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23-25 JUNE


The 2022 Chocolate Makers’ Forum is taking a deep dive in the market. What can be down to follow the footsteps of other craft food and drink markets and win the heart (and wallet) of the consumer. How to communicate openly and understandably on sustainability? How can chocolate makers from cocoa producing countries have better access? What will the market of the future look like?



1- Growing the market for craft chocolate

The market for craft chocolate is growing slowly, but it is still far away from te successes of the specialty coffee market, the craft beer market or markets of ‘terroir products’ such as wine or even cheese. How come and what can be done about this? A common error in many industries for small companies is to not take sufficiently into account what the consumer wants and needs. What are the elements consumers are looking for when they choose one brand over the other? What message do you want to convey with your products? How to make the consumer understand that craft chocolate stands out from industrial confectionery chocolate and that it is worth paying the price?

2. Communicating sustainability of craft chocolate to consumers

Consumers are looking for information on the sustainability of the cocoa production and the supply chain of chocolate. Craft chocolate makers are struggling with this. Certification is expensive and in most cases it does not cover the efforts of the people that are active in craft chocolate supply chains, that often go beyond the requirements of certificates. How to reach the consumer with a convincing message?

3. Distribution of value in the supply chain: how to ensure a larger share for cocoa producing countries?

Since the beginning of the chocolate industry, western countries have kept the largest part of the cocoa value chain for themselves. Nowadays we see chocolate makers in cocoa producing countries popping up. They serve markets in their own countries and many are already exporting to western markets. The craft chocolate market seems to be the best fit. What is the potential? How can they be supported? Is this threatening the viability of European and US chocolate makers?

4. Unexpected flavors, super chocolates, what will tomorrow’s chocolate market look like?

Competition in the craft chocolate market is increasing. In order to stand out, there are two solutions: either be different from the competitors or attract new customers in the market. One or the other, the key feature remains the same: innovation. Facing the choice among the craft chocolates, consumers are looking for new experiences: flavors, textures, but also new ways of consuming chocolate. How do chocolate makers look at these developments and what do they have in mind themselves?

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