Cocoa grinds in Europe have returned to growth after six consecutive quarters of decline.
The cocoa grind, an indicator of demand for chocolate products in the region, rose 6.1% to 310,408 metric tons (MT) in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year
The figures from the European Cocoa Association were obtained from 21 cocoa bean processors including Mondelez, Barry Callebaut and Cargill.
Cocoa demand in other foods
Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight at Mintel told ConfectioneryNews that demand for chocolate may not be the only driving force behind the rise.
“We have seen continued interest in cocoa as an ingredient in other foods, not just as a finished product in the form of chocolate confectionery.
“Introductions of products containing cocoa (dairy, ice cream, cereal etc) continue to attract consumers and drive up demand for cocoa.”
European mood improves
She added that: “The overall atmosphere for innovation in food and drink seems to be tipping towards the positive, suggesting that consumer sentiment and the European economic environment is starting to turn around.”
The full year European cocoa grind is projected to register a modest 0.3% rise to 1,294,443 MT, according to the European Cocoa Association.
Mogelonsky said this was “reassuring”.
“If cocoa grindings could be viewed as an ‘economic indicator’ the positive movement could suggest that the mood of Europeans is showing an improvement over last year.”
In spite of the Europe-wide rise, cocoa grinds in Germany fell 10.67% to 75,612.3 MT during Q2.
The German Confectionery Association, BDSI was unavailable for comment, but an analyst from Euromonitor previously said that obesity concerns in Germany and rising competition from snack bars and savory snacks was harming domestic demand for chocolate.
Third quarter grinds are expected in October this year, while the North American cocoa grind is due this Thursday.