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Sweet Outlook 2013: Part Two

Healthy chocolate and the future for commodities

By Oliver Nieburg+, 03-Jan-2013

Related topics: Phytochemicals, plant extracts, Cardiovascular health, Industry, Health claims, Botanicals

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. ConfectioneryNews.com’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.