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Barry Callebaut survey finds Americans love milk chocolate but are experimenting with other varieties

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July 05, 2007

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Four out of 10 U.S. adults interested in chocolate
that provides healthful benefits
 
Chicago, July 5, 2007 – From chocolate cake to chocolate bars to hot chocolate, Americans love indulging in sweet, chocolaty treats. In fact, according to a recent survey by Barry Callebaut – the world’s largest producer of high-quality cocoa, chocolate and confectionery products – nearly half of Americans (46 percent) eat chocolate at least a few times per week.
 
KEY SURVEY FINDINGS
 
  • Nearly half of Americans (46 percent) eat chocolate at least a few times per week.
  • 81 percent of Americans eat milk chocolate, followed by chocolate with nuts, raisins or nougat (70 percent), and dark chocolate (64 percent).
  • Many Americans believe that chocolate has a positive influence on their psychological and physical well-being – 52 percent say chocolate boosts morale and 46 percent feel it revitalizes them.
  • Healthful chocolate is of interest to many Americans – 43 percent say they’d buy chocolate that promised health benefits.

The survey also found that milk chocolate is the most popular chocolate variety among U.S. adults.  Eighty-one percent of Americans say they eat milk chocolate, compared with just 58 percent of Europeans.*  Americans also eat the following types of chocolate:

Chocolate with nuts, raisins or nougat (70 percent)
  • Dark chocolate (64 percent)
  • Chocolate with a soft praline, fruit or crème filling (54 percent)
  • White chocolate (50 percent)
While regular chocolate – milk, dark or white – remains the most popular among Americans (79 percent), the survey found that U.S. adults are also exploring other chocolate varieties. For example, 38 percent of Americans say they eat single-origin chocolate – chocolate made from cocoa beans from a specific region instead of using a blend of beans from different origins – compared with just 10.8 percent of Europeans.* 
 
In addition, about one out of four Americans (24 percent) say they enjoy sugar-free chocolate, and 15 percent report having consumed Fairtrade chocolate – chocolate that is produced using raw materials purchased from Fairtrade-certified manufacturers who receive a premium price for their products.
 
Chocolate as a source for health
 
While the survey revealed only 12 percent of Americans eat functional chocolate (chocolate that has been shown to provide health benefits), many Americans believe chocolate can have a positive impact on your health and well-being. 

According to the Barry Callebaut survey, Americans believe chocolate:
 
  • Boosts morale (52 percent)
  • Revitalizes you (46 percent)
  • Is good for the heart and cardiovascular system (31 percent)
  • Contains anti-cancerous ingredients (31 percent)
  • Enhances the memory (16 percent)
  • Enhances sexual performance (15 percent)
  • Helps prevent hair loss (5 percent)
The survey also found that approximately four out of 10 Americans (43 percent) would buy chocolate that promises health benefits, and almost half of those surveyed (45 percent) said they would be willing to pay more for “health enhancing” chocolate.
 
“Based on the survey findings, it’s clear that Americans are developing a taste for more sophisticated chocolate and are experimenting with different varieties – from single-origin chocolate to organic chocolate to chocolate that offers healthful benefits,” said Massimo Garavaglia, Barry Callebaut’s president of food manufacturers and gourmet and specialties North America. “With more than 150 years of experience in the art of chocolate making, a wide variety of innovative product offerings and more single-origin chocolates available than any other chocolate maker, Barry Callebaut is uniquely positioned to meet the diverse needs of the U.S. chocolate market.”
 
In fact, Barry Callebaut is focused on a wide variety of research and development activities that will provide new, innovative chocolate taste experiences for its industrial and gourmet customers in North America. For example, Barry Callebaut recently introduced several new single-origin chocolates under its Callebaut and Cacao Barry brands, which have distinct, signature flavor profiles and are grown in unique locations all over the world.
 
Barry Callebaut:
With annual sales of
CHF 4.3 billion (approximately USD 3.4 billion) for fiscal year 2005/2006, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa, chocolate and confectionery products – from the cocoa bean to the finished product on the store shelf.  Barry Callebaut is present in 23 countries, operates more than 30 production facilities and employs approximately 8,000 people.  The company serves the entire food industry, from food manufacturers to professional users of chocolate to global retailers.  The company’s Callebaut, Cacao Barry and Carma products are specifically designed to meet the special needs of artisan customers, including bakers, pastry chefs, hotels, restaurants and caterers. Barry Callebaut also provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing.
 
Contacts for the media:
Lacey Hautzinger
BlueCurrent Public Relations
(214) 303-6002
lacey.hautzinger@bluecurrentpr.com
 
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Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted by telephone by independent research bureau IPSOS on behalf of Barry Callebaut among 1,001 U.S. adults (aged 18 and over) within the United States between March 13 and 30, 2007. Percentages may not add up to 100 due to weighting factors or multiple responses.
 
Survey data for European consumer behavior is based on consumer surveys conducted in Belgium, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Germany by IPSOS on behalf of Barry Callebaut between November and December 2006.