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Can’t quit chocolate? Don’t fret, it’s no addiction September 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Chocolate.
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Resistance is futile. The more we try to fight off a craving for chocolate, the more our desire for it grows, a British researcher said on Tuesday.

But chocoholics can take heart that such sweets are not addictive despite the fact many people consider themselves as having no control over their urges to eat the sweets, said Peter Rogers, a psychologist at the University of Bristol.

“Food behaviour can look like addictive behaviour in extreme situations but chocolate does not fit these criteria,” Rogers told a meeting sponsored by the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Many people point to certain compounds found in chocolate, such as phenylethylamine, that produce a buzz when they reach the brain as evidence chocolate is addictive, Rogers said.

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Starbucks and Hershey agree for chocolate platform July 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Chocolate, Drinks & Beverages.
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Starbucks and Hershey share a passion and focus to purchase cocoa that is socially responsible, economically viable, ecologically sustainable, and meets specific quality standards.

Starbucks Coffee Company and The Hershey Company announced a development and distribution agreement that will help transform the premium chocolate segment. The companies will create and market a new Starbucks-branded premium chocolate platform in the United States starting this fall.

“Chocolate is the perfect complement to coffee and tea and has long been a part of the coffee-house experience. We are excited to bring premium chocolate inspired by Starbucks coffee and cafe flavors to Starbucks customers and chocolate lovers,” said Gerry Lopez, president, Starbucks Global Consumer Products Group. “Creating a new chocolate platform is another way for us to extend the Starbucks Experience outside of our stores and enhances the coffeehouse experience.”

Expert chocolatiers are developing products that translate Starbucks coffee-house flavors into delicious and distinct chocolate products. The premium platform will combine the highest quality chocolate with Starbucks beverages and cafe flavors, as well as delectable fruits, nuts, herbs and spices. In addition to innovative flavors, this platform will offer new forms and packaging and will be available in a broad range of retail channels such as food, drug and mass merchandise outlets across the United States.

The alliance will draw on the premium expertise of Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company. Artisan Confections’ unique portfolio consists of some of the world’s finest chocolate, including Scharffen Berger and the exquisite truffles of Joseph Schmidt.

“Starbucks is one of the world’s leading brands among consumers seeking a unique experience,” said Christopher J. Baldwin, Senior Vice President, President North American Commercial Group, The Hershey Company. “Hershey’s chocolate expertise, distribution and selling capabilities combined with the strength of the Starbucks brand will help transform the high-growth premium chocolate segment. Our product development is focused on value-added chocolate and coffee-based products that will provide consumers with a new experience and accelerate growth in this key segment. Customers clearly value the Starbucks brand, and early customer feedback has been outstanding.”

Cocoa beans, like coffee, are an agricultural product that affects the livelihood of many people around the world. Starbucks and Hershey share a passion and focus to purchase cocoa that is socially responsible, economically viable, ecologically sustainable, and meets specific quality standards.

“Starbucks and Hershey share a deep dedication to making a positive difference in the communities where they live, work and do business,” said Thomas K. Hernquist, Senior Vice President, Global Chief Growth Officer, The Hershey Company. “We look forward to working together with Starbucks to extend our work that is making a meaningful difference in the lives of farm families in the world’s cocoa growing regions.”

Barry Callebaut and Hershey in strategic agreement July 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business, Chocolate.
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Barry Callebaut will start to operate the leased chocolate-making equipment at the Hershey factory in Robinson in September. In addition it will build a factory in Monterrey, Mexico, and supply liquid chocolate to The Hershey Company.

Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, and The Hershey Company, North America’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and confectionery products, have announced that they have entered into agreements for a strategic supply and innovation partnership. In May 2007, the parties announced their intention to enter into these agreements. Barry Callebaut will start liquid chocolate and finished product deliveries to Hershey within the next few months.

Richard H. Lenny, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company, said, “We look forward to working with Barry Callebaut to expand our growth in the global chocolate market and to deliver superior new product innovation. Barry Callebaut is a worldwide leader in premium chocolate and innovation, and this alliance provides Hershey with immediate access to these capabilities.”

Patrick De Maeseneire, Chief Executive Officer of Barry Callebaut, said, “I am very pleased that we have successfully completed this agreement with Hershey. The agreement will transform our business in the Americas by significantly increasing our production capacities for chocolate and by optimizing our operational setup in the region. We expect to supply about 80,000 metric tonnes to Hershey per year. The transaction is again evidence of the ongoing outsourcing trend in the chocolate industry, which I think is only just beginning. Barry Callebaut is well positioned to further benefit from this development. We also look forward to working closely with Hershey on innovation activities that will help drive growth in the global chocolate market.”

