ADM (Archer Daniels Midland) Cocoa has released a new addition to its Unicao range of cocoa liquors from Ghana cocoa beans, following the release of a similar product from its Ivory Coast facilities last month.
ADM said its new UGNM 1030 cocoa mass is suitable for both milk and dark chocolates.
When asked whether UGNM 1030 is targeted only at the premium end of the chocolate market and how costly it is, Rinus Heemskerk, innovation director at ADM Cocoa told FoodNavigator.com:
“Cocoa mass is more expensive than cocoa butter and so there is a clear interest in products that can provide more flavour and colour. This new cocoa mass offers a rich chocolate taste and an intensely dark colour, and can therefore help chocolate manufacturers to contain costs.”
The new product is produced at ADM’s cocoa processing facilities in Kumasi. The processor also has a range of cocoa liquors from the Ivory Coast, including the recently launched UINM 3050, again for both dark and milk chocolate.
Heemskerk explained that UGNM 1030 and UINM 3050 are two very different products. “UINM 3050 is a very mild, 100% Ivory Coast liquor, whilst UGNM 1030 has an intense flavour and is made from full body, roasted 100% Ghana cocoa beans.”
Role of cocoa liquor
The processor claims the single most important factor in determining the flavour of milk and dark chocolate is the cocoa liquor.
Heemskerk added that a full roast does not necessarily result in a burnt bean and bitter flavour. In fact, “our technological expertise means we are able to use the full roast to maximise the potential of the cocoa bean and express its full flavour,” he added.
ADM is seeing value in leveraging the premium sector. Heemskerk told sister site ConfectioneryNews.com last month that "affordable indulgence" was one of the key drivers for chocolate confectionery NPD, as highlighted by the most recent Mintel Global NPD Category Insight.
"That means that premium products are desired across the category, from the most exclusive chocolate boutiques to private label producers," he said.
Dark chocolate gains
Dark chocolate had also grown in popularity within the EU over the past few years, Heemskerk remarked. "Over the last few years, dark chocolates have gained in popularity. Health perception and research on possible beneficial health effects have supported this trend."
He added: "Chocolate bars with very high cocoa content of 70% and more are preferred by consumers. However, the EU is not a homogeneous market, and there are large differences between, for instance, the UK and France."