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Divine Chocolate

Introduction

Chocolate is a favourite with many people, but the UK has one of the highest consumption levels of chocolate in the world. It is enjoyed as a product in its own right as well as being used in a wide range of others including cakes, biscuits and desserts.

But how and where is chocolate produced so that we are able to enjoy it?

Who does the work involved to bring chocolate bars to our shop shelves?

Do they benefit as much from producing chocolate as people do from eating it?

This case study explores the issues around chocolate from the consumer's perspective and from the producer's perspective. It does this by focusing on The Day Chocolate Company, its fair trade chocolate products and unique business structure. Fair trade systems give a better deal to producers, so it is not just the consumers who benefit.

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About the company
The Day Chocolate Company was set up to produce a new kind of chocolate bar, made from premium quality cocoa beans grown in Ghana and processed into chocolate in Europe. Cocoa has been grown in Ghana since the mid-nineteenth century and is vital to the Ghanaian economy. Until the mid-1970's Ghana was the largest cocoa bean producer in the world, producing 30 to 40% of the total cocoa bean market. When the world market price for cocoa fell dramatically in the 1970's, the Ghanaian economy went into crisis.

To combat the threat of losing their livelihoods, a group of cocoa farmers formed a co-operative that would collect and sell its own cocoa for their member farmers' own benefit.

This co-operative was called Kuapa Kokoo, which means 'good cocoa growers' and its motto is 'pa pa paa' meaning 'the best of the best'. Kuapa Kokoo buy and sell their cocoa beans to the Government Cocoa Buying Board (Cocobod).

They are then traded on the global market and made into chocolate and chocolate-based products. This ensures the best price for the farmers, and the result of this greater efficiency is higher profits that help to improve living standards for the farmers.

In 1998, Kuapa Kokoo entered a partnership with Twin Trading (already involved in fair trade coffee called cafédirect) and The Body Shop, supported by Christian Aid and Comic Relief to set up The Day Chocolate Company.


All The Day Chocolate Company's products are licensed by the Fairtrade Foundation, which is the independent UK regulator of fair trade.
Fair trade is governed internationally by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation which sets recognized price and development criteria for products applying to use the fair trade mark. Uniquely Kuapa Kokoo also own a stake in The Day Chocolate Company and this means that they play an active role in decisions about how their products are produced and sold and receive a share of any company profits.

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About the products

Divine was the first fair trade chocolate bar to be aimed at the UK mass market, ie. aimed not just at those people interested in fair trade products, but anyone wanting to buy delicious chocolate! Divine milk chocolate is one of a range of products now available from The Day Chocolate Company. They have built on the success of Divine by bringing out: Dubble milk chocolate crispy crunch bars, Darkly Divine plain chocolate, Divine Mini Eggs, a Divine Advent Calendar and a Crispy White Chocolate bar & milk chocolate 45g bar both branded jointly with the Co-op.

Historically speaking
Make the link to discover some interesting historical facts about chocolate.

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About the design and development of Divine Chocolate
It was important to ensure that Divine chocolate would compare well with existing leading brands of chocolate, appealing to British chocolate tastes and competing in the market place.

The Day Chocolate Company looked at a wide range of recipes before selecting the one that became Divine Chocolate. Several manufacturers were asked to make up trial samples of a number of recipes, which were then tasted and assessed by panels of consumers.

The key specification points for Divine chocolate were:

  • a mainstream product - widely acceptable and available
  • use of good quality ingredients
  • fun and enjoyable in its own right
  • smooth
  • good chocolately flavour
  • favourable comparisons with regular chocolate bars
  • produced at a realistic and affordable price

The Divine chocolate bar is made from sugar, cocoa butter, dried cream, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, emulsifier: soya lecithin and vanilla. The final recipe chosen has a higher cocoa solids content than regular milk chocolate. Colour and design of the wrapper were also carefully considered to ensure that the product would be noticeable and attractive to the consumer.

Recently, following consumer feedback, The Day Chocolate Company has re-branded and re-packaged Divine chocolate, moving from the original 150g horizontal purple packaging to a 100g vertical gold wrapper.

