In 1981 Sara Lee Introduced Frozen Croissants – It Quickly Outsold Their Pound Cake

In the United States, National Croissant Day recognizes a flaky pastry enjoyed at every meal.  Croissants are a buttery, crescent-shaped rolls that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

  • Legend surrounds this pastry, as is often the case with a popular, worldly treat. What is known, is that crescent-shaped breads have been found around the world for ages. One of these was the Kipferl which originated in Austria as far back as the 13th century. This nonlaminated bread is more like a roll.
  • Credit for the croissant we know today is given to an Austrian military officer, August Zang. In 1939 he opened a Viennese bakery in Paris introducing France to Viennese baking techniques.
  • Each croissant rolls are made of 50 or more thin layers of pastry & butter.
  • According to legend, it was Marie Antoinette (Austrian Princess who married Louis XVI), introduced the croissant to France.
  • The first recorded origin story about the croissant comes from the Battle of Vienna, either in 1683 or during the earlier siege in 1529, to celebrate the defeat of the Ottoman attack on the city, with the shape referring to the crescents on the Ottoman flags.
  • The French newspaper Le Figaro named the croissant from bakery Pierre Hermé the best in Paris in 2013. It also won in 2006.
  • Since Starbucks bought French baker Pascal Rigo’s San Francisco-based La Boulange ,  the chocolate croissant has become the coffee chain’s bestselling pastry.
  • In 2013, chef Dominque Ansel came up with the cronut — a deep-fried croissant/doughnut combination that became all the rage at his New York bakery.
  • The Croissant became the French national product in 1920.
  • The Croissant started as a luxury product, but by the end of the nineteenth century, it was middle-class (the rich preferred a good brioche).
  • Before the modern croissant, puff pastry was used as a garnish or shell, not to eat on its own.
  • The chocolate croissant is actually called pain au chocolat, as it is not in the shape of a crescent.
  • By 1869, the croissant was well established enough to be mentioned as a breakfast staple, and in 1872, Charles Dickens wrote (in his periodical All the Year Round) of “the workman’s pain de ménage and the soldier’s pain de munition, to the dainty croissant on the boudoir table.”
  • The baked-goods corporation Sara Lee introduced a frozen croissant to America in 1981, which soon outpaced its famous pound cakes in sales. Burger King, Arby’s, and other fast-food chains followed with croissant breakfast sandwiches and savory stuffed croissants. As a 1984 New York Times article declared, “The Americanization of the croissant” had begun.
  • It’s estimated that around 85 percent of croissants sold in French bakeries are actually industrially manufactured.
  • In February 2016 the UK supermarket giant made a startling announcement: from now on, all its croissants will be curve-less. That’s despite the fact that its name literally means ‘crescent’.

Source: southfloridareporter.com

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Scientists Gene-Edited Wheat To Create High-Fiber White Bread That’s Actually Good For You

White bread is extremely popular but a drawback of its production is the lack of fiber content in its flour. Now an international team has discovered the gene responsible for the fiber in flour, and have been able to produce white bread that is high in fibers at last.

The new flour they created, described in the journal PLOS ONE , has identical properties to regular white flour but twice as much fiber. Getting fiber in your diet is important as it helps reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity. The team studied the large genome of wheat, which is about six times as big as our own. They worked out which genes among wheat’s 150,000 are relevant to high fiber, finding two sites on chromosomes 1B and 6B to be particularly promising.

Knowing this, the team employed an earlier genetic screening of 150 varieties of wheat from around the world to work out what type would already have, in its current form, the highest amount of fiber occurring.

“We knew that the white flour made from one particular Chinese wheat variety, Yumai 34, was unusually high in fibre, but it’s not well suited for growing in the European climate,” lead author Dr Alison Lovegrove from Rothamsted Research in the UK said in a statement . “Using conventional breeding techniques, we crossed this high fibre trait into several other varieties. This allowed us to narrow down where in its genome the genes for high fibre are.”

Conventional breeding is a slow process when it comes to increasing a single favorable trait, but it will also, in the long run, allow for high yields and help towards disease and parasite resistance. The team believes that in just five years these high-fiber wheat plants could become a staple, and white bread that’s good for you – not as good as wholemeal bread, but better than white bread currently on offer – could be readily available.

“We’ve developed genetic markers that can easily be used by plant breeders to identify which individual wheat plants have the high fibre genes,” Dr Lovegrove explained. “We hope to go on and identify further genes that increase fibre content, thereby providing plant breeders, millers and food producers with even more options.”

