CHICAGO — Despite the poor economy, consumers are indulging in “sin stocks” like chocolate, cigarettes and alcohol, according to Mintel here. Historically, these categories have performed well during economic recession. “People might be cutting back or switching to store brands, but they definitely aren’t giving up their small daily indulgences,” Marcia Mogelonsky, senior analyst at Mintel, said in a statement. “Because people are being so cautious with their spending, they feel they are entitled to small rewards and they won’t give them up easily.” Mintel predicts that innovative, dark and premium chocolates will help drive 4% annual sales increases each year for the next six years, and that the cigarette and tobacco market will grow 28% through 2011. It also finds that although Americans are drinking more at home, they’re not necessarily drinking less. Mintel projects that the market for at-home alcohol will reach $77.8 billion in 2008, a 32% increase from 2003.
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