Upmarket Cadbury Cocoa Houses to challenge coffee shops in England
Borrowing from the tradition of the Lyons tea shops (begun in 1894), the Cadbury Cocoa Houses will challenge American-style coffee shops with upmarket foods and service.
British hedge fund buys virtually all cocoa futuresBritish hedge fund manager Anthony Ward has virtually cornered the cocoa market. He owns enough cocoa to make more than five billion chocolate bars. Expect higher prices for chocolate products. For details, see here.
Peru's organic cocoa (and coffee)Peru already is the largest exporter of organic coffee. It now hopes to carve a niche in organic cocoa. Peru currently is a distant second place as an exporter of organic cocoa. Its quality is praised by European chocolatiers. Peru hopes that people will come to think about Peru when talking about quality chocolate products as they now talk about Colombia when talking about quality coffee. For more, see here.
Chocolate warsBritain is upset over Kraft's bid to take over Cadbury. The New York Times article here also looks at Cadbury's effort to purchase cacao produced ethically and the changing image of chocolate, once identified with women or children or a cheap source of calories. Currently high end chocolate is marketed as a luxury product.
Chocolate at Principe (article)
Xan Rice, "Life, Liberty and Fine Chocolate: An Italian Entrepreneur Pursues Simple Perfection on a Tropical Isle," Utne Reader, May-June 2009, pp. 53-56. Reprinted from New Statesman, January 15, 2009. Discusses Claudio Corallo who has a cocoa plantation on Principe, the twin isle of Sao Tome. Previously Corallo had grown coffee in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) and now grows coffee on Sao Tome. He now is thinking of making rum too.
Nigeria's cocoa trees are ageing and so are its farmers
The cocoa industry in Nigeria is in trouble in part because young people don't want to be cocoa farmers. Another oddity: unlike nearby African countries, Nigeria produces no chocolate. For more, see here.
Organic, fair trade chocolate in Washington State
Theo Chocolate, in the Seattle area, is the only roaster of organic cocoa beans in the USA and the first to roast fair trade cocoa in the country. For more, see here. Consumer interest in organic and fair trade products has spread to speciality chocolates.
Cocoa and chocolate from plantation to consumer (book)
Arthur W. Knapp, Cocoa and Chocolate--Their History from Plantation to Consumer (Crawford Press, 2007).
Vietnam promotes cocoa production
Mostly tea-drinking Vietnam has become a major coffee producer and exporter in recent years. Now the Vietnamese government, seeking diversity and security against price swings, is promoting cocoa as an export crop. For more, see here. In the emerging globalized economy the traditional geographical distribution for these commodities has shifted from South America (coffee) and West Africa (cocoa) to parts of the world not identified with them.
Problem with chocolate
An article in the New York Times, 22 December 2007, and comments by readers explore the problem with chocolate as a health aid. For details, see here.