UK marks national chocolate week encouraging consumers to support the sector
Confectionery businesses within the UK are inviting consumers to mark national chocolate week and celebrate the industry’s excellence and resilience amid challenging wider trading conditions, reports Neill Barston.
Among those celebrating the occasion is The Famous 1657 Chocolate House, based in Kendal, producing a wide range of luxury chocolates, has invited consumers to sample its series of premium treats (pic provided by the company)
Marking chocolate week in the UK is particularly fitting, for while it traces its history back (in drinking form at least) more than 4,000 years to its origins in Mexico, it was in fact British firm Fry’s, of Bristol, who claimed development of the first actual chocolate bar in 1847. The company was swiftly followed by Cadbury’s two years later, which set the scene for one the world’s most enduring brands.
National Chocolate week was founded back in 2004, by food journalist Kate Johns, and has previously featured a number of high profile chocolate sector events in London, though this year, the occasion is seemingly being noted more informally.
For its part, Colombia’s Luker Chocolate has forged a strong relationship with supplying a number of businesses within the UK’s sector, and its team believed the segment is thriving in spite of market challenges.
Paul Morris, the company’s European Sales Manager, who recently spoke at our World Confectionery Conference, said: “The UK chocolate market is currently thriving, with new and innovative products cropping up constantly. Plant-based chocolate is already firmly established in the sector, offering dairy-free products that delight planet-conscious consumers. Market interest is peaking in products that use alternative sugars – like coconut sugar – or use no sugar at all and are instead sweetened with ingredients like stevia.”
“Indulgence is also having a moment as we move into the winter months, and we expect to see more products released in the lead-up to Christmas. The top flavour pairings in the UK are hazelnut and caramel, which are appearing in most new product launches this year.
“As with the rest of the industry, it’s clear that consumers are unwavering in their commitment to sustainability. They want products that are ethically sourced, and for companies to provide proof points to back claims up,” adding that the company encourages chocolate brands to source high-quality ingredients from suppliers working closely with farmers. Furthermore, he also noted that the business believed in championing innovative agricultural techniques, which both benefitted farmers and their communities, as well as nurtured the environment.