Governmental guidelines suggest a typical intake of 30 grams of fiber per day, but many people fall below that. Typical white bread has about 1 gram per slice. The new bread is double that but will still fall below wholemeal bread, which is typically around 3 grams per slice.

Source: iflscience.com

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The Science Behind To’ak, The Most Exclusive Chocolate Bars on Earth

To’ak, the Ecuador-based chocolate producer, might not be the most expensive chocolate maker on earth, but it’s certainly the most expensive one the average consumer has ever come across.

The offshoot of a rainforest conservation project, the company was founded by Chicagoan Jerry Toth and Austrian native Carl Schweizer.  “Company” doesn’t do this outfit justice: with its small-batch, handmade product selling for up to $450 for 50 grams, To’ak is as much a work of culinary art as it is a buyable, sellable good.

Here’s what makes To’ak one of the most expensive chocolates in the world — and what you should be looking for in your own purchases.

1. It’s all about the bean

Nacional cacao is considered by many experts to be the oldest and rarest variety on the planet. Valued for its fruity, flora notes, it was once nearly extinct thanks to disease and the introduction of foreign cacao seeds. To’ak (which is a paring of ancient Ecuadorian words for “earth” and “tree”) sprang from one of the last surviving groves of 100% pure Nacional cacao in the valley of Piedra de Plata.

“Imagine that all of the pinot noir vines in the world were lost to disease and hybridization, except in one or two forgotten valleys in Burgundy,” says To’ak CEO James Le Compte. “That’s basically the situation that Nacional cacao finds itself in today.”

2. We’re talking farm-to-table

Or rather, tree-to-bar. While most high-end chocolate bars are usually made from cacao sourced a world away, To’ak is a truly single-source product, from managing its trees to harvesting to production to packaging.

3. It’s a lot of work

“Today To’ak counts 16 stages of hand selection, production or packaging to achieve the final product,” notes Le Compte. “This includes harvesting the cacao ourselves alongside the farmers, fermenting in our own fermentation facility, sun-drying the beans, manually sorting them by hand before roasting them, hand-peeling individual beans to include in the center of our 50g bars, handcrafting our wooden presentation boxes, hand folding our wrapping paper and hand-packaging each individual bar.”

4. Less is more

Nearly all To’ak product is made of only two ingredients: organic cacao and organic cane sugar. “Vintage” editions — aged in sherry, whiskey and cognac barrels — make for a complex, superbly sophisticated sensory experience.

5. Presentation is everything

The final product is adorned with a single bean, carefully wrapped, then placed in a box handcrafted from Spanish Elm with the individual bar number engraved on the back. Included are a tiny wooden utensil and a comprehensive guide to getting the most enjoyment out of the chocolate.

Source: insidehook.com

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Bühler Is Certified with Highest Cyber Security Standard

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At the end of January 2020, Bühler’s information security management system has been certified with the most respected cybersecurity standard: ISO 27001:2013. With this certification, Bühler showcases how important information security is for the company.

ISO 27001 protects key areas such as internal business IT, the automation solution Mercury MES, the Bühler Insights platform, and the myBühler customer portal. “Today, over 85?% of our solutions can be connected to Bühler Insights. We want to show our customers that their data is as secure with us as it is currently possible. Digital services from Bühler conform to the highest possible security standards,” said Stuart Bashford, digital officer at Bühler Group.

Bühler is further digitalizing its processes and is offering more solutions based on connected assets powered by its digital platform Bühler Insights. Bühler considered it is part of the company’s mission to protect the data partners and to keep those data as secure as possible. Therefore, Bühler has decided to have its relevant processes certified according to the ISO 27001 standard. Manfred Goetz, CIO at Bühler Group, also said: “We now have a certified information security management system with dedicated policies, processes, and controls. This means that our digital teams must adhere to strict guidelines. Engineering, development, and support of all our current and future digital solutions will benefit from the ISO 27001 certification.” Bashford added: “This also contributes to a trustful customer relationship because our customers can have peace of mind when they let us handle their sensitive data.”

Bühler acknowledges the value of the digital data it receives and works with, which is why the company has laid this groundwork to protect them. The now fully implemented information security management system also verifies that Bühler’s own IT landscape is maintained and controlled according to the most important IT security standards. ISO 27001 protects Bühler’s global internal business IT and its advanced digital solutions, both of which are vital for providing secure services for Bühler’s businesses spanning 140 countries. Its five regional IT service centers throughout the world providing global digital support are all certified now.