By 'going for gold' the company aims to stand out more clearly from the shelf and to match the packaging style of Darkly Divine to develop a coherent Divine Fairtrade range.

About the manufacture

Processing the cocoa beans (primary processing)

 

 

Cocoa beans are the product of the Cacao tree, a tropical plant that thrives only in hot, rainy climates of 20 degrees C or more. The Cacao tree takes 4 to 5 years to produce its first crop and can reach up to 15 metres in height.

The cocoa beans for The Day Chocolate Company's chocolate products are grown in the Southern regions of Ghana, usually on small plots of land. For protection and shade cocoa beans are usually grown amongst other plants and trees such as plantains (part of the banana family), maize and spices.

The cocoa pods are chopped off the tree trunk manually, using a cutlass and split open. The pods look like yellow rugby balls and contain damp white cocoa beans that are scraped out carefully so as not to damage them. When ripe, each pod contains 30-40 seeds that grow in a milky, sticky, sweet tasting pulp.

The beans are wrapped in large green plantain leaves to form envelopes. They are piled in heaps to ferment in the sun for 5-8 days. The fermentation is a reaction between yeast and the sticky pulp. Once the yeast has done its work the result is a sweeter, more chocolatey flavour.

 
The beans are spread on a bamboo table in the sun to dry out, occasionally being turned to make sure that they dry evenly and that they do not stick together. These are left for 5-12 days, during which time the moisture content is reduced.  
  The beans are hand sorted, graded and packed into jute bags weighing 62.54 kg. These are stored in ventilated warehouses prior to being transported for sale.
The Kuapa Kokoo farmers carry out all the processes above. Each farmer harvests and ferments his or her own beans and the drying is done on large tables shared by the whole village. Each village has a local recorder responsible for collecting and weighing the dried beans and checking the quality, arranging for the collection, transport and payments to the farmers.  
  There are no additional charges to the farmers for the processing of raw beans, but additional trade tariffs and investment in machinery and equipment would have to be made by Kuapa Kokoo, if they were to process the beans. So, at present, the processing for Divine chocolate is carried out in Holland.

 

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Producing the chocolate (secondary processing)

The beans must be sorted, cleaned and roasted before they are made into chocolate. They are roasted at between 120 and 149 degrees C. Roasting develops the colour and is the second stage in the development of the chocolate flavour that began during the fermentation on the farms.

After roasting, the beans are crushed and broken into smaller pieces to release in internal 'nib' from the shells. They are then blown through an air tunnel. This winnowing process separates the shell fragments from the cocoa nibs.

 

The nibs are ground into a thick brown liquid called cocoa mass. This is made up of rich cocoa butter (55-60%) with fine cocoa particles suspended in it.

This cocoa mass is heavily pressed until the cocoa butter is squeezed out and then separated from the cocoa powder.


The cocoa powder is used in chocolate drinks, confectionery and cooking.

The manufacturing process is slightly different depending on the type of chocolate:

  • for milk chocolate, cocoa butter and cocoa mass are combined in varying proportions and sugarand full cream milk are added
  • plain chocolate uses the same process but is a mixture of cocoa mass, sugar and cocoa butter without milk
  • white chocolate is made with cocoa butter, milk and sugar and does not contain cocoa powder
  • the resulting mixture is dried to form a crumb which is ground with more cocoa butter, then beaten in a process called conching, which gives the finished chocolate its smooth, silky texture

Tempering is a carefully controlled heating process where the chocolate is slowly heated, then slowly cooled, allowing the cocoa butter molecules to solidify in an orderly fashion, then melted again. Without tempering, large crystals would form and the chocolate would have a gritty texture and a dull appearance or the cocoa butter separates out (as cream separates from milk).

The resulting mixture is called 'couverture' and forms the basis of most finished chocolate products. It can be moulded into chocolate bars or poured over individual confectionery items to coat or enrobe them.

Flavouring or ingredients that add texture, such as nuts, may be added. Chocolate made for the English market often has vegetable fat added, but Divine chocolate only uses cocoa butter, which gives a smooth and luxurious mouth-feel. The lecithin and vanilla used are not synthetic.

