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Cocoa butter is a plant-based fat derived from cocoa beans that impart the creamy, aromatic, and smooth texture to various edible and non-edible products. It has a light yellow color, low melting point, and an irresistible chocolate aroma and smell.
According to CBI – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the largest supplier of cocoa butter from a cocoa-producing country is Ivory Coast, with nearly 80,000 tonnes, followed by Ghana with 60,000 tonnes and Indonesia with 32,000 tonnes. However, supply from Ivory Coast decreased slightly by 1.4 % between 2015 and 2019.
Companies are focusing on the production of natural products because of rising consumers' demand for chemical-free ingredients; this leads to an increase in demand for organic cocoa butter. For instance, PlanetBIO's cocoa butter products have an organic certificate confirmed by European Union. Its cocoa butter is produced from the criollo type, known as the finest and most prized cocoa on the planet. It has a vibrant and complex aroma full of long-lasting flavors. However, its cultivation requires more knowledge and care, making criollo products more expensive and more flavorful, nutritious, and of better quality.
Cocoa butter is one of the most stable fats globally, which has various uses in chocolate confectionery, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and other products. Cocoa beans are preferred by manufacturers to the primary production of all chocolates by consumers because of their medicinal and nutritional uses. Cocoa butter is a crucial ingredient in most chocolates (white, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate). This application continues to dominate the consumption of cocoa butter.
Pharmaceutical companies make extensive use of the physical properties of cocoa butter. For example, it is considered the ideal base for medicinal suppositories as a non-toxic solid at room temperature that melts at body temperature.
Cocoa butter is rich in fatty acids, so it is often touted to hydrate, nourish and improve elasticity. The fats in cocoa butter form a protective layer on the skin to retain moisture. Cocoa butter also contains natural plant compounds called phytochemicals, a substance that improves blood flow to the skin and protects against harmful UV rays. Everyday use of cocoa butter is to smooth scars, wrinkles, and other marks on the skin. All these benefits of cocoa butter make it a desirable cosmetic ingredient that can further drive the demand for the product across the cosmetics & personal care industry.
There is a strong demand for substitutes due to the increasing prices of cocoa butter. However, alternatives like palm oil, soybean oil, rapeseed oil, and cottonseed oil can restraint the growth of the cocoa butter market due to cost efficiency. In addition, alternatives to cocoa butter improve the fat profile of the finished product and the stability of the fat. Thus, these can further restraint the demand for products.
Key Market Driver -
Increasing Application in Various Industries
Key Market Restraint -
Availability of Cost Effective Substitutes
The leading manufacturers operating in the global cocoa butter market are Cargill Incorporated., Dietz Cacao Trading B.V., Jindal Cocoa LLP, Carst & Walker (C&W), Chocolate Alchemy, Olam International Limited, JB Foods Limited, Barry Callebaut AG, Natra S.A., Bolmay Cocoa, and others.
By type, the organic cocoa butter segment is expected to see considerable growth in the forthcoming years. Organic cocoa butter has intact nutritional value as for processing the butter; beans are not roasted. As a result, the flavor of organic cocoa butter is vibrant and intense. For instance, supplies from Sierra Leone, an emerging supplier of organic cocoa to the European market, increased by 18% between 2015 and 2019, amounting to 16 thousand tonnes in 2019. In 2019, 70% of European cocoa bean imports from Sierra Leone were organic.
By end-use, the food industry is expected to hold a significant share in the global market. Cocoa butter is an essential ingredient in chocolate and other confectionery items. Its unique composition gives the desired physical properties to the final manufactured product. For instance, couverture chocolate contains extra cocoa butter, which gives it a shiny finish and easily flows. For this reason, it is often used to coat or glaze cakes and pastries. In addition, it is valued for the unique physicochemical properties caused by its particular fatty acid composition. Most of the triacylglycerols (TAGs) found in cocoa butter are symmetric and contain minimal highly unsaturated fatty acids.
In the pharmaceutical industry, cocoa butter is used for its physical properties, as cocoa beans are highly antioxidant, as they contain large amounts of polyphenols and flavonoid antioxidants. It also strengthens the immune system, improves heart health, and relieves constipation.
In the cosmetics and personal care industries, cocoa butter is used to make lotions, creams, ointments, lip balms, hair oils, and bath gels. It has the potential to reduce wrinkles and hair loss, skin inflammation and also eliminates scars. Therefore, this segment is expected to see significant growth in the upcoming years.
Europe region is expected to hold the largest share in the cocoa butter market. Specialty chocolate makers in Europe commit to using 100% cocoa butter in their products. According to CBI – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands is home to significant cocoa processors such as Cargill, Ecom/Dutch Cocoa, and Olam. The exceptionally high production of cocoa butter in the Netherlands is also explained by a large group of vegetable oil refineries. Ivory Coast and Ghana are the leading suppliers of cocoa butter to the European market. Indonesia is the third-largest non-European supplier of cocoa butter, with exports to Europe of 32 thousand tonnes in 2019.
According to CBI – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2019, Europe's 3.1% of cocoa butter imports came directly from cocoa-producing countries in Latin America. The leading suppliers are Peru (8,442 tons), Mexico (5,680 tons), Ecuador (2,535 tons), and Colombia (1,931 tons).
All countries registered increasing supplies to Europe, with year-to-year growth of around 20% between 2015 and 2019. This growth in supplies to Europe is explained by the increasing consumer demand for high-end chocolate products, where consumers expect cocoa butter and no substitution of vegetable oils. The European Union is a bit more flexible as described in the European Chocolate Directive 2000/36/EC, which allows for up to 5% substitution of cocoa butter while keeping chocolate as the product name.
North America is predicted to see growth in forthcoming years due to its high cocoa butter demand in the food & beverage sector. In the United States, the Standard of Identification (21 CFR 163) requires the exclusive use of cocoa butter as a fat source in the production of chocolate. Therefore, any addition of a cocoa butter substitute will need the manufacturer to rename the chocolate product.
Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to witness the highest CAGR growth during the forecast period. The increasing demand for confectionery and bakery products sets the stage to grow for the cocoa butter market in the region. In addition, significant processors are opening and expanding their production facilities in the area, leading to lower prices for cocoa butter. The World Cocoa Organization predicts that global demand for chocolate will continue to grow as disposable income increases in developing markets such as China, Brazil, and India.
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