Combining Bühler’s leadership in advanced materials and food processing with its capabilities in digital technologies, Bühler has developed Bühler Insights, the cloud platform dedicated to its customers in the food and mobility industries. With it, Bühler can provide added value for its customers by using data to improve yield (such as with the Yield Management System), lowering energy emissions (such as with MoisturePro) and waste, or improving uptimes (such as with the Digital Cell and the Error and Downtime Analysis). Bühler Insights enables secure, high-performance, reliable digital solutions that, together with blockchain technologies, can achieve significant progress in improving food safety, quality, efficiency, and traceability across production value chains. Bühler started its journey to certify its information security in 2018 in order to make Bühler Insights and its connected digital solutions as secure as possible for its customers.

Source: World Bakers

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DuPont responds to clean-label demands with PowerBake series

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences has introduced its PowerBake 6000 and 7000 enzyme series, developed especially for European recipes.

The enzymes offer an emulsification solution that preserves the taste and quality of white breads and buns while meeting customer demands for clean labels.

According to DuPont, the enzymes show an improvement on volume (5-15%) and initial softness (by 10-25%) with zero compromise on crumb structure or shock tolerance when compared with traditional emulsification solutions.

The PowerBake 6000 series is an enzyme solution based on DuPont’s new lipase, specifically developed for its unique role in emulsification and, in particular, its benefits for crumb structure and dough strengthening.

Meanwhile, the PowerBake 7000 series is the new DuPont oxidative module developed to ensure the best possible performance in white bread and buns.

“Consumers are looking for bakery products with friendlier labels, driven by their increasing concerns about sustainable eating and heightened concerns of potential negative health effects,” said Maria Brandt, regional industry leader for Europe, food enzymes for DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences.

“With our new PowerBake series, we can provide improver houses and bakeries with the ability to meet these needs while maintaining quality in their sliced breads and buns.

“No other solution on the market offers such an effective ability to tackle the widespread demand for cleaner labels in bread.”

Source: foodbev.com

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Chocolate contains cadmium that can increase cancer risk

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Children and adults all over the world love chocolate, either enjoying it by eating chocolate bars or sipping warm cocoa drinks.

But behind its delicious taste, cacao contains cadmium, a chemical substance harmful to kidneys. It also increases the risk of cancer.

If we compare it to other harmful heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium may not seem to be that bad. But, exposure to cadmium for a long time, even in small amounts, can be dangerous as it accumulates in the body. Our body needs ten to thirty years to digest cadmium.

This is why the European Commission last year decreased the safety threshold of the amount of cadmium in processed chocolate in the region. The cadmium threshold is between 0.1 and 0.8 milligrams per kilogram of chocolate, depending on the type of chocolate.

Dark chocolate, for instance, has a lower ceiling than milk chocolate. All chocolate imported to Europe have to comply with the limit.

Europe’s decision was based on research that showed even though cadmium exposure in adult non-smokers in the region is still below WHO’s upper limit, exposure through food in children reaches twice the safe limit.

Meanwhile in Indonesia, the maximum limit on cadmium is 0.5 milligram per kilogram of chocolate and cacao product. The amount is roughly the same as the new European regulation for processed chocolate with over 30% cacao.

Cadmium levels

Chocolate is not the only food that contains cadmium. But because chocolate is often consumed by people of all ages, including children, its amount of cadmium must be regulated. This chemical is often associated with bone density problems.

Cadmium levels in processed chocolate on the market vary depending on the production process and the producers.

Generally, the cadmium rate in processed chocolate is minimal because of the mixing of raw chocolate with milk, sugar and syrup during production. The chocolate level in a product is between 10% (for milk chocolate) and 70-100% (for dark chocolate). However, if you eat too much chocolate for a long time, the cadmium amount in your body will increase.

A 2010 study on cadmium levels in chocolate powder from various countries showed chocolate powder from Venezuela was up to 1.8 milligrams per kilogram of powder. It’s higher than the European Commission standard.

Meanwhile, several studies on cadmium in processed chocolate in Brazil, the United States and India concluded the level of cadmium was under the safety limit.

Even in chocolate containing 100% chocolate, some processing has been carried out. Mixing cocoa beans from several sources, for example, can reduce the levels of cadmium in processed chocolate. The amount of cadmium content in cacao beans depends on the location and soil conditions where the chocolate plant is grown, as well as on the type of the chocolate plant itself.

