Bronkhorst

One thing we all love. . .Chocolate!

January 23, 2018 Sandra Wassink

At the end of this month, on  January 28th, the yearly international supplier fair for the sweets and snacks industry will take place. The ProSweets in Cologne is an interesting event to all of you who are dealing with snacks and sweets.
 
Pleasantly enough I – as a true chocolate fan -  had the opportunity to visit the 2017 edition of this event. The chocolate confectionery industry seems to be an ever increasing industry, regarding the fact that numerous of chocolate suppliers made their way to Cologne. I found out that especially flavoured chocolates are very popular… and that’s where flow instruments come into the picture.

Eating chocolate
Chocolate production

Chocolate confectionery industry

I would like to share my findings within the growing chocolate confectionery industry and the trends in using flavours. Who else can do this better than a woman you should think, as 75% of the women report that they indulge in chocolate, against 68% of the men.
 
Chocolate… a growing worldwide market of $100 billion once started with a simple choice between Milk, Dark or White chocolate. Nowadays the choice in variations is huge due to flavourings.  
 
Chocolate as a seasonal gift is still very popular. Around the holidays we tend to buy more chocolate. The top selling season for chocolate is not Valentine’s Day, as you might think, but Easter. Besides treating yourself with chocolate, there is an emotional aspect. Chocolate can have a positive effect on your mood, especially with young adults. A popular reason for the increasing sales. The majority of the chocolate buyers are looking for options with mix-ins as opposed to the conventional unflavoured varieties.

Flavour and textures

The global chocolate market has seen considerable innovation in flavour and texture. New product development continues to be imaginative, with more exploration of flavours and textures in addition to the traditional sweetness. However, the consumer base tends to be rather traditional as the most popular flavours still are Hazelnut, Caramel and Almond.
 
Older consumers tend to have a lower engagement with chocolate. The lack of interest reflects their desire to eat healthy. To regain this group of adult customers, companies have turned to tactics such as using alcohol flavours, organic ingredients, and premium positioning such as dark chocolate with Limoncello or chocolates filled with sweet liqueur.

Coriolis flow meter dosing block to add flavours to the chocolate
Dosing block with Coriolis flow meters to add flavours

Healthy lifestyle

It may come as a surprise, but a healthy lifestyle, which is one of the major trends worldwide, is also responsible for a substantial growth of the chocolate market and that’s not without reason. Chocolate, specifically dark chocolate with more than 85% cocoa, can offer beneficial health benefits.  This results in labels mentioning:

  • Rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and other minerals
  • Powerful source of antioxidants
  • Protective against cardiovascular disease
The growing awareness of the health benefits of dark chocolate is one of the reasons why consumption of chocolate is increasing. With the rising popularity of dark chocolate, the sales for other variations are also going up. People are seeking other ‘healthy’ variations, such as sugar-free, gluten-free, kosher or fair trade chocolate. Due to these ethical claims, the industry has seen an enormous growth in variations.
 
In order to enhance a healthy image for chocolate, functional ingredients such as fibers, proteins, micronutrients, quick energy (guarana extracts), green tea extract, or chia seeds are more and more often added to the chocolate.

Cocoa

The increasing demand for chocolate also has its downside. About 3 million tons of cocoa beans are consumed annually of which more than 70% are produced by four West African countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. Cocoa is a delicate crop and trees planted a quarter century ago have hit their production peak and the land they grown on are not as fertile as it once was. A large rehabilitation of land and trees is necessary to prevent the loss of crop production. Also climate changes are taking their toll.
 
This results in high costs for raw materials and unstable economic conditions in cocoa-producing nations. To prevent a supply shortage, a number of well-known chocolate producing companies have decided to invest in rehabilitation of the land and trees to make sure that cocoa will be available in the future.
This happens in a time that developing countries such as China, India, and Russia expect to increase their chocolate sales volume by 30%.

Mass Flow Meters in your production process

Due to the enormous growth of chocolate variations, using flavours and functional ingredients, mass flow meters and controllers find their way into the confectionery industry. Coriolis flow meters in combination with a pump are an ideal solution for dosing flavours and functional ingredients.  Using the Coriolis instruments for additive dosing means less downtime between batches, traceability of ingredients, and higher product consistency and quality.
 
 


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