Compound chocolate is a cheaper variety of chocolate that replaces parts of the cocoa butter with less expensive vegetable fats and tropical fats such as palm kernel oil.
Rapid growth in compound
Buhler claims that compound chocolate will grow at a faster rate than regular chocolate in the next five years.
Michael Blatter, marketing assistant at Bühler, told ConfectioneryNews.com: “For compound chocolate, it’s Asia and South America chocolate that is driving this growth…In our business, these are the emerging markets.”
He said that of the 8 million metric tons (MT) of chocolate sold globally, around 1.5m MT is compound. While the market for real chocolate is forecast to grow 2% annually in the next five years, compound chocolate will grow 4% per annum, said Blatter.
He said that compound chocolate was cheaper and easier to produce and had a higher melting point than regular chocolate, which made it suitable for hot climates in emerging markets.
Compound processing opportunity
“With strong growth in this area, we have decided to develop a solution,” said Blatter.
Bühler plans to launch a smaller capacity compound chocolate processing machine in Q3 called Cenomic to seize on growth in the segment.
A smaller capacity machine is particularly relevant to large companies wanting to enter new markets without producing on a huge scale, said Blatter.
Bühler’s smaller machine uses ball milling and produces between 100-500 kg per hour, while its existing large version produces between 500 kg to 3 MT per hour.
Blatter added that large producers may also wish to use the smaller machine in test facilities.
The Cenomic is also capable of producing regular chocolate but requires an integrated conching, which can be added either before or after grinding the chocolate.