Under European Union law it is allowable to add 5% vegetable fat of tropical original to chocolate other than cocoa butter and still call it chocolate. Any more than 5% and chocolate must be labelled as 'Family Milk Chocolate'.

The liquid chocolate is cast into moulds and set into shapes or bars. Once the chocolate is ready, it is wrapped, packed, transported to large handling warehouses and finally distributed to shops for consumers to buy.

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Very close control is maintained in the factory throughout the production of the chocolate bar from cocoa beans. Precision instruments regulate temperature, stabilise the moisture content of the air, and control the time intervals of manufacturing operations needed to give quality results.

The equipment in a factory is heavy, large and complex, representing an investment of millions of pounds. Additional machines are required for shaping and packaging the chocolate. Some of the shaping machines perform rapidly, producing hundreds of bars or products per minute. Other machines wrap and package at speeds that human hands would find impossible.

The highly mechanised nature of the chocolate-making process contributes to the industry's strict hygiene and sanitation standards. Quality tests are carried out to closely monitor and check on these standards and show whether the process is being carried out within the pre-set product and production limits. These tests cover viscosity, cocoa butter content, acidity, quality of product, purity and taste.

Chocolate may be used in many ways - either eaten as a bar, or used in cooking and baking, egs. as an ingredients in cakes and desserts, or to decorate them. Any chocolate with a high cocoa solid content can be tempered at home using a similar process to that used in industry. Chocolate, like Divine, that has no added vegetable fat is particularly good for tempering.

To temper chocolate:

  • break up the chocolate into pieces
  • either melt it in a heat resistant bowl over a pan of hot water or in the microwave (on medium setting for 2-3 minutes, checking every 20 seconds and stopping when there are still a few lumps of chocolate left as they will continue to melt)
  • take the chocolate off the heat and stir every few minutes from the outside inwards until it starts to thicken as it cools
  • once it is too thick to work with, re-melt it either in the bowl or in 10 second bursts in the microwave
  • use it to make novelty chocolates from ready made moulds, make your own moulds in a vacuum former, or use any smooth object such as the back of a spoon, rolling pin covered with greaseproof paper, plastic cartons and lids or the inside of a spoon
  • to make decorations apply thin layers of chocolate using a paintbrush or pastry brush, allowing each layer to set before applying the next (2-5 minutes per layer)
  • lacy decorations can be made by drizzling or piping melted chocolate
  • different coloured chocolate can be used to create contrasting effects, eg. marbled Easter eggs

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About the marketing

Since Divine Chocolate was launched it has developed a reasonably high profile by marketing itself to a number of national outlets, including Sainsburys, Iceland, Co-op, Somerfield, Asda and Morrisons. The Body Shop, Christian Aid and Comic Relief have also promoted the chocolate bar through their retail outlets & supporter bases.

Consumers are increasingly interested in 'ethical trading' of products and services whose production minimises harm to people and the environment.

These products are often more expensive because although they are mass manufactured the scale of production is still smaller with higher costs. They tend to be aimed at an 'exclusive' or a niche market.


Divine chocolate is different because it is aimed at the mass market and, as such, needs to compete with other mainstream chococlate. That is why Divine was the first ever fairtrade product to be advertised on television in a series of adverts on Channel 4 starring Ben Elton encouraging consumers to buy their bars at The Body Shop & Iceland.

The Day Chocolate Company aims to inform and educate the general public about their products and the issues around fair trade. They do this through press and media features, consumer literature, promotional offers, competitions, events and campaigns such as 'Divine Towns' and their web sites. The company also provides post cards so that consumers can send them to the manager of their local supermarket asking them to 'Stock the Choc' if they do not already do so. In this way consumers are able to use their power to encourage shops to stock their preferred products.

As well as factual information required under labelling law, the packaging of Divine Chocolate communicates its fairtrade message with clear display of logos, egs. the Fairtrade Mark and Comic Relief & Christian Aid logos, as well as this message:

"Every time you take a bite from this Divine bar the Kuapa Kokoo growers in Ghana share in your enjoyment. The cocoa growers are a partner in this venture, so a fair share of the proceeds goes to their community."

