Wrigley Pacific appoints new general manager

Confectionary company Wrigley Pacific has appointed Patrick Gantier as General Manager.

Gantier, formerly the General Manager, Mars Food France, has a 20 year career in fast moving consumer goods throughout Europe and the US. Joining Mars Food France in 2008 as Marketing Director, he was appointed General Manager in 2011. Under Gantier’s leadership as General Manager, Mars Food France delivered four years of sustained business growth.

Prior to joining Mars, Gantier worked for 12 years in various marketing roles in France, Central Europe and the US for prominent French multinational cheese manufacturer BEL, where he had success in building brands and effective marketing teams in diverse market environments. Mr Gantier has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance and a Master’s degree in Marketing.

Gantier is joining Wrigley Pacific at an exciting time, with the company recording excellent growth in 2015 off the back of its well-executed relaunch of category-leading Extra chewing gum and the popularity of highly successful brands like Starburst, Skittles and Eclipse mints.

As a subsidiary of Mars, Wrigley Pacific was jointly recognised as one of Asia’s Best Multinational Workplaces 2016, ranking at number eight in the Great Place to Work Awards and the only manufacturing business in the Top 10. It was also recognised as one of Australia’s best workplaces in 2015 by the BRW Great Place to Work Awards. Together, all Mars subsidiaries were ranked as the 15th best places to work in the country, and the only manufacturing businesses in the Top 25.

“It is a great time to be joining Wrigley Pacific,” Gantier said. “We are excited to have the opportunity to explore how we can use local and global shopper insights to partner with retailers and implement forward thinking merchandising solutions. I’m thrilled to be working with such a high performing team and look forward to driving ways in which we can improve the shopping experience and continue to deliver impressive results to drive growth in the gum, mint and confectionery categories.”

Blue Ribbon And Darrell Lea combine for ice cream family treat

Streets Ice Cream has announced a partnership between Australian family favourite Blue Ribbon and creative confectioners Darrell Lea.

The two heritage brands have come together to create two new flavours; Blue Ribbon Darrell Lea Peanut Brittle Crunch and Blue Ribbon Darrell Lea Coconut Rough Chips.

Streets Blue Ribbon has been enjoyed by Australians since 1968. Its creamy buttermilk recipe has made Blue Ribbon vanilla a family favourite, complementing any dessert and these new additions to the range will offer wider choice from the much-loved brand.

Following in the footsteps of the successful launch of Blue Ribbon Golden Gaytime last year, this latest innovation within the Streets Ice Cream portfolio signals its growing expansion and increased focus on developing ultimate frozen take-home treats.

Streets Ice Cream Marketing Director Anthony Toovey said: “Blue Ribbon is a true-blue Aussie favourite and Darrell Lea is one of our iconic chocolate brands so we were thrilled to be able to bring these two classics together at last. Innovation is key for us and in this highly competitive market and it’s important we meet the increasing demand from flavour fanatics who are looking for a new after dinner sweet treat.”

The shift toward premium, indulgent offerings has manifested itself largely through a wider variety of flavours. Streets Ice Cream is