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Sweet Outlook 2013: Part Two

Healthy chocolate and the future for commodities

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By Oliver Nieburg+

Last updated on 03-Jan-2013 at 13:13 GMT2013-01-03T13:13:13Z

Fresh health claims on the benefits of cocoa could emerge in 2013
Fresh health claims on the benefits of cocoa could emerge in 2013

Chocolate will gain more traction as a health food in the coming year as cocoa grinds shift to Asia and the sugar deregulation debate rages on.’s 2013 predictions part two.

Chocolate as health food

Chocolatiers this year will make the most of a growing body of research pointing to the health benefits of cocoa.

Barry Callebaut last year received a positive opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to say “cocoa flavanols help maintain endothelium-dependent vasodilation which contributes to normal blood flow”.

Mars researchers are also closely studying the beneficial effects of cocoa, so don’t be surprised to see another health claim lodged in the EU.

Many studies have linked cocoa to positive cognitive effects - so ‘chocolate improves brain power’ could be the simplified version of the next claim.

Sugar debate

In commodities, the sugar debate rage will rage on in 2013 with confectioners in Europe calling for total deregulation in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms.

EU confectioners will be heartened by recent plans to release more sugar to the market, but will face constrained supplies throughout 2013 until beet production quotas are abolished at the earliest opportunity on 30 September 2015.

Across the Atlantic, US confectioners look set to resume tit-for-tat spats with sugar producers as Congress revises the sugar program under the 2012 Farm Bill. See HERE.

Cocoa grinds

Low cocoa grinds in Europe and US as seen toward the end of last year may move into the New Year as developed nations struggle to overcome fiscal deficits.

However, slowing grinds in Asia may pick up pace as capacity shifts from Europe and the US to emerging markets.

Leading players have talked up the potential of Brazil in recent months and the nation could be set to be the fastest growing chocolate market in 2013.

Also expect a plethora of communications about companies’ push towards sustainable cocoa as all the major chocolate players have now made commitments to eliminate unlawful child labor and secure an ethical supply.

For Part One of our predictions, see HERE.

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Why push chocolate, not cocoa?

It is fairly well accepted that extracted dark cocoa powder is reponsible for any health benefits of chocolate. Even the pure cocoa butter is not thought to be necessarily beneficial. But standard chocolate often contains less than 30% cocoa solids which includes the butter. The best dark chocolate may be only around 70% cocoa solids. Even 100% cocoa chocolate will be only about half dark cocoa and half cooa butter.
Dairy creamer, other cheap vegetable fats and lots of sugar are added to most chocolate.
So why is there no move to get people drinking cocoa like they do tea and coffee, especially as a night drink where it could have huge potential to develop its current niche and market share. I see shelves of drinking chocolate in the shops but very little cocoa to choose from.

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Posted by chris aylmer
04 January 2013 | 18h572013-01-04T18:57:52Z

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