Divine is promoted as "heavenly milk chocolate with a heart". Inside the wrapper of each 45g Divine, there is a brief account of the Divine fairtrade chocolate story.


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About issues and values
Food commodities such as cocoa, coffee, tea, sugar, honey and bananas often provide the main livelihood for small scale producers in developing countries. The prices for these crops are set on the world markets. When the world market prices crash, it can cost a farmer more to produce the crop than they can sell it for.

Because world market prices can fluctuate wildly it makes it very difficult for farmers to plan effectively for the future. Fair trade aims to build consistent and respectful trading relationships between consumers in the North and producers in developing countries.

This means that:

  • producers receive a guaranteed price for their goods and long term trading contracts
  • producers operate under guaranteed minimum health and safety conditions
  • producers and their environment are not exploited
  • education and training opportunities are provided for producers, including women and children

Divine Chocolate is one example of a growing number of Fairtrade products available in the UK. The Fairtrade Mark is a guarantee for the consumer that purchasing the product supports the producers and their communities.

The Day Chocolate Company is licensed by the Fairtrade Foundation and operates under these guidelines.

The farmers of the Kuapa Kokoo co-operative own one third of the shares in their company. They participate in the running of the company with 2 Board Members sitting on the Day Board and help make decisions about how all The Day Chocolate Company's products are produced and sold. They also fairly share the profits.

The price of the average chocolate bar has increased by 60% in recent years, but the price paid on the world market for cocoa beans has almost halved. Although there are hundreds of chocolate brands available in the UK, three companies dominate the global chocolate market place.These are Nestle-Rowntree, Mars and Cadbury-Schweppes. Such large companies can afford to spend up to 10% of their profit margins (hundreds of thousands of pounds) to retain their brand's market position.

Introducing a new product into such a competitive market is a risk that Day Chocolate was prepared to take, since even a small increase in fair trade chocolate sales means real benefits for cocoa farmers. This is because the value of the chocolate market is so high.

Other village societies are keen to join in on Kuapa Kokoo's success, so Twin Trading are helping Kuapa Kokoo to set up a sustainable expansion programme that will benefit more people.

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UK chocolate consumption

  • in the UK, each person eats on average about 200 bars of chocolate
  • we spent around 3.75 billion on chocolate in 2000, which is around 70% of the total UK confectionery market (chocolate and sweets)
  • chocolate consumption in the UK is steadily growing each year
  • more than 90% of the UK population bought confectionery in 2000, with each buyer spending an average of 30 pence a day
  • purchase levels for confectionery are significantly higher than any other 'impulse' buying category
  • confectionery buyers spent an average of 77 each on chocolate and sweets in 2000
  • almost two-thirds of all confectionery is purchased by women, but they eat just over a half of what they buy themselves
  • men purchase just under a third of all confectionery and generally eat the majority of what they buy
  • children eat 38% of all confectionery, but buy only 20% of what they eat themselves
  • the UK is second only to Switzerland in consumption, with each person in the UK consuming an average 13.7kg of confectionery a year
    (Source: UK Confectionery Review of 2000, Cadbury Trebor Bassett - http://www.cadbury.co.uk/fr_today.asp)

Chocolate and nutrition

  • chocolate contains over 300 chemicals and it is not known how all of these affect humans, but research suggests chocolate may have health benefits
  • dark chocolate is higher in cocoa than milk chocolate and helps to increase levels of HDL, a type of cholesterol that helps prevent fat clogging up arteries
  • chocolate contains small amounts of stimulants such as caffeine and this has a mild effect on alertness
  • another mild stimulant present in chocolate is theobromine, which relaxes the smooth muscles in the linings of the lung.
Per 100g kcals protein fat sugar calcium iron
plain chocolate 525 5g 29g 60g 33mg 2.4mg
milk chocolate 529 8.4g 30g 57g 220mg 1.6mg
white chocolate 529 8g 31g 58g 270mg 0.2mg

(Source:HMSO Food tables)

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Making use of the case study - things to think about and do
Using this case study for the following tasks will help to develop your understanding about:

