Chocolate confessions

New research commissioned by Divine Chocolate, in time for Chocolate Week (12-18 October), demonstrates the depth of the British attachment to the nation’s favourite treat, and what UK chocolate lovers think can be done to ensure chocolate never runs out.  The research was partly prompted by reports earlier this year warning of a cocoa shortfall from 2020, putting at risk the supply and cost of treat we take for granted (Chocolate could run out in 2020 due to worldwide shortage of cocoa).

Divine, the chocolate company co-owned by cocoa farmers, has been a sponsor and supporter of Chocolate Week since it started nine years ago. Divine’s Marketing Director, Charlotte Green commented:

“At Divine we have a real love for chocolate, so this was our opportunity to see if people share that love and all the emotions it inspires. We also wanted to take a closer look at what people would do to ensure it never ran out!”

How deep is my love
Nearly half of respondents said they “really loved” or “loved” chocolate and over a third (35%) strongly agreed or agreed with the statement “I couldn’t live without chocolate”.  Testing their love for chocolate even further, respondents were asked what they would be prepared to give up rather than chocolate to which 57% said “Facebook”, 53% said alcohol, 50% said tea…. and 44% said “sex”.

Presented with the possibility that chocolate could run out, 63% expressed sadness – saying they would be “depressed”, “disappointed” or “worried”.  Comments included “Devastated. Life wouldn’t be worth living” and “I would just have to get used to it, but I would miss it terribly”.

What about the cocoa farmers?
Despite being devoted to chocolate, UK chocolate lovers are not sure where most cocoa comes from (51% thought Brazil was one of the top three producers, whereas around 70% comes from West Africa), but there was good awareness that most of the world’s cocoa is grown by smallscale farmers (65%).

What can be done to stop cocoa from running out
Only 26% had heard about the cocoa shortages, compared to other food issues like decline in bees (68%) or horsemeat in the supply chain (63%). A surprising 47% said they were willing to pay over 10p more on a £1 bar of chocolate “if it guaranteed that farmers would be paid enough money to keep producing cocoa”.  Respondents also demonstrated that they felt there were things companies and retailers could do to tackle potential shortages of cocoa – 67% said they should “Pay cocoa farmers more for their cocoa” and 55% agreed they should “incentivise the next generation to keep farming cocoa.” 42% thought that enabling “cocoa farmers to have shares in companies that sell chocolate” was a good option.

Divine Chocolate is celebrating Chocolate Week with a series of partnerships and events all over the UK to celebrate and enjoy good chocolate, and will be exhibiting at The Chocolate Show at Olympia (16-18 October).  They will be joined by Esther Mintah, a farmer from Kuapa Kokoo, the co-op in Ghana that owns 44% of the company.

Ends

For further information please contact Charlotte Borger on charlotte@divinechocolate.com

Editors notes:

·         Data taken from a nationally representative survey of 1,003 UK adults undertaken via an online panel by Opinion Leader Research between 11th -22nd September 2015

·         Divine Chocolate Ltd is the only Fairtrade chocolate company that is also co-owned by cocoa farmers. Kuapa Kokoo, a co-operative of over  80,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana, benefit not only  from the Fairtrade premium on the sale of their beans, but also receive a 44% share of Divine’s distributable profits giving the farmers more economic stability, as well as the increased influence in the cocoa industry company-ownership brings

 

·         Keep up to date with Divine online:

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·         All Divine products carry the Fairtrade Mark. This is an independent guarantee certified by the Fairtrade Foundation that the ingredients are sourced under internationally agreed fair trade terms and conditions. These include a guaranteed, secure minimum price, an extra social premium payment for the farmers to invest in their own community programmes, long term trading contracts, decent health and safety conditions – all aimed at empowering farmers to make their own improvements to living standards and prospects for the future

·         The UK chocolate market alone is worth approximately £3.98 billion a year (Mintel, 2012): if Fairtrade products can capture even a small proportion of that market, producers in developing countries gain real benefits.

·         Divine Chocolate has won a number of prestigious awards, most recently Divine won The Guardian Sustainable Business Award for Social Impact Innovation, Social enterprise of the Year 2014 and Divine’s 38% Milk Chocolate with Toffee & Sea Salt was voted the “UK’s Favourite Fairtrade Product” in a public poll by the Fairtrade Foundation.  Others include Good Housekeeping’s Favourite Fairtrade Product 2008; Best Food Brand in the SHE magazine Ethical Awards 2007; and Best Buy in Ethical Consumer magazine 2009.  Divine Chocolate Ltd was awarded Best Social Enterprise 2007 at the Enterprising Solutions awards run by the Office of the Third Sector and The Observer Best Ethical Business 2008.  Divines Dark Chocolate After Dinner Ginger Thins was awarded one star by the Guild of Fine Food at the Great Taste Awards 2013. Divine has been voted a Cool Brand 2013-14