CHICAGO — Chocolate sales around the world have been on the upswing despite the recession, according to Mintel.

"It’s clear that despite economic trouble this year, the world’s chocolate lovers didn’t deviate from their favorite treat," said Marcia Mogelonsky, global food and beverage analyst at Mintel. "Chocolate is a small, affordable indulgence for shoppers who are cutting back on spending elsewhere. Even in countries not known for chocolate consumption, sales are on the rise."

For example, in China and Ukraine chocolate confectionery sales rose 18% and 12%, respectively. These are countries not necessarily known for significant chocolate consumption, but each country has seen steady sales increases since 2005.

The British increased their chocolate market by 6% this year, and Americans bought 3% more chocolate than in 2008. Sales in Argentina and Belgium rose 2% and 3%, respectively.

Switzerland spends the most money on chocolate, spending an average of $206 per person per year. The British and Belgians spend $106 and $90, respectively, while those in the United States spend $55 per person.