Barry Callebaut will start to operate the leased chocolate-making equipment at the Hershey factory in Robinson, Ill., at the beginning of September, producing chocolate ingredients for Hershey products. In addition, Barry Callebaut will build a factory in Monterrey, Mexico, and supply liquid chocolate to The Hershey Company. This factory is expected to be operational by summer 2008 and will also supply to other customers.

The companies will partner on research and development activities with a focus on driving innovation in new chocolate taste experiences, premium chocolate, health and wellness, ingredient research and optimization.

The two companies also will work together on efforts aimed at building a sustainable cocoa supply, including the World Cocoa Foundation’s Sustainable Tree Crops Program, the International Cocoa Initiative Foundation and industry efforts to implement a certification system in West Africa. Hershey will also participate in Barry Callebaut’s proprietary corporate social responsibility and sustainable cocoa-bean sourcing programs.

A new delicacy for dark chocolate lovers May 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Chocolate.
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Premium Swiss chocolatier creates new delicacy for dark chocolate lovers

To fully appreciate and enjoy Creation 70%, Lindt Master Chocolatiers recommend that consumers allow each square of chocolate to melt smoothly on the tongue for a delightful taste experience.

Lindt & Sprungli, creator of exceptionally-crafted Swiss chocolates, introduces the first mousse-filled dark chocolate bar collection, Creation 70%, to its extensive portfolio of premium chocolate products. Creation 70%, which uses 70% cacao content dark chocolate, will be available in Lindt retail stores nationwide, as well as online at lindtusa.com. The Collection will feature >

* Creation 70% Chocolate Mousse: Characterized by a strong presence of cacao with slight creaminess, Creations 70% Mousse offers a unique contrast between the smooth filling and crisp, dark chocolate exterior. The mousse acts as an extension of the chocolate, offering a smooth, bittersweet experience.

* Creation 70% Cherry Chili: Noted for the balance of tangy cherry and the heat of chili, Creation 70% Cherry Chili is a twist on the traditional chocolate and cherry pairing. The taste is an exotic yet subtle experience, not hot or overpowering.

* Creation 70% Orange: Punctuated by the tartness of orange, Creation 70% Orange, pairs the traditional marriage of dark chocolate mousse and orange beautifully. The bar is well-balanced with a smooth, subtle finish.

Unlike the traditional chocolate bar, rich and fluffy mousse is added to the inside of the Creation 70% dark chocolate bar for a distinctive tasting experience. To fully appreciate and enjoy Creation 70%, Lindt Master Chocolatiers recommend that consumers allow each square of chocolate to melt smoothly on the tongue for a delightful taste experience.

“Creation 70% offers consumers an unrivaled dark chocolate experience,” said Thomas Linemayr, president and chief executive officer of Lindt USA. “The launch of Creation 70% is a reflection of Lindt’s commitment to chocolate innovation and reinforces our leadership position in the premium chocolate category. We are thrilled to be the first premium chocolatier to offer dark chocolate, mousse-filled bars to consumers.”

Chicago’s Best Chocolate May 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Chocolate.
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Ethel’s chocolate named ‘Chicago’s Best Chocolate’ by voters on AOL CityGuide > The online AOL votes are in and Chicago’s chocolate lovers have spoken: ethel’s is the City’s “Best Chocolate.”

In just two years, ethel’s chocolate has gone from the proverbial ‘new kid on the block’ to the favorite of chocolate connoisseurs throughout Chicagoland. In this year’s AOL CityGuide vote, ethel’s chocolate emerged as the top choice of Chicagoland chocolate lovers, and was voted “Chicago’s Best Chocolate.”

To thank its customers for their support, on May 17th, 2007, ethel’s will hold a Customer Appreciation Day, providing chocolate lovers up to 10,000 free, deluxe four-piece boxes of its delectable gourmet creations. ethel’s Customer Appreciation Day chocolate giveaway will take place at all 10 ethel’s Chicagoland locations, during regular business hours, while supplies last.

“This spring marks the two year anniversary since ethel’s arrived in Chicagoland, introduced the chocolate lounge concept and began the transformation of the city’s chocolate landscape,” said Mars Retail Group president John Haugh. “As the AOL CityGuide Best of Chicago vote illustrates, in that short time Chicagoland chocolate connoisseurs have come to appreciate ethel’s innovative, gourmet chocolates. And how better to return the favor than for us to hold a Customer Appreciation Day, providing free samples of ethel’s delectable chocolate creations?”

Not content to rest on its chocolate laurels, Haugh said that ethel’s will continue to blaze new trails by offering customers innovative–and delicious– premium chocolate offerings and special seasonal chocolate collections.

“While we’re thrilled to have been selected Chicago’s best chocolate, one of the hallmarks of our company is to continuously push the chocolate envelope, by offering innovative and delicious creations,” said Haugh. “This is a sweet victory for ethel’s, but we’ll continue to earn our customers’ loyalty everyday, and we remain confident that our best, and sweetest, days are yet to come.”