The Evolution Of Chocolate Industry

Chocolate is delicious food that is enjoyed by millions daily. It can be consumed in various ways, such as in the form of a solid bar and hot and cold beverages or baked into different desserts and meals. The chocolate industry has undergone many changes in the process of making chocolate to bring it accessible to people of all classes and geographic regions. Furthermore, these technological advances have been the catalyst that brought chocolate to everyone of all classes. So, let us take an excursion through the years to discover how the manufacturing of chocolate has evolved and helped expand chocolate all over the globe.

What is Cacao?

Cacao, an exotic tree native to the Amazon River region, thrives between 20 degrees between the north and south of the Equator. Producing football-sized pods stuffed with seeds. The seeds are dried, fermented and then roasted to produce the chocolate’s flavor.

The Mayans were among the first cultures to value cacao and to discover that cacao seeds could be transformed into a liquid, making the drinkable chocolate quite different from the one we are used to in the present. Cacao was the basis of a Mayan ritual offering. The roasted seeds were utilized to exchange currency, showing the degree to which the Mayans considered cacao a valuable commodity and even called it “food of the gods.”

When the Spanish colonists set foot in Latin America, they instituted the encomienda method to utilize the indigenous labor force to produce crops. The cacao plant quickly was a significant export crop within the trading triangular. The utilization of slave labor in the slave trade across the Atlantic significantly increased the production of “drug crops” (cacao, sugar, coffee, tea and tobacco) which revolutionized trade. Global capitalism because luxury goods were consumed as pure pleasure by those who were financially able to purchase these items. With the help of the Columbian Exchange, cacao made its journey into West Africa, where 75 per cent of the world’s cacao is sourced. However, the majority of cacao consumed in the United States and Europe is due to the rise of high-end products during colonial times.

The Chocolate Bar

Boston was a place that was renowned from the late 17th to the early 18th centuries for being a place of culture where wealthy merchants could take a break from coffee and chocolate drinks and talk about their disgust at their resentment of the British crown. The shops allowed merchants to experiment with new flavors since most patrons were unaware of how chocolate should taste. Since the sugar industry was growing in the south, sugar was added gradually into chocolate production. The process of making chocolate evolved into what it is today by the end of the 1800s.

From the Mayan period, the ingredients list found on most chocolates has grown to include more than just cacao. Some companies have decreased the cocoa content to reduce the production cost and extend the shelf-life of chocolate which has made the once precious delicacy a plethora of goods with endless varieties. Chocolate production in mass quantities was possible thanks to industrial advancements in the 1800s, which automated some of the labor-intensive jobs. Chocolate became more affordable, and the number of chocolate lovers increased quickly.

As demand increased, cacao became a commodities crop that could be traded easily in the market for bulk commodities from West Africa to the major chocolate makers for mass production. Five companies control more than 50% of the chocolate industry, and 99 per cent of the Halloween candy available on the shelves was manufactured months or years ago by only three companies. Profits from corporate operations made chocolate a popular confection into a daily snack for many Americans and Europeans. Our desire for chocolate is quickly satisfied because chocolate is readily available at all times. Although these companies make 43 per cent of every chocolate bar they sell, cacao producers earn just 3 per cent of the profits, living in harvest-to-harvest based on the amount of cacao they grow. The supply chain for cacao can leave many farmers in poverty and imagine that their harvest might be eaten by a group of Americans and Europeans unaware of how their chocolate got to the local grocery stores.


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