WHO only has a limit on the amount of cadmium for dried cacao beans – 0.3 milligrams per kg. The maximum level of cadmium that can be tolerated by the human body, according to WHO, is 0.025 milligrams per kg of body mass. This is equivalent to 1.25 milligrams of cadmium for a person with a body weight of 50 kilograms per month.

By the WHO’s standard, it is potentially dangerous for a person who weighs 50 kilograms to consume more than 12.5 kilograms of 30% cocoa processed chocolate, that is under the European Commission’s ceiling, in a month; or to consume 2.5 kilograms of processed chocolate according to Indonesia’s ceiling.

Cadmium exposure

Exposure to excessive cadmium through food has a significant effect on kidney health, disrupting reabsorption (such as the reabsorption of protein salt the body still needs) in the kidney’s filtering unit.

Apart from food, cadmium exposure through air is known to increase cancer risk, causing shortness of breath, lung irritation and mucous membrane damage. Cadmium exposure through the air in daily life, for example, occurs through cigarette smoke.

In the 1960s, Japan experienced cadmium contamination in its water. A study of a decades-long strange illness in residents in Toyama Prefecture reveals “itai-itai” disease, caused by heavy metal pollution, especially cadmium, from mines in the upper reaches of the Jinzu River. Itai-itai disease is marked by bone softening, bone loss and kidney damage.

People with this disease complain of pain in the spine and joints due to reduced bone density associated with the toxic effects of cadmium. However, keep in mind this is an extreme case caused by chronically large amounts of cadmium poisoning.

Why does food contain cadmium

Plants can absorb and accumulate cadmium from water in the soil.

Chocolate plants can absorb cadmium through its roots and store it in chocolate leaves and seeds. This absorption can be influenced by soil acidity and the amount of cadmium available in the soil.

Therefore, geographical location can affect the cadmium content in plants. Volcanic soils, for instance, can contain higher amounts of cadmium. Environmental pollution and excessive use of fertilisers containing cadmium are also factors affecting cadmium levels in the soil.

In the case of itai-itai disease in Japan, cadmium in wastewater from mines flows and pollutes water sources used for irrigation by residents. Water pollution also pollutes aquatic ecosystems such as rivers and seas.

In addition to preventive action, remediation is one of the solutions to reduce levels of cadmium in the environment.

Reducing cadmium exposing

The easiest way to reduce the risk of cadmium exposure in everyday life is to avoid materials that have the potential to contain large amounts of it.

For example, you should limit consumption of chocolate, shellfish taken from contaminated waters and plants harvested from contaminated soil. You should stop smoking and keep away from secondhand smoke exposure to avoid cadmium through the air.

Environmental pollution causes a high amount of cadmium in various foods. Therefore, the most appropriate way to reduce cadmium exposure is to protect the environment from the potential for cadmium pollution.

Disposing of NiCd (nickel-cadmium) batteries properly, using fertilisers that contain cadmium at appropriate levels, and monitoring the content of cadmium in the environment around waste disposal are some examples of preventive measures that can reduce exposure to cadmium in the community.

Source: theconversation.com

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This new sugar substitute is made from food waste

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As more and more companies look to curb food waste, fruit scraps and ugly pieces of produce that once went into the compost bin or trash can are finding second lives. Juice pulp has been turned into popsicles , wonky veggies into soups, and now Dutch company Fooditive is turning leftovers from apples and pears, along with the pieces of fruit that are unfit for supermarkets, into a chemical-free sweetener.

Current sugar substitutes are considered a growing environmental hazard; artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame, found in Splenda and Equal, aren’t absorbed by our bodies nor are completely removed by wastewater treatment plants, meaning these sweeteners end up in rivers and oceans, potentially harming aquatic plant and animal life.

Regular cane sugar is the cause of global health problems , and its cultivation is taking an environmental toll , too, requiring intense water use and causing soil erosion and pollution from processing sugarcane. Natural sweeteners like honey have their own complications. Stevia, the natural sweetener derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, is known to have a bitter aftertaste, so beverage companies that use stevia often mix it with other artificial sweeteners.

Fooditive , founded by food scientist Moayad Abushokhedim, aims to be a natural alternative to those other sweetener options in a way that’s healthy for the planet and our own bodies. Fooditive takes third-grade apples and pears—those ones with brown spots or off colors, which wouldn’t be sold in a supermarket—from local Dutch farmers, along with some fruit scraps, and extracts the natural fructose through a fermentation process. The final result is a calorie-free sweetener without many of the concerns of both sugar and other sugar substitutes.

