Cocoa Craz-E

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Children Delight in it, Women Crave it and Men are Attracted to it… “it” is nothing other than, Chocolate!

Produced from the seed of the Theobroma Cacao Tree and cultivated since about 1100 B.C… cacao solids contain properties that are linked to serotonin and activating psychological effects on the brain, like: alkaloids, theobromine, phenethylamine and caffeine. The seeds have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented, to deliver flavor, by: drying beans following fermentation, then after they are cleaned, roasted, removed from their shell, they are produced into cacao nibs, which are ground into a cacao mass that is liquefied and molded into chocolate liquor, cocoa solids or cocoa butter.

But Chocolate has evolved from just being the go to comfort- food, you turn to after you break up with your boyfriend. You see, cacao is now in such high demand, it’s the Gold of the confectionary world. Due to a shortage of cocoa beans, which are the foundation, once roasted and ground to make chocolate, these beans are now outperforming on the broad global commodity index.  Originally from the Americas, now West Africa produces 2/3 or 70% of the world’s cocoa beans. Due to the extraordinary dry weather, which is rumored and expected to harm West Africa’s next harvest, experts say supplies will fall short of demand for the first time since 2010.

According to The Wall Street Journal the global cocoa supplies have been affected by a few factors; chocolate was not recession proof, but it came back with a big bang, and is expected to lurk over future markets at about $5.4 Billion, with an estimated cost of $12.25 per 1 Kilogram of Chocolate. According to market research from Euromonitor International chocolate is expected to hit an all time high this year, with a 45% increase from 2007 and proof of this coming hand-in-hand with the 21% hike of cocoa, in the 3rd quarter alone.

This rising cost of chocolate is being attributed to heightening levels of consumer confidence in Europe and the Americas; as the global market becomes more confident with their spending of money on commodities like confections, the demand for premium brand dark- chocolate rises.

One of the many fears making confectioners nervous, as we approach the holiday season, is that Americans and Europeans have bought into the craze of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate happens to require more cocoa beans per ounce than milk chocolate, this compiled with the highly publicized health benefits of cocoa, candy makers are worried that price and consumption may tread further apart, if the ultimate go-to confection becomes too costly.

So as we are all anxiously awaiting the mid-October output indications of what traders will be getting on the market, here is a list of health-benefits you can attain from nibbling on dark chocolate:

      In moderation, chocolate can lower blood pressure,

      Positive effects on the circulatory system,

       Reduction in the risk of cardiovascular problems &

       Reduction in high blood pressure, and

         Dark chocolate has been linked to lowering cholesterol levels &

         Lowering body mass index.