Cocoa Ingredients Market Overview
Cocoa bean is the dried and fully fermented seed of the plant known as Theobroma cacao. It is native to Central America and was widely consumed by cultures like the Olmec and Mayan civilisations as a frothy beverage mixed with chilli. It was introduced by the Spaniards to Europe in that form in the 16th century from where it eventually spread worldwide. However, today the primary customer for the cocoa ingredients market would almost certainly be the chocolate bar and confectionery one. Cocoa is the primary ingredient of chocolate and the percentage of it used depends upon whether the chocolate is white, milk or dark, the last of which has the maximum amount. The cocoa ingredient market can be broadly classified on the basis of type, form and application. The three main types of cocoa beans are Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario. It can be in the form of cocoa beans, cocoa paste, cocoa butter, cocoa fat & oil, cocoa shells and cocoa powder without any added sugar or other ingredients. It is widely used in the confectionary, dairy, bakery, beverages, pharmaceutical and personal care industry.
Cocoa Ingredients Market Drivers
Exponentially rising chocolate sales across the world are anticipated to be the main cocoa ingredients market driver. Booming economic growth in the APAC region (led by China and India), Latin America and Southeast Asia along with an increasing disposable income will spur the demand for chocolates. In addition to this, there is a growing realisation that dark chocolate with the maximum amount of cocoa (usually above 70%) has several health benefits. Studies have shown that it contains antioxidants, lowers the risk of heart disease, improves blood flow & lowers blood pressure, and decreases oxidised LDL cholesterol levels, especially in men. This is particularly relevant in developed countries which have an ageing population. Cocoa seeds are used by some people as a medicine and it is supposed to help treat infectious intestinal diseases, asthma, diarrhoea, bronchitis. The seed coat is used for bladder, liver and kidney trouble, as a tonic, treating diabetes, and even as a general remedy. The butter is helpful in cases of high cholesterol, to treat wrinkles and even to prevent pregnancy stretch marks.
Cocoa Ingredients Market Restraints
Rising production cost is anticipated to be the single biggest restraint in the cocoa ingredients market. 70% of the world’s cocoa is produced in the West African nations of Ivory Coast and Ghana. Last year, unfavourable weather led to unusually small cocoa beans. Cocoa production in Ghana plummeted in 2015 after local farmers applied critical pesticides very late in the crop’s development cycle. At the same time, a sharp drop in sugar production has driven up its prices substantially. Both of these are the main components of chocolate bars but intense competition in the industry means that confectionary companies have no choice but to absorb the additional costs. Compounding this is the slowdown experienced in the key markets of North America and Europe. Customers in these regions have become very health conscious in recent times and many of them are forgoing chocolate entirely in favour of healthier alternatives. For the last decade, the growth rates of these healthier options have been outpacing that of the confectionary industry. They have also begun to move up to premium or indulgent products that usually have fewer cocoa ingredients than mainstream options.
Cocoa Ingredients Market Key Regions
The cocoa ingredients market can be broadly classified into two types – the producer and the customer market. West Africa has long been the world’s largest cocoa producer, with nearly 70% coming from Ghana & the Ivory Coast. The largest cocoa ingredient customer markets are the EU, followed by North America. This is mainly due to an affluent population with discerning tastes and a preference for healthier options like dark chocolate. The strongest growth is expected to be in China and India and they will drive the future market. Despite their impressive growth, however, the West cannot be ignored by companies involved in the cocoa ingredients market on account of their strong fundamentals.
Cocoa Ingredients Market Key Market Players
The cocoa ingredients market key players are Archer Daniels Midland Company, Barry Callebaut, Cocoa Processing Company Ltd., Mars Inc., Hershey, United Cocoa, Olam International Ltd., Cargill Incorporated, Agostonichocolate and Cocoa Processing Company Ltd.
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