Beyond the sweetener, Fooditive also makes all-natural preserving agents for things like sauces, soups, and bakery items out of carrot waste, thickening agents from banana skins, and emulsifiers from potato extracts. The company is collaborating with Rotterdam Circulair, a Netherlands company focused on reusing and recycling waste, with the goal of establishing a circular economy in the city of Rotterdam by 2030 .

“Our products really provide the food and beverage producers with the ability to have a clean label, a green label, and show people what’s in their food,” says Gijs Gieles, Fooditive spokesperson. Right now, the company is working in the business-to-business market, partnering with a third-party food industry company called Bodec to get its sustainable sweetener into Dutch products. Gieles says it’s already being used by a Dutch beverage company, though he couldn’t name specific brands.

Fooditive is also registered in Sweden, and next Gieles says the company hopes to expand to other Nordic countries, Jordan (where founder Abushokhedim is from), and the United Kingdom. U.S. food regulations make the move stateside a bit difficult, but Gieles says they’re hoping to bring their sustainable products here as well.

Source: fastcompany.com

 

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The process of creating the sourdough donut

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When Dawn Foods invited five executive pastry chefs to its Donut Co-Creation Competition last year, the company wasn’t just looking to find the next big flavor or topping in donuts. Dawn Foods wanted to reinvent the donut much like the cronut did in 2013. Mathew Rice, executive pastry chef of Niche Media Group in Nashville, Tennessee, achieved that with his sourdough donut, which was scaled up into a mix that launched last month.

“I understood what Dawn wanted, not a new flavor but something inherently new, specifically a new texture,” Rice says. “Dawn wanted something a donut producer can do multiple ways, a donut that could be sweet or savory.”

The original formulation developed by Rice included a sourdough starter and buttermilk that contributed not only the tangy flavor reminiscent of sourdough bread but also an open cell structure and darker fry to the outside. These bread characteristics paired well with the light and soft texture of a yeast-raised donut, hitting on another trend Dawn Foods was eager to tap into — mashups.

“Sourdough is growing in popularity, especially in Europe,” says Phil DeWester, senior director, category dry ingredients, Dawn Foods. “And this product hit on the mashup trends: two things coming together to make something new.”

Rice’s formulation into a shelf-stable dry mix that delivered the sourdough flavor, open cell structure while still being easy-to-use and at cost proved to be tricky.

“it was a process to scale up this product,” says Sam Jones, category marketing manager, Dawn Foods. “We went through iteration after iteration. It was also a combination of formula and process because we wanted to keep the process as similar to the yeast-raised donut process as possible. But we also wanted to make something that Chef Rice would be happy with in the end too.”

A breakthrough came in the form of a dehydrated sourdough starter from Europe. While Dawn’s R&D team started out just using a sourdough flavor, which provided the tangy notes without any of the texture, the dried starter delivered on both points. “We’re the first customer to import it into the US,” DeWester says. “That changed the depth of flavor in the donut.”

While Dawn Foods did manage to create a sourdough yeast-raised donut that follows a process similar to a conventional yeast-raised donut, there are differences that are critical to the product being successful. Dawn Foods is supporting its customers by including a QR code on the mix bags that will open a four-minute instructional video, walking bakers through mixing, proofing, processing, and frying. Not only does it show bakers how to make the donut, but it explains why the process differences are necessary.

“Our biggest fear was that our customers, who are expert bakers, would ignore the bag instructions and make this like a yeast-raised donut,” DeWester says. “If you try to make this the same way you would make a yeast-raised donut, it’s not going to turn out well.”

For example, while conventional donuts are often fried to color, sourdough yeast-raised donuts come out of the fryer a darker color. If donut operators fry to color instead of time, these new donuts will be pulled out of the fryer before they’re done. The donuts can also not be sheeted; the dough is too sticky and must be rolled out by hand.

“We created this product for artisanal, not for manufacturers,” Jones says. “That was the goal. It gives the artisanal guys the opportunity to compete with something premium and unique.”

Because these sourdough yeast-raised donuts aren’t as sweet as conventional yeast-raised donuts, they can also be used in both savory and sweet applications. To help bakers get creative, Dawn Foods put together an inspiration brochure with ideas of different ways these donuts can create new products. “It’s interesting to see what our customers will do with this product,” says Lucy Ayala, corporate brand marketing manager, North America and LATAM, Dawn Foods. “They will take our inspiration guide and put their own spin on these donuts, and they will really come to life in their bake shops.”

