A roundup of a few more confectionery stories from this week; Barry Callebaut, Ferrero, and potential death by chocolate.
Barry Callebaut to sell candy business
Switzerland based Barry Callebaut expects to sell its Brach's candy business within the next few months, according to an interview with the company's chief executive Patrick De Maeseneire in Reuters.
De Maeseneire said the company will also raise its goals for the 2007/08 fiscal year, according to Reuters.
"We will adjust our financial targets and they will be more aggressive," De Maeseneire was reported to have said.
He suggested companies may be encouraged to outsource their chocolate in light of rising prices for raw materials, boosting sales for Barry Callebaut.
Nestle, Hershey and Cadbury have all recently made outsourcing deals for liquid chocolate with Barry Callebaut this year.
De Maeseneire was also reported to have told Swiss newspaper Handelzeitung this week that he intends to double sales in East Europe and Asia in the next three to four years.
Ferrero moves over to the dark side
Ferrero announced this week that it will launch a range of dark chocolates, following the footsteps of many food giants who are taking advantage of the current consumer demand for 'healthier' chocolate.
Lindt, Barry Callebaut, Nestle and Mars have all announced product launches into the dark chocolate market segment within the past few months.
Ferrero will be focussing on the upcoming premium and luxury market with the new Ferrero Rondnoir, stoked by the rise in living conditions and wealth, as well as the interest in health benefits of dark chocolate.
Researchers claim the high percentage of cocoa can help lower blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular disease.
One study suggested that a high intake of flavonoids, powerful antioxidants , delivers benefits to the cardiovascular system - and dark chocolate contains almost five times the flavonol content of apples.
According to a report on the market by Packaged Facts, overall US chocolate sales are forecast to reach $18bn (€13.2bn) by 2011, up from $16bn (€11.7bn) in 2006, helped by the growing demand for premium chocolate.
"Everything about the product, from the premium packaging and dazzling bronze foil, to the creamy taste sensation, is a uniquely indulgent experience," said Don Stoher of Ferrero USA.
Premium chocolate will account for 25 per cent of the market, mainly due to the reported health benefits of dark chocolate, according to Packaged Facts.
And finally… potential death - by chocolate…
Bella Cucina Death by Chocolate cookies in Canada could do just that after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) found the products contained walnuts, without declaring this on the label.
"Consumption of this product may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to walnuts," said the CFIA warning.
A large number of Mars UK's Maltesers and Revels were also recalled in Britain and Ireland this week following possible contamination with pieces of rubber from the company's factory in Slough.