Chocolate: The Perfect Food
By Brooke Shaw
Decadent, rich, satisfying and good for your health.
Decadent, rich, satisfying and good for your health. This is the new profile for chocolate. Okay, if we could just add “low in calories”– we’d be truly laughing. Chocolate was always in vogue, but these days it’s poised to grow in depth and opportunity as a category.
Results based on the combined analysis of ACNielsen’s Homescan and Scantrak data indicate sales are up six per cent over last year. That translates to the average American spending $72.73 (US) in this category over the 12-month period. Much of this is attributed to the recent press around the health benefits of dark chocolate. The potential health benefits of cocoa have been touted with studies reporting that flavonoid-rich chocolate may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The journal Nutrition reports that, “The dietary intake of food or drinks produced from cacao beans might be beneficial in preventing the onset of Type-2 diabetes mellitus.”
“Diet chocolate” showed an incredible 329 per cent growth in sales between 2003 and 2004. Janet Hemphill, of Dreams of Chocolate, in St. Catharines, Ont., reports that consumer awareness around the reported health benefits of dark chocolate is not mainstream yet, but she expects it to grow. “I’m planning to have articles about dark chocolate’s health benefits posted in my store.” Similar revelations about red wine’s healthy aspects have caused red wine sales to skyrocket.
Like wine, consumers are increasingly becoming interested in chocolate’s origins. Hemphill finds more of her clientele are asking where the chocolate comes from. They want “the story” behind the product. “Chocolate originating from Belgium is a firm favourite,” she states. Companies like Cowgirl Chocolates are taking the category to new heights by adding a zest of lime and the kick of chili spice. Cayenne, cardamom, and cinnamon add piquancy to the Dolfin chocolate bar from Belgium.
Chocolate has always been a popular product. With the recent positive press and a little innovative thinking – it could take your business to a very sweet place indeed.