23andMine

It may have been a coincidence but with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, one night a few weeks ago a band of thieves nicked 44 tons of chocolate, worth about half a million dollars.


German chocolate.


Maybe these guys pulled the wrong heist. Perhaps all this focus on one confection at this time of year is misplaced.


Do we all really love chocolate that much?


Being the nerds that we are, we looked at the data.


First, we actually do have data on chocolate. Turns out most people we surveyed prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate — 52 percent versus 48 percent. We don’t have data about whether any of those same people like marzipan inside their chocolates, yuck.


But we do know from the data that among those who eat chocolate — most of us — more than 35 percent eat some chocolate at least once a week. About 18 percent said they had a bit of chocolate every single day, and then there were a few that may need an intervention. About two percent of those surveyed said they eat chocolate several times a day.


OK, so that seems to settle it people really like chocolate, right?


Not so fast.


Another of our surveys asked research participants what they reached for when they wanted to nosh on a snack, and a majority of them passed on sweet stuff, like chocolate, and went for salty snacks.


About 58 percent of the more than 500,000 customers who answered the survey said they preferred salty over sweet. The percentages skew a little more toward men liking salty a bit more than women, but even among women, 56 percent say they go for a salty treat over a sweet one.


So maybe consider something beyond just a box of chocolates for the love of your life this Valentine’s Day.


As for those thieves, maybe they should have ripped off a bunch of pretzels instead. We hear they make good ones in Germany.