Academy of Chocolate Conference – Edited Highlights

October 8th 2010, The RAC Club, London

Tony Lass (Cadbury’s)

Cacao Trading

  • Worlds consumption of cocoa is increasing faster  than global production
  • 95% of cocoa is grown by smallholders or family farms – plantation cultivation of cocoa very difficult
  • Average cocoa smallholding is 2.5 – 3.5 ha
  • There are around 2.5 – 3 million cocoa growers globally
  • 50% of the cocoa in the world is marketed by 5 brand owners
  • 5 international companies process 60% of the world’s cocoa
  • growers
  • 90% of coco is “bulk cocoa”, mostly Forastero beans with a theobromine : caffeine ratio of 10:1 or more
  • 10% of the worlds cocoa is “fine and flavour” cocoa, mostly Trinitario (2.0 -5.5:1) with a small tonnage of Criollo (2.0:1 or below). Origins are Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad, Sao Tome, Venezuela
  • Cocoa needs to be cultivated by farmers not just grown,  so a higher % of world cocoa price goes to the farmer

Richard Perks (Mintel)

The UK Chocolate Industry

  • Current value of UK chocolate market is £3.6 billion at retail
  • From 2005 – 2010 volume has fallen but value has increased due to inflation
  • Within bars Premium and Luxury is the fastest growing category, now worth £160m per year
  • The % of the population agreeing with the statement “I buy Fairtrade wherever possible” has remained constant from 2005-9 at around 32-36
  • Desire to buy Fairtrade undiminished by recession –  in contrast to organic where % who agree with statement “It’s worth paying more for organic” has gone from 31 to 28
  • Own brand launches have gone from 14% of total launches in 2007 to 23% in 2009
  • Statement “I prefer milk chocolate” has gone from 51% agreement in 2008 to 35% in 2010 – a very dramatic change
  • This may be caused by agreement with the statement “Dark chocolate is healthier” going from 23% to 35%
  • 2011 prospects for the UK: consumer confidence stalled, VAT going up in January, impact of spending cuts, interest rate increases make it likely that retail sales will slow in second half of the year
  • However tough economic times are good for chocolate sales!