The grind in the US, Mexico and Canada, an indicator of chocolate demand in the region, grew 11.77% to 126,044 metric tons (MT), figures released by the National Confectioners Association (NCA) today show.
‘Making up lost ground’
Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight at Mintel told this site that the numbers were encouraging.
“Obviously, demand for cocoa ingredients has increased significantly. Although given the declines we saw over the last years, we may want to consider the numbers as in part making up for lost ground.
“Nonetheless, the increase suggests continued and growing interest in North America.”
Chocolate outside confectionery
The analyst said demand for cocoa had risen due to interest in chocolate in products outside of confectionery such as cereal, biscuits and ice cream.
“One area, for example, worth watching is the growing popularity of Greek yogurt in the US and the number of new flavors that incorporate chocolate (e.g. Chobani, Stonyfield Farms, etc) either as chips or as a flavoring ingredient.”
She added that the large Hispanic population in the US was creating demand for a savory sauce called moles, which is based on or includes cocoa.
Global cocoa grind
Elsewhere cocoa grinds have picked up in Q2.
The cocoa grind in Europe was up 6.1% year-on-year to 310,408 MT, according to the European Cocoa Association.
The Cocoa Association of Asia said on Wednesday that cocoa processing in Asia had risen 2% year-on-year in Q2 to 153,792 metric tons (MT). Declines had been expected due to the slowing Chinese economy.