Gone are the days of “chocolate houses”, where chocolate was only available to the social elite. Nowadays, chocolate is everywhere. You need only walk down the road to buy a chocolate bar from your local shop, garage, or supermarket. Chocolate is mass produced across the globe and available in countless forms and flavours. Each year, more than 4.5 million tons of cocoa beans are devoured by chocolate lovers around the world, whether eaten as a chocolate bar or consumed as a chocolatey drink.
Every Christmas, the choice for chocolate treats and gifts is endless. Chocolate boxes, bars, packs, and variety packs from mainstream producers are practically shoved in your face, making it easy to and affordable to purchase chocolatey Christmas presents.
However, in this day and age, with a greater focus on healthy living, emotional wellbeing, and sustainability, is it time to make better choices with regards to the chocolate we eat and gift our loved ones?
Lower priced chocolate often equals lower quality chocolate
Since the days of the “chocolate houses”, because of the high demand for chocolate and the increase in production, standards of cocoa farming and the quality of the end product dropped significantly to keep the costs of mass-produced chocolate bars competitive. Sugar was added to sweeten the chocolate and milk to give it a creamier taste and texture.
Over time more and more ingredients have been added to some brands of chocolate, further reducing the overall cocoa percentage. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, for instance, has only around 26% minimum cocoa content, whereas their “dark” chocolate bar, Bournville, still only has around 36% minimum cocoa content.
Now, a lower cocoa percentage doesn’t always equal lower quality. That comes down to the beans used in the chocolate production as well as the number and quality of other ingredients added to the chocolate. Many mass-produced chocolate brands add a multitude of additional ingredients to improve the taste, consistency, or give it a longer shelf life, other companies add additional ingredients to mask the inferior taste of the lower quality cocoa beans.
One way to tell the quality of the chocolate you’re eating is by looking at the ingredients list. The first ingredient on the list is the main ingredient – the one that makes up most of the chocolate bar. If the first ingredients listed are sugar or milk, those are what make up most of the bar, not the cocoa mass.
At Ohso, for example, our Milk Chocolate bar (milk chocolate has a significantly lower cocoa percentage than dark) contains 37% cocoa with no added sugar. You’ll notice on a pack of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk that the first ingredient is milk, followed by sugar, then cocoa butter, and then cocoa mass. The first and main ingredient in our Milk Chocolate bar is cocoa mass.
What’s more, our Ohso Dark 70% Cocoa bar does precisely what it says on the tin… er… wrapper. It has 70% cocoa content. It also has no added sugar (along with those gut friendly bacteria), making it even better for you!
Give the gift of better chocolate this Christmas
Anyone can nip to the shop and buy bars (or a box) of chocolates from the mainstream chocolate manufacturers.
So, why not give the gift of better chocolate this Christmas?
Instead of gifting the usual box of chocolates or variety pack, let your loved ones enjoy the sensory experience of higher quality chocolate.
At Ohso, we don’t just source high-quality cocoa beans direct from cocoa farmers through a sustainable partnership.
Each of our bars, made from delicious and high-quality Belgian chocolate, has over a billion “gut friendly bacteria” which, due to our unique encapsulation process, delivers these live bacteria to your gut three times more effectively than dairy products. The science behind this claim has been proven and approved by the European Food Standards Authority, so you know it’s genuine.
Great tasting, healthier Christmas chocolate
So, put down the box of generic chocolates you were going to buy that special someone and give them the gift of great tasting, high-quality, healthier, sustainable chocolate this Christmas.