Chocolate was consumed as a bitter, spiced drink for thousands of years until the mid-1800s, when the chocolate bar took the world by storm. Today, another chocolate revolution is taking shape – an international craft chocolate movement is generating fine-quality chocolate using artisan techniques and fresh ingredients. J.S. Fry & Sons introduced the world’s first chocolate bar in the mid-19th century, and confectionery companies have been fighting for our custom ever since.
With new formats and flavours, manufacturers are constantly striving to find something new to grab our attention. Large manufacturers face a big challenge – to make enough chocolate to satisfy the world’s ever-growing demands. This task, coupled with an increasing need to minimize costs, means that manufacturers seek out high-yielding cacao varieties at the lowest possible price. Every year, millions of tonnes of this cheap cocoa finds its way into the confectionery we know and love. However, many large manufacturers have overlooked one all-important aspect: the quality of the cocoa itself.
The craft chocolate movement is gaining momentum, and brings a renewed emphasis on the quality, flavour, and sustainability of cocoa beans. Craft chocolate makers from around the world are promoting a new respect for the whole process of making chocolate – from the cacao tree to the chocolate bar.