The chocolate industry has come a long way.
While big companies still dominate the chocolate industry, small quality focused chocolate companies are rapidly growing their sales and influence. And that’s had a profound impact on the industry as a whole. Here are just some of the ways in which chocolate is changing in 2017.
Premium chocolate is on the rise.
Artisan chocolate has been on the scene for several years now, and this trend is on full display in 2017. People are more and more invested in the quality of the food they purchase—and that includes their favorite sweets. As a result, people are becoming more willing to pay a little extra for a better quality bar. This helps explain why premium chocolate—which includes single-origin, organic, high-cocoa, and ethical chocolate options such as TCHO—while less than 5% of the market, is growing faster than any other sector in the confection market.
Dark chocolate is increasingly popular.
For decades, milk chocolate reigned supreme. But as people started to learn about the health benefits of dark chocolate, they opened up their palettes to giving it a try—and they discovered it wasn’t so bitter after all. As a result, dark chocolate has been steadily gaining popularity over the past few years, and this trend is expected to continue in 2017. In fact, growth of dark chocolate sales recently surpassed the growth of milk chocolate sales for the first time ever.
Chocolate products are getting more flavorful.
Now that they have a taste for dark chocolate, people are getting curious about other, more distinct chocolate flavors. The premium chocolate industry is happily meeting this demand. Major flavor trends so far have included everything from espresso to figs, turmeric, cardamom, and hibiscus. This year, chocolate makers will be expected to top these options with even more inventive flavors.
TCHO has been at the cutting-edge of flavorful chocolate production for years. It’s why our product lineboasts a wide range of flavors to appeal to every taste bud, from Mint Chip Gelato to Orange + Toffee, Mokaccino, and Triple Berry.
The industry is getting more ethical.
For several years now, people have been growing increasingly concerned with how their food is produced—so it was only a matter of time until this ethos came to their treats. A combination of consumer demand and brand priorities is driving the craft chocolate industry towards a more ethical focus. More and more consumers want ethical products from authentic and transparent companies.
At TCHO, we embody this ethos every day. Through our TCHOSource program, we partner with farmers to create ethically and sustainably grown chocolate that helps maintain farmers’ livelihoods and enhance their wellbeing. We’re part of a broader movement toward more ethically sourced chocolate across the board, we go beyond Fair Trade
Production is becoming more environmentally friendly.
Conventional cocoa production has gotten a pretty bad rap in environmental circles for provoking soil erosion, the overuse of fertilizers, deforestation, and other not-so-eco-friendly effects, not to mention cocoa breeds and depth of flavor. But that’s starting to change. Just as brands are adopting more ethical practices when it comes to farmers, they’re also getting more ethical when it comes to their eco-footprint by adopting more sustainable agricultural practices and reducing waste and energy consumption throughout the supply stream.
At TCHO, we’re committed to minimizing our impact on the environment by producing organic and Fair Trade chocolate whenever possible, providing bulk purchasing options so customers can cut down on packaging waste, and partnering with our farmers to promote sustainable growing practices.
Brands are becoming more transparent.
As brands like TCHO commit to eliminating the old ways of chocolate sourcing in exchange for more farmer- and earth-friendly practices, they’re seeking to get the word out about their efforts. Companies that have nothing to hide are driving a trend toward greater brand transparency in the chocolate industry as a whole. For example, we at TCHO make no bones about where our chocolate is produced, how our chocolate is sourced, and the values we bring to the chocolate production process. This transparency empowers consumers to choose from brands whose values align with their own.
From eco-friendly farming to innovative flavor combinations, chocolate is boasting some impressive transformations