Chocolate and the flavor of chocolate are famous the world over, and there are innumerable fans of the tasty flavor, which is produced from the cocoa plant. Various parts of the cocoa plant have been consumed for centuries and were even used as currency by the Aztec civilization. Overall, the cocoa plant produces cocoa beans, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter. The food and beverage industry has the single largest demand for the cocoa plant, but its applications in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals are on the rise.
There are immense health benefits of cocoa that have been increasing the demand for it in recent years. Cocoa is a rich source of antioxidants and helps reduce high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, bronchial asthma, neurodegenerative diseases, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Cocoa butter is considered to be an emollient and is used as a moisturizer and in lip balm.
Cocoa Market Size
According to the global cocoa market size, there is an immense demand for the various components of the cocoa plant, whereas the supply is limited with West Africa and Indonesia contributing to more than 70 percent of the total global cocoa supply. The key cocoa producing countries are Ivory Coast, producing 40 percent of the total supply, followed by Ghana for 20 percent and Indonesia at 9 percent. The main exporting countries are Ivory Coast for 37 percent of total exports, followed by Ghana for 19 percent and Cameroon for 7 percent. Meanwhile, the main cocoa importing countries are the Netherlands for 23 percent, the U.S. for 16 percent and Germany for 10 percent. Initial concerns of chocolate products being unhealthy due to sugar content have been overruled by scientific research confirming the health benefits.
Cocoa Market Global Outlook
The cocoa market global outlook is positive, driven by an increase in demand for the cocoa plant based on its uses in food and beverages, as a health supplement and for skin applications. However, the restricted supply poses a challenge for the global cocoa market.
- Cocoa plants have a specific climate in which they flourish and the climate requirements restrict large-scale production of cocoa products. As a tropical region plant, cocoa requires high temperatures, heavy rainfall, and protection by the cover of trees as direct sunlight is harmful. The soil quality is also important and strong winds must be avoided else the unripe pods can be blown off entirely. In addition, the crops of cocoa are highly labor intensive.
- Majority of the cocoa supply is provided by developing countries where there is often a lack of advanced farming equipment and high transportation costs. In comparison, a significant segment of the demand for cocoa is from developed nations. Farming protocols such as the hand-pollination method introduced by Ghana have increased the production volume of cocoa. Several major cocoa suppliers are also investing in developing more sustainable methods of cocoa farming and means to increase the overall production, so as to meet the increasing demands.
The market for cocoa and its derivatives is immense and growing at a rapid rate, driven by demands from the food and beverage industry. Chocolate, the most popular by-products of cocoa is a staple in baking, confectionery items, sweets, and desserts. Although the limited supply poses a challenge to the cocoa market size, the global outlook is positive due to the considerable demand for cocoa products.