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Nov 25, 2022 5:40:56 PM6 min read

Why should you bet on single-origin chocolates to grow your business?

Nowadays, consumers prefer high-quality chocolates with natural ingredients and sustainable products that are good for health. Important growing trends such as single-origin and sustainability-focused products gain significant market share according to Mordor Intelligence.

Single-origin chocolate has been a growing trend in the food industry in recent years, but what opportunities lie behind them for chocolate entrepreneurs, private label brands and category managers in an increasingly competitive market? 

Navigate through this menu and discover the opportunities behind single-origin chocolates:

Single-origin chocolate: market & consumption

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a drop in premium chocolate sales worldwide due to logistical and production issues and supply chain disruptions. Gradually, however, the market is beginning to recover and show significant signs of growth. According to Mordor Intelligence, the global premium chocolate market is expected to witness a CAGR of 8.96% during the forecast period 2022 – 2026. 

The study found that this market recovery is leveraged by the growing demand for healthy, organic and environmentally friendly products. Today's consumers are more conscious of the impact their purchasing decisions have on the planet and their health, which is why trends such as ethically sourced chocolate, single-origin and sugar-free are increasing.

Ethical - Human & Convenience - Consumption among the single origin product claims which have grown the most among product launches in the last 3 years, 

"The demand for premium cocoa is growing across the globe, especially in the northern and western countries. This development is driven by the health trend and the quest for more exclusive products. As a result, sales for premium products are increasing (for example, speciality and fine flavour chocolate, single-origin and chocolate with sustainability certification)”, Mordor Intelligence 2022.

single origin chocolate portfolio

Thus, consumers prefer the best quality chocolates, with natural, single-origin ingredients and sustainable artisanal production, rather than mass-produced products. The growth in share of launches over the last 3 years in single-origin chocolate products is 7.3% with a CAGR 2017-2022 of 17.7% (Innova Market Insights, 2022), representing an excellent opportunity for brand owners or retailers who are looking for unique and innovative products.

Dark chocolate on the rise

The demand for gourmet dark chocolate products is growing also. According to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), the preference for dark chocolate increases with age and is highly sought after by the boomer generation. Nowadays, consumers are increasingly aware of the health benefits of dark chocolate due to its higher concentration of cocoa. 51% of American consumers define dark chocolate as "better for you" and perceive it as a much healthier food (NCA, Sweet Insights: State of Treating 2022).

single chocolate bars perception

Actually, the amount of cocoa is a decisive purchasing factor for consumers: 41% of people who prefer dark, or a mix of chocolate types say the cacao percentage influences their purchase decision, whilst products with cocoa content between 71%-75% are the most popular, followed by a range between 66%-70% cocoa (NCA,  Getting to know Chocolate Consumers 2021).

Travel through Flavour

In the wake of pandemics and prolonged quarantines worldwide, today's consumer is looking for food products that deliver excitement and experiences through the palate. This phenomenon has been seen in the market in the growing demand for exotic and innovative flavours. A report by Innova Market Insights found that, after the pandemic, one in two consumers want to be more adventurous and experiment with new flavours, combinations and textures in their food.

Likewise, consumers prefer products that can prove their ingredients' origin and are fully transparent in their food-producing processes. Especially in the premium chocolate market, the sourcing country or region matters significantly more to fine chocolate consumers. 58% of American chocolate consumers prefer a specific cacao-sourcing region or country. (NCA, Getting to know Chocolate Consumers 2021)

single origin preference on usa consumers*American chocolate consumers

The fact is that making single-origin chocolates goes far beyond simply offering a product from a particular region. It is about creating a "real sense of place", providing travel through the palate. Consumers are more attracted to brands that claim an origin and have a remarkable story behind them.

At Luker, we go beyond producing chocolate; we craft chocolates that connect farmers and consumers through the expression of origin. This is where our 'Selected Origins’ portfolio represents an opportunity to reach those consumers eager for unique sensory experiences. 

Our Single Origin Ecuador 72% dark chocolate couverture, is a brand-new addition to the Selected Origins portfolio. Sourced directly by us,  Ecuador 72% is made exclusively with Ecuadorian fine flavour cocoas, and designed as a pure expression of the country’s traditional cocoa farming, fermentation practices and terrain. This aromatic dark chocolate embodies Ecuador’s rich heritage and offers its clients the opportunity to experiment with its unique floral flavours and subtle fruity notes.

Charm your customers with a unique chocolate flavour

Our Selected Origins line provides new opportunities for clients to create single-origin dark chocolate products that celebrate the unique flavour and heritage of their origin. Among the single country selection, we are proud to offer Colombia 70%, Perú 72%, and now Ecuador 72%. 

single origin chocolate portfolio

"This formulation was born from analysing a sample of cocoa beans from the Ecuadorian region, in which we found unique aromas and flavour attributes. We were inspired to create a chocolate that would highlight this unique feature while balancing its nutty and citric undertones,” says Rildo Castillo, Director of Technological Development at Luker Chocolate.

With a cocoa content of 72%, the exquisite taste and aroma of this new couverture and its versatility for confectionery applications, make it the perfect ingredient to unleash your creativity. "Single-origin chocolates such as Ecuador 72% are an excellent taste alternative for customers looking for special flavours. This product has an outstanding functionality in various applications for final products such as toppings, decorative figures, chocolate bars with and without inclusions, fillings and as a complement in various desserts," says Castillo.

The Flavour of Single Origin Ecuador 72%

Thanks to its privileged location, Ecuador's climate and soil are favourable for the cultivation of Cacao Fino de Aroma. As a product, cocoa is one of the country’s main exports with a millenary tradition behind it. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), this country is the fifth-largest producer of cocoa in the world and the leader in the export of Cacao Fino de Aroma, producing 65% of this type of cocoa.

ecuador single origin chocolate flavour

Expert chocolatiers worldwide highly desire Cacao Fino de Aroma from Ecuador, recognized internationally for its characteristic flavour. Thanks to its reputation and unique quality, in 2009, it received the country's first denomination of origin (DO). This recognition exalts both its excellence and the ancestral knowledge behind its growth.

But what exactly does our new couverture Ecuador 72% taste like? Bursting with a vibrant personality, this single-origin chocolate is distinguished by delicate floral notes. 

“We designed this couverture to naturally highlight the unique floral notes characteristic of Ecuador’s fine flavour cocoas. This chocolate can be the perfect canvas for high-end chocolatiers wanting to pair slightly bitter ingredients such as tea or spices, or a luxurious snack for adventurous dark chocolate lovers.“
Chief of Design and Product Development at Luker, Daniela Quintero

But it also tastes of its farmers' warmth, their love for cocoa, and their traditional harvest and fermenting practices passed on through generations. 

Ecuador 72% dark chocolate couverture was created with chocolatiers, brand owners and dark chocolate lovers in mind. With this new addition to our Selected Origins portfolio, we complete an outstanding offer to help brands develop custom artisan products through unique recipes that express their terroirs. Discover how our Selected Origins portfolio can bring a distinct taste to your creations here!