The final product Dawn Foods is offering its customers echoes Rice’s original vision and, in his own words, might have improved upon it. “It went through so many hands, but I can’t tell a difference between my donut and the one they made,” he says. “If anything, theirs is better, and they made it easier for their customers to work with.”

Source: Bakemag

 

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Swiss Chocolate Giant Barry Callebaut Debuts Vegan Milk Chocolate Line

Barry Callebaut—one of the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers—recently introduced vegan “Milk” Chocolate as part of its Plant Craft line.

The company says the new chocolate has a traditional creamy milk chocolate flavor and texture and is made with “an ingredient of natural origin,” exclusively available to Barry Callebaut.

It took the company’s research and development team two years to develop the product. The new chocolate was created to meet the growing demand for plant-based sweets, particularly among millennials and centennials. “The next generation of consumers is looking for experiences that are tasty, good for them, and good for the planet. With that in mind, we aim to accompany the industry in this plant-based revolution,”

Pablo Perversi, Chief Innovation, Sustainability and Quality Officer, and Head of Gourmet at Barry Callebaut, said. “With more than 175 years of experience in mastering chocolate, creating indulgent experiences is at the heart of what we do.

Through this innovation, we’re proud to offer chocolate creations with all of the creaminess consumers love, 100 percent dairy-free.” The Plant Craft range of dairy-free and vegan products includes chocolate, cocoa powders, nut pastes and fillings, as well as decorations.

To bring them to market, Barry Callebaut is building its first fully-segregated production facilities for dairy-free chocolate, including a state-of-the-art chocolate factory in Norderstedt, Germany, which is expected to open in 2021.

Source: vegnews.com

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Cocoa Cartel Is Less Bitter for Luxury Chocolate

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A new method for pricing cocoa will give a better wage to West African farmers. The downside may be more inequality between global chocolate brands.

The chocolate industry faces higher input costs in the future, warned Martin Hug, chief financial officer of Swiss confectioner Lindt & Sprüngli, in a sales update this week. Last summer, the governments of Ghana and Ivory Coast formed a cocoa cartel that will charge an extra $400 per metric ton of the crop to give a better deal to farmers. The new levy will take effect in October this year.

Chocolate brands—cocoa producers’ main customers—have few options but to pay up. KitKat’s owner Nestlé has already locked in future supplies at the higher rate. Ghana and Ivory Coast produce approximately 65% of the world’s cocoa, so no rival market can deliver the massive quantities needed by global chocolate giants. Substituting even a portion of their requirements with beans from an alternative smaller grower like Ecuador also would lead to noticeable differences in taste for snackers.

A farmer opens a cocoa pod at a cocoa farm in Ivory Coast. Photo: luc gnago/Reuters

Cocoa futures have rallied around 15% to $2,690 per ton since May last year. For brands, consumers would ideally swallow the extra costs. Chocolate companies have ways to make price increases less obvious, such as by reducing the size of their goods—so-called shrinkflation. Old products can also be reformulated with new twists, or put into better packaging to justify a higher price. A gift box of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup minis, made by The Hershey Com pany, costs around two-fifths more per kilogram than one of the brand’s traditional Peanut Butter Bars on Amazon ‘s U.K. site.

But some are better placed to raise prices than others. Commoditized, mainstream brands are at greater risk of denting their sales growth with sudden price jumps than luxurious brands for which consumers already pay over the odds. Lindt’s Lindor Truffles Box sells online at a 40% premium per kilogram to Nestlé’s mass-market Milkybar Buttons.

Luxury chocolate brands have grown faster than mass-market ones in recent years, as consumers have started to pay more attention to the quality of what they eat and drink. Lindt—a rare food company that is focused almost exclusively on premium brands—increased its global revenue by 6.1% last year, stripping out currency and portfolio changes. Nestlé’s confectionery unit grew by a more muted 2.3% during the first nine months of 2019, while Oreo maker Mondelez managed a 4.2% increase last year through September.

Rising raw material costs will likely reinforce this trend, and with it investors’ preference for posh chocolate stocks. Shares in Lindt currently change hands for 39 times projected earnings, making it one of the most expensive consumer stocks in Europe. Mondelez and Hershey fetch more modest multiples of 21 and 24 times, respectively.

The new cocoa cartel should help luxury chocolate to stay in its sweet spot for now.

Source: wsj.com

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