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collected for one purpose may, however, be useful for answering questions outside the scope of the original survey if limitations of the data, particularly the population studied and the methods used, are taken into account.
Food supply (market disappearance) surveys, household budget surveys, and surveys of individuals represent the major types of food consumption surveys conducted.
Food supply surveys are conducted by national government institutions and by food industry groups to provide information on food availability for a specific population during a specified time period. These data are used in setting priorities, analyzing trends, developing policy, and formulating food programs.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations compiles national supply data on raw agricultural commodities into 'food balance sheets' (3). These data may be used to compare availability of food commodities in different countries or regions.
Similarly, the International Office of Cocoa, Chocolate, and Sugar Confectionery (IOCCC) generates data useful for comparing supplies of confectionery products, including chocolate confectionery, in different countries (4). However, the IOCCC data cannot be used to characterize confectionery consumption by individuals within the countries. Appropriate use of these data is limited primarily because waste is not considered. It must be assumed that a portion of the chocolate available for consumption is discarded by industry after shelf-life expiration or thrown away uneaten by individuals. In addition, a certain proportion of chocolate confectionery counted as available to the consumer may be used by industry or food service facilities for non-confectionery applications.
The US Department of Commerce (DOC) conducts an annual survey to produce detailed information on US confectionery supplies (5). The data compilation methods are similar to IOCCC methods, and as with the IOCCC data, neither waste nor the factors described above are considered.
Products included in 'chocolate confectionery' categories differ somewhat in the DOC and IOCCC surveys. Actually, even within the IOCCC system, definitions of chocolate confectionery and other products vary somewhat from country to country (6). The IOCCC chocolate confectionery category includes unfilled chocolate; filled tablets and bars; 'bonbons', pralines and 'other chocolate'; sugar confectionery containing cocoa; and white chocolate. The chocolate confectionery category used in DOC reporting includes enrobed/molded, solid, solid with inclusions, panned and 'other types of chocolate products'.
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