Chocolate - who doesn’t love it? Today the world consumes more than 4.5 million tonnes of cacao beans each year, and global retail sales of chocolate topped 98 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Did you know that 70% of the world’s cacao is grown in Africa, yet Africa produces less than 1% of the world's chocolate? The chocolate we know and love to eat is produced elsewhere in the world using Africa’s raw ingredients. This contradiction and lost economic opportunity has not gone unnoticed by a new generation of women chocolatiers across Africa who are launching great new chocolate brands and products. Their skill, passion and entrepreneurial spirit will hopefully in the near future give rise to exciting new African chocolate brands that will go global.
Whether it’s a beautiful bean-to-bar artisan chocolate slab, or a gloriously scented, hand-decorated truffle, or a lovingly handmade chocolate filled with creamy ganache and flavoured with fresh local African taste sensations. There is no doubt that some of the finest chocolates in the world are now being created right here on the African continent, by passionate artisan producers who are on a mission to present Africa’s renowned cacao in the most refined and delicious forms for the world to enjoy.
The good news is, there is a new wave of passionate, highly skilled, women entrepreneurs emerging from across the African continent who are building their reputations as some of the most exciting chocolatiers on the planet. They are also building successful companies and brands that are positively contributing to the economic growth and development of their countries, by extending the value chain of the cacao industry through their businesses.
Did you know? Here are some interesting facts about chocolate.
It takes about 400 cacao beans to make one pound of chocolate
Theobroma is the Latin name for cacao and means “Food of the Gods”
The origin of World Chocolate Day is from the introduction of chocolate to Europe in the 1550s
There are around 2 million cocoa farms in West Africa producing around 75% of the world’s cacao
Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon are Africa’s largest cocoa producers
The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation
Eating dark chocolate every day reduces the risk of heart disease by one-third
Global retail sales of chocolate amounted to approximately 98.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2016
Switzerland had the highest chocolate confectionery consumption per person of any other country. On average, every Swiss citizen consumed about 8.8 kilograms of chocolate in 2017
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which are believed to prevent or delay certain types of diseases, including cardiac disease
Meet some of the game-changing women chocolatiers of Africa.