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No sweet recipe for success?

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Three Arty Chocolate Bars


We’ve been busy making chocolates to order at Cocoa & Heart, but this week, we thought we’d take a more in depth look at what’s been happening in the wider world of chocolate. And one announcement in particular.

Will less sugar be a sweet recipe for success?

Would you change a sure-fire recipe for success? Probably not. Most of us might just play safe and stick with the old adage ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it.’

In the dog eat dog world of big business, even a slight change in formula can have a major impact in how well the product is received by its customers.

So, consider this.  A Dairy Milk chocolate bar with 30% less sugar will go on sale in 2019. First introduced in 1905, it’s one of the best-selling single chocolate bars nationwide and even globally and a flag ship line for manufacturers Cadburys.

Of course, there is public health pressure on all food manufactures to reduce sugar content – and Cadburys are playing safe by introducing the new Diary Milk bar alongside the original bar.

Nevertheless, Mondelēz International, which manufactures Cadbury's chocolate, has described it as the most significant innovation in the brand’s history.

So, what’s in it for Cadburys? Well, there’s the chance to position themselves as the market leader in promoting more healthy ingredients and alternatives to consumers, across a huge range of products. 

And what’s in it for the customers? In a literal sense, the new bar will contain no artificial sweeteners, colours or preservatives. And there won’t will there be an increase in calories, either.

Cadbury’s press release claims that the recipe was developed over two years by a team of 20 scientists, nutritionists and preservatives. And the aim? To reduce sugar without compromising the taste of the chocolate.

It will sit alongside the original Dairy Milk on shop shelves to provide an alternative to customers.

If successful, the new recipe will be applied to other Cadbury Dairy Milk products.

Mondelēz International has announced other plans to reduce sugar in its products over the next two years, including:

Cadbury Boost+ Protein, which will contain 12g of protein per bar and will launch in August 2018 with 32% less sugar than the standard Boost bar.

It’s going to be fascinating to see which Dairy Milk chocolate bar sells the best. The new one, with 30% less sugar, or the traditional, best selling bar? Will the public take to the new ‘healthier’ taste, or will less sugar be too much to swallow?

Think Diet Coke and zero sugar alternatives already on the market versus the iconic traditional coke image and brand. Which do you prefer?

Industry specialists have described the move as Cadbury’s biggest gamble in their entire history – bar none – if you’ll forgive the inevitable pun.

My take on this is somewhat different. Cadburys are essentially offering an alternative to their best-selling milk chocolate brand. And a healthier one at that by reducing the sugar content. Highly laudable in itself. Even if sceptics would say that long term they and other leading manufacturers don’t have much of a choice, given the demands to tackle worrying increases in levels of child obesity and diabetes.

So far so good. But in focusing on milk chocolate, are Cadburys facing the wrong way. If they truly wanted to educate consumers to enjoy chocolate with less sugar, why not just increase promotion on their dark chocolate brands, like Bournville?

Why? Because, it’s pretty much universally recognised that dark chocolate is far better healthwise than any type of milk chocolate. No matter how much sugar you try to take out during its production.

At Cocoa & Heart we like to think that we’re educating the people who book on our chocolate courses as well as just instructing them on the finer arts of chocolate making. Call it a ‘taste test’ if you like, but when students, who like most of us, have been brought up on one form of milk chocolate or another, taste dark chocolate they are, in the main, pleasantly surprised.

Some people find dark chocolate bitter when compared to milk chocolate. Good quality dark chocolate isn’t bitter at all. Think coffee beans. If it has a burnt taste, it generally means the beans are inferior and have been over roasted. The same with dark chocolate. For many, it has a more natural rich and intense flavour all of its own which is equally impelling as milk chocolate but without the same level of additives.

This goes to the heart of the matter. As the size of milk chocolate bars reduces, to keep increasing price levels within the purse of the buying public, whilst still being ‘bulked up’ with non-chocolate products such as maize and buck wheat (just check the ingredients) what do the big manufacturers truly want?

If you want less sugar and more chocolate, why not try dark chocolate instead of just another brand of milk chocolate? The health benefits are better and you might even find yourself savouring rather than scoffing the chocolate - something we’re all guilty of doing. So, go on, start treating yourself to a piece of dark!

Let us know what you think of Cadbury’s plans for its new Diary Milk chocolate bar?

And do you like dark chocolate? If not, what puts you off it and tell us why you like milk or white chocolate better?

Until next time


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