Adding Air to Chocolate Bars to Increase Profits

Willy WonkaWhat would Willy Wonka think? Tom Mulier reports in Bloomberg:

The recipe for chocolate bars is fairly standard: cocoa, cocoa butter or other oils, sweeteners, and perhaps some nuts or a fruity filling. Now, with prices for cocoa, sugar, and other commodities soaring, candy makers are finding a simple ingredient — air — can help pump up profits.

Nestlé is making a big push for its aerated chocolate brand, Aero, Barry Callebaut is adding more air to fillings, and Cadbury last year launched a new version of its aerated Wispa bars after reintroducing the brand in 2007.

In the past four years, cocoa prices have more than doubled amid poor harvests and growing demand. On Feb. 22, cocoa hit $3,608 a metric ton, a level it hadn’t reached in three decades. The price of sugar, the additive candy makers have often looked to when cocoa prices soar, is also on the rise as bad weather has damaged crops in Brazil. Refined-sugar futures reached $857 a metric ton on Feb. 2, the highest level since at least 1989.

That makes air a natural progression. Chocolate density can be cut by as much as half by using carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide to make bubbles, says Stephen Beckett, the author of The Science of Chocolate and a former researcher for Nestlé. “If you aerate [chocolate], it tends to be creamier,” Beckett says. “Its density is so low it melts very easily, and gives you a different taste.”

Read More in Bloomberg

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  • Synapse

    Cocoa butter? Didn’t Hershey’s give up on that years ago?

    • Simiantongue

      I thought so. I tried reading the ingredients on a candy package I was going to buy the other day and I immediately regretted not paying attention in chemistry class. Didn’t really believe my teacher when he told me I’d need to know that stuff one day. Live n learn.

  • Synapse

    Cocoa butter? Didn’t Hershey’s give up on that years ago?

  • Simiantongue

    I thought so. I tried reading the ingredients on a candy package I was going to buy the other day and I immediately regretted not paying attention in chemistry class. Didn’t really believe my teacher when he told me I’d need to know that stuff one day. Live n learn.

  • justagirl

    nitrous oxide chocolate bubbles?!… mr. wonka, you have clearly outdone yourself this time. <3

  • justagirl

    nitrous oxide chocolate bubbles?!… mr. wonka, you have clearly outdone yourself this time. <3

  • jd

    Well, no kidding. Mfrs have been adding air to various foodstuffs for probably around three decades now. Air in chocolate? Have you never heard of a Three Musketeers bar? There is excess air whipped into margarine, frosting, mayonnaise … to make bread “lighter” and supposedly more healthy for you, they add air. They keep increasing the air in snacks like cheese puffs, marshmallows, whipped topping, and malted milk balls. Most of these products used to not have air whipped into them at all, and now the amount of air incorporated in them keeps increasing. And if it comes in a bag, the numbers are pretty shocking…. cutting a bag of potato chips from 8 ounces to less than five ounces and replacing the food with nitrogen.

    Do a web search on “slack fill” and you can see that Mucinex, for example, was fined for deceptive packaging. Consumer Reports and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have also been all over this idea of substituting food with air in packaging.

  • jd

    Well, no kidding. Mfrs have been adding air to various foodstuffs for probably around three decades now. Air in chocolate? Have you never heard of a Three Musketeers bar? There is excess air whipped into margarine, frosting, mayonnaise … to make bread “lighter” and supposedly more healthy for you, they add air. They keep increasing the air in snacks like cheese puffs, marshmallows, whipped topping, and malted milk balls. Most of these products used to not have air whipped into them at all, and now the amount of air incorporated in them keeps increasing. And if it comes in a bag, the numbers are pretty shocking…. cutting a bag of potato chips from 8 ounces to less than five ounces and replacing the food with nitrogen.

    Do a web search on “slack fill” and you can see that Mucinex, for example, was fined for deceptive packaging. Consumer Reports and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have also been all over this idea of substituting food with air in packaging.

  • TaschNY

    You must be new

  • TaschNY

    You must be new

  • Sdjfd

    in the UK and elsewhere nestle has had a product for decades called Aero, and there are other candies in europe with aerated chocolate. they introduced it to the US like 15 years ago and it didnt take off
    just a tidbit

  • Sdjfd

    in the UK and elsewhere nestle has had a product for decades called Aero, and there are other candies in europe with aerated chocolate. they introduced it to the US like 15 years ago and it didnt take off
    just a tidbit

  • http://www.GenuineThriving.com/ Jeremiah Stanghini

    In Canada, Aero Bars intentionally have air in them. In fact, that’s one of the selling features of the chocolate bar: “The airy bubbles!”

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jeremiah

  • Anonymous

    “Diet” chocolate, at the same or greater price.

  • greengestalt

    “Diet” chocolate, at the same or greater price.