolate every year. The company has been a leader in the chocolate industry for over 200 years. Ferrero Rocher chocolates are wrapped in golden foil, making them a popular holiday gift. This mouthwatering treat consists of hazelnut in a thin wafer shell with hazelnut chocolate, milk chocolate, and chopped hazelnuts.
Originating in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1845, this rich, elegant brand is famous for producing the greatest white chocolate on the planet. Personally, I can't say no to a Lindor truffle, the most popular type of Lindt chocolate on the market. The Lindor truffle is a chocolate ball with a hard chocolate shell and a smooth chocolate filling, and it comes in a variety of flavor options. (I sometimes dream of the Lindor sea salt and caramel truffle that comes in an aqua wrapper.)
Lindt & Sprüngli owns one of the largest chocolate factories in the world, and it uses only milk and granular ingredients. In addition to truffles, Lindt sells chocolate bars, ice cream, and liqueurs. And in 2014, the company bought Russell Stover Candies, which makes Whitman's.
This brand based in the United States is actually a division of Lindt. But we listed it separately because it is extremely popular on its own. Ghirardelli hosts a two-day chocolate festival every year where chocolate lovers can try any of the company's chocolate varieties in bar form or miniature squares.
However, Ghirardelli also makes a variety of baking mixes and hot cocoa, and all of its products are popular gifts during the holidays.
There are so many Hershey's chocolate products that I could easily write an entire article on the bestsellers. Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's chocolate bars, KitKat, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Pieces, Whoppers, Mounds, Almond Joy, and York Peppermint Patties are all Hershey's products. Some of these are Hershey's originals, and others have been acquired by the company over the years. Either way, you can't go wrong when you choose to eat a Hershey's chocolate product. There are also Hershey's baking options, from chocolate chips to cocoa.
It all began in 1873, when Milton S. Hershey opened a candy shop in Philadelphia. Now, Hershey's has its own town in Pennsylvania, and you can visit Hershey's Chocolate World for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Another Swiss chocolate brand, Toblerone, is unique because of its logo and packaging. The logo resembles the Matterhorn, the most popular mountain in Switzerland. And the mountain-shaped chocolates come in a triangular package.
Toblerone started as a treat for royalty, and the original is a perfect mix of cocoa, nougat, almonds, and honey. Now the company makes other kinds, including white chocolate, praline, honeycomb, and fruit and nut.
Thanks to its classic commercial featuring a bunny clucking like a chicken while laying chocolate eggs, Cadbury is most popular during the Easter season. Most of us are familiar with its chocolate eggs and bunnies, but Cadbury makes dozens of different chocolate products that make it one of the most recognized chocolate brands on Earth all year long.
Cadbury makes chocolate bars, Christmas and Halloween candy, desserts, baking items, and beverages. However, what is available near you depends on where you live, since the company sells different items in different regions. One thing is for sure, though: when it comes to Cadbury chocolate, you can always find an egg, no matter where you are or what time of year it is.
This famous Belgian chocolate is sold in over 40 countries across the globe, and it is so delicious it literally melts in your mouth. Created by Guy Foubert in the 1960s, the original Guylian hazelnut seashell praline made the company famous. But now the company makes other fillings and flavors as well.
In addition to pralines in seashells, Guylian offers individually wrapped bars and truffles as well as gift boxes. And you can't miss this chocolate product, thanks to the company's distinctive seahorse logo.
Another worldwide bestseller -- and extremely popular in the Middle East -- Patchi is a combination of Swiss and Belgian chocolate that is impossible to resist. This Lebanon-based company was founded in the 1970s, and it has become a luxury brand.
Patchi's mouthwatering chocolate features premium and all-natural ingredients, including the finest cocoa and fresh milk. The incredible packaging makes it even more irresistible. The company's chocolate menu features more than 50 varieties that incorporate roasted hazelnuts, pistachios, and almonds as well as orange peel and dried strawberry. The chocolate also comes in flavors like cheesecake, peanut butter, and cotton candy.
Even though Patchi is most popular in Middle Eastern countries, the company's online boutique caters to the American market.
Founded in 1926, this Belgian company sells tender, sweet chocolate that comes in a wide variety of flavors. But the company sells more than just chocolate. Godiva also makes truffles, cocoa, shakes, chocolate liqueur, chocolate-covered snacks, and coffee.
You can easily find gourmet Godiva gift baskets, which are popular because of their signature Gold Ballotin packaging. Godiva also makes seasonal products for holidays and special occasions. Its chocolate is a popular choice for wedding and party favors.
Outside of the U.S., Nestlé (not Hershey's) also makes KitKat bars, making it a popular global brand. But unlike many other brands on this list, Nestlé makes candy bars, cookies, and baking items, instead of focusing on pure chocolate bars and truffles.
You can't make a list of popular chocolate brands without including Mars. This incredibly famous worldwide brand is responsible for Snickers, Galaxy, Dove, M&M'S, Milky Way, Twix, 3 Musketeers, and Mars bars. Like Nestlé, Mars focuses on candy bars and confectioneries instead of plain chocolate products. But it definitely offers a combination of chocolate, nougat, caramel, or other ingredients that you won't be able to say no to.
Fun fact: Mars is still a family-owned business, and the Mars family is famous for its secrecy.
Another Swiss chocolate brand you might know is Milka, thanks to its logo featuring a purple cow with a bell around its neck. Milka sells its chocolate in a variety of packages and flavors. Some of its chocolate bar flavors include milk chocolate, milk chocolate with Oreo, strawberry yogurt, caramel, white chocolate, white coconut, and whole hazelnut.
Theo Chocolate is one of the newer chocolatiers on our list. Founded in 2006 and based in Seattle, Theo is the first organic fair trade-certified cocoa producer in the U.S. It sources its beans from the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Madagascar, and Venezuela.
In addition to selling caramels and specialty items, Theo sells chocolate in six different categories: classic, limited edition, fantasy, baking, holiday, and kids' crunch.
One of its most popular chocolate bars is its salted almond dark chocolate bar, which the company makes with all-natural, gluten-free ingredients. The company's founder made it his mission to bring organic cacao to the U.S., and Theo is a true bean-to-bar company.
Another newer chocolate brand, Taza, is based in Somerville, Massachusetts, and features Mexican-inspired stone-ground, organic chocolate, a high-end treat.
Taza makes its chocolate by grinding the cocoa beans, which gives its chocolate a unique flavor and texture. The company makes over 40 different products -- including its popular Origin bars and Amaze bars -- which you can find in retail stores throughout the U.S.
Green & Black's is an organic gourmet chocolate made in the United Kingdom, and the company uses Trinitario cocoa beans to give its dark chocolate a rich taste. Also containing sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla for a bit of sweetness, Green & Black's chocolate will melt in your mouth and give you a unique taste experience.
Green & Black's makes dark, organic, milk, and white chocolate, and it also makes products that include caramel, nuts, and fruit.
Now that you know what chocolate brands are on the market, get out there and try something new! Life may be like a box of chocolates, but with these brands, you know you will always be getting something good.