The average UK citizen scoffs 7.39kg of chocolate each year – almost 3.1kg more than the average American – and with the industry worth more than £4.3bn, it’s no surprise chocolate remains one of the most fiercely contested markets in the UK food and drink sector. Chocolate Week takes place this week so it’s time to celebrate some forward-thinking manufacturers…
The quest for new product lines in a saturated market led the independent Pump Street Bakery in Suffolk to infuse their bean-to-bar chocolate with a taste of everyone’s favourite carbohydrate. Chocolate bar flavours include sourdough and sea salt, rye crumb, milk and sea salt, and simple bread and butter. Apparently they’re the best thing since sliced, well, you know…
Chocs on the box
Earlier this year, London-based chocolatier Paul A Young created a snack to accompany your weekend TV binge, in the form of the Ultimate Chocolate Box Set. Made in a marketing partnership with Sky Box Sets, the quirky box of choccies includes a Mad Men bourbon and smoked paprika chocolate, a pulse-raising coffee bean and thyme creation for 24 fans, and a hollow white chocolate bloodshot ‘eyeball’ for The Walking Dead buffs. Chocolate remote control not included.
After Mondelez, the American owner of Cadbury UK, announced in January 2015 it was changing its Creme Egg recipe from one using Dairy Milk to standard cocoa mix chocolate, sales fell by more than £6m, leading to a quest to revitalise the beloved treat. One such attempt was the pop-up Creme Egg Café in London earlier this year, which served Creme Egg toasties, ‘egg’ and soldiers, Creme Egg tray bake and strawberries and creme (egg).
The south coast’s famed chocolate shop Choccywoccydoodah, specialists in spectacular chocolate sculptures and cakes, counts Madonna, Johnny Depp and Kylie Minogue among its clients, and even bagged its own eponymous TV show. Today, the shop makes more than 7,500 cakes a year and buys over 3,000 free-range eggs a week, each of which is cracked and beaten by hand. No need to visit the gym after that workout.
Chocolate Week culminates in the much-anticipated annual Chocolate Show returning to London this year. Set to welcome 20,000 chocoholics through its doors at Olympia National Hall on 14-16 October, the event will host some of the world’s finest chocolatiers, and will also include the headline-grabbing Chocolate Fashion Show, complete with a catwalk of outfits literally good enough to eat.