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Chocolate Makers Battle Cocoa Price Inflation With, Well, Product Inflation

February 11, 2011: 01:45 AM EST
With cocoa prices up 18 percent since November 2010 – thanks to political unrest in top producer Ivory Coast – chocolate makers Nestlé SA and Barry Callebaut AG have begun to inflate their chocolate products with air to save money. Besides reducing production costs, air bubbles make chocolate confections creamier, more “textured” and lower in calories, according to chocolatiers. In the past, refined sugar was added to products to offset higher cocoa prices but sugar, too, is now more expensive. Nestlé will spend about $24 million in 2011 to market its air bubble-filled Aero chocolate in the U.K. and Ireland. Barry Callebaut is debuting airy “textured” fillings such as Tintoretto, with dark cocoa and caramel flavors. The company also hopes to use less cocoa in processing by creating more intensely flavored chocolate.
Tom Mulier , "Chocolate Makers Find Recipe for Profits by Adding Air to Bars", Bloomberg, February 11, 2011, © Bloomberg L.P.
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