The German confectionery industry has produced around 151 million chocolate Santa Clauses this season, a recent survey by the Bundesverband der Deutschen Süßwarenindustrie (BDSI) has revealed.
The figures reflect a decline of 1.3 % compared to the previous year due to more restrained orders from food retailers, and declines in export business.
Chief executive officer of the BDSI, Dr Carsten Bernoth, said, "Even in difficult times like the current coronavirus crisis, it is clear that confectionery is one of the little pleasures of everyday life.
"This is particularly true of the popular chocolate Father Christmases and other treats for the upcoming St. Nicholas Day and Christmas."
In recent weeks, around two-thirds of the chocolate Santas and Christmas treats produced in the country have been delivered to German food retailers, department stores and specialist retailers.
The country will export the remaining one-third to neighbouring European countries, the USA, Canada, and Australia, among others, the study noted.
Dr Bernoth added, "The manufacturers of seasonal confectionery fear that sales in the Christmas business, which is important for them, will be significantly lower this year than last year due to the cancelled Christmas markets, the emptier city centres, the lack of gift shops and the rarer frequency of shopping".
German chocolate Father Christmases are particularly popular in France, Austria and Great Britain.
The traditional treat is available in various sizes, motifs and shapes in several variants, such as melt-in-the-mouth milk chocolate, white chocolate filled with pralines, or a high cocoa version.