  • how chocolate is produced from cocoa beans
  • industrial practices - primary and secondary processing
  • new product development - launching a fair trade chocolate
  • values issues - fair trade issues
  • Visit a shop that sells Divine chocolate, egs. Sainsburys, Iceland, Co-op, Somerfield, Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons. Find out the cost of Divine, Darkly Divine or Dubble per 100g compared to three other similar chocolate bars. Which are the cheapest and the most expensive? What reasons can you give for this?
  • Using a bar/bars of Divine chocolate, plus one other similar standard chocolate bar, organise and carry out a taste test for creaminess, intensity of chocolate flavour, smooothness (mouthfeel) and hardness (bite). Find five people to taste your samples. Develop a way of showing your results clearly, eg. using a spreadsheet on a computer to create graphs and charts. What conclusions can you draw?
  • Carry out a survey to find out about people's awareness of Fairtrade Trade. Do they know and understand what Fairtrade is? Do they recognise the Fairtrade Mark?(picture)? Would they consider buying a fair trade product instead of their regular purchase of chocolate? If not, what would persuade them to do so?
  • Have a go at tempering chocolate and making some chocolate novelty shapes using moulds or enrobing/coating such foods as nuts or dried fruits.
  • Experiment with recipes for desserts or cakes that use chocolate for decoration, egs. flakes or toppings.
  • At present, Divine chocolate is available in the chocolate bar, mini egg, Advent calendar & christmas tree decoration form. Develop a chocolate-based product that you think would be popular with consumers. Give the ingredients (including quantities) and methods (shown in flow chart form) that you would use.
  • Look at the wrapper from a bar of chocolate. What do you notice about it? What is it made from? Using CAD, design and produce the packaging for a new 'flavoured' version of Divine chocolate. What information you would need to supply to consumers on the packaging? What materials would you select for the packaging if you were aiming to produce a sustainable wrapping?
  • Visit www.divinechocolate.com, www.dubble.co.uk and collect a number of interesting facts about fair trade chocolate. Discuss what you have found out with a partner and see if you can surprise and educate one another. You could organise an event at your school to promote what you have learnt about fairtrade to other people - contact The Day Chocolate Company to let them know what you are planning: info@divinechocolate.com.
  • Reports have suggested that chocolate may contain unacceptable levels of a pesticide called lindane. Investigate these claims and produce a set of bullet points summarizing what you find out. (www.defra.gov.uk, www.foodcomm.org.uk, and www.foe.org.uk have information on this)
  • Think about the nutritional value of chocolate. Some say that chocolate is unhealthy, whilst others say that it is fine in moderation as part of a balanced diet. What are your views and why?

  • Who 'stocks the choc' in your local area? Find out where Divine chocolate is sold. Where else would you like to see it being sold? You can play your part by sending a 'Stock the Choc' postcard to shops, asking them to stock Divine - see details on www.divinechocolate.com - send an email to kika@divinechocolate.com to let The Day Chocolate Company know who you have contacted.

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Further useful resources
'Design & Make it: Food Technology', Stanley Thornes, 1997, p 142-143
'D&T Challenges: Red Book', RCA, Hodder & Stoughton, 1997, p 6-11
'Food Technology to GCSE', Anita Tull, Oxford University Press, 1998, p 50-51, p 100
'Food Technology Foundation Course', Collins, Inglis, Plews & Chapman, p36-45, p 64-69
'The Science & Technology of Food', RK Proudlove, Forbes, 1994, p
178-183
'PaPaPaa Fairtrade Education Pack' - order online from www.dubble.co.uk

'The Chocolate Game' Fair Trade edition - www.oxfam.org.uk

www.bbc.co.uk/print/science/hottopics/chocolate
www.bccca.org.uk
www.cadbury.co.uk
www.channel4.com/health

www.chocolateinfo.com
www.coolplanet.co.uk
www.data.org.uk

www.divinechocolate.com
www.dubble.co.uk
www.fairtrade.org.uk/products.htm
www.globalexchange.org
www.globalgang.org.uk
www.howstuffworks.com/chocolate.htm

www.stepin.org


Acknowledgements:
The Day Chocolate Company & Comic Relief.
Photo credits: Brian Moody and Kim Naylor

©foodforum.org.uk 2002. All rights reserved

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