Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1256204

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Page 55 of 91

Much of the specialty cacao used by high- end chocolate makers is sourced from Central America and the Amazon region, although makers are also increasingly finding interesting varieties in other places, such as Madagascar and other parts of Africa. PHOTO: ERIC WOLFINGER SUMMER 2020 45 www . enstrom . com including a surge in South Korea and Japan, and some are emulating the craftsmanship of American bean-to-bar chocolate makers, according to Giller. "Even France has some new-school, American-style bean-to-bar makers challenging the old guard," she says, citing craft chocolate maker/retailer Ara Chocolat in Paris as an example. Todd Masonis, CEO and co-founder of Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco, says the recent Craft Chocolate Experience festival in San Francisco drew manufacturers from 26 countries around the world, many of which were bean-to-bar, craft chocolate makers. In addition, Dandelion, which operates three production facilities and four cafes in San Francisco and Las Vegas, has itself expanded to Japan with a couple of retail stores. "In Japan there's really a culture of 'craft,' and I think the people there immediately understood our value proposition, and why you might want to spend a consumers who are seeking quality products," he says. "We see it across the gourmet sector, not just in fine chocolate." According to SFA's newly released State of the Specialty Food Industry research, specialty chocolate and other confectionery consistently has been in the top 10 specialty categories by retail dollar sales, demonstrating how essential the category is to the market. The category grew 14 percent between 2017 and 2019 in dollar sales and 11 percent in unit sales. (See more highlights from this year's report opposite p. 56.) Research compiled for the National Confectioners Association and the FCIA found that about 27 percent of chocolate consumers eat fine or artisan chocolates, while 90 percent eat mainstream chocolate, and 70 percent eat premium chocolate such as Lindt, Ghirardelli, or Ferrero. Thanks to their sourcing and craftsmanship, American chocolate makers have been gaining ground on the famed European chocolate makers, Guyton says. Specialty chocolate companies have been cropping up all over the world,

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