Dec 05

The World’s First Chocolatiers’ Convention. What’s Hot in Chocolate

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Frost recently got a golden ticket to The World’s First Chocolatiers’ Convention, and yes, we were just as excited as the kids in the Wille Wonka film. The convention was organised by Kennedy’s Confection Magazine and we heard the best and most impressive chocolate makers talk. A.Boyd Tunnock was a particular favourite. I had a good chat with Boyd who invented the Tunnock tea cake in 1960. He is as nice as he is brilliant.

Here are my highlights.

Pekka Rantala, managzing director of OY Karl Fazer, talked about Fazer becoming a €1.6 billion company. Fazer have teamed up with Angry Birds to make some really cool Angry Birds sweets. Okay, they are not chocolate but they are bang on trend. Check out the cool video below.

Next up was Peter Meadows from California Raisins. Peter says that raisins are just dried out grapes. The grapes are picked and layed out to dry. They are harvested in late August and there is a two-to-three week drying process. Raisins are 1 £500 million industry. In Tesco raisins are the second biggest bagged snack after Maltesers.

A. Boyd Tunnock CBE is the grandson of the founder and the inventor of the Tunnock Tea Cake. Tunnock’s was started in 1890 by Thomas Tunnock. They expanded in the 1950’s. Tunnock’s makes 9 million biscuits a week at their Uddingston factory and Boyd says, ‘When success comes you have no idea how, you just keep going.’

Boyd’s eldest gandson, Colin, works for Cadbury. Boyd says that he has a toy store compared to them but he is happy with it.

9 out of 10 people eat chocolate.

Sophi Tranchell MBE, managing director of farmer-owned Divine Chocolate. Average income for a cocoa farmer is £328 per year. 80% of the chocolate industry is owned by three companies. When a survey was done in West Africa only one child out of 250 wanted to be a cocoa farmer. Divine Chocolate are impressive. They aim to improve the livelihood of cocoa farmers in West Africa. Chocolate for those who want to buy ethically.

Francisco Redruello is a senior food analyst and had some great information and Willie Harcourt-Cooze. Willie is a well known chocolate maker and entrepreanur who came to fame in Channel 4 documentary Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory. We tried some of his chocolate and it is good.

Body language expert Judi James then turned the lights on and gave us all chocolate. She gave an excellent talk on chocolate and body language and then said what our chocolate eating habits meant. Judi says we only share chocolate to make ourselves look good, but I don’t believe her. Do you?

Predictions in the chocolate industry from Angus Kennedy.

Personalisation of the product.
Bolder tastes like cheese & wine, pumpkin, chilli, olive oil, bacon and carrot.
More indulgence. Chocolate with an indulgent appeal.
Smaller packets. As the recession kicks in, packs get smaller but stay the same price.
Sharing. 56% of people like to share.
Healthier chocolate. For people who are lactose intolerant for example. Did you know that 90% of people in Africa are lactose intolerant and 70% in United Kingdom and 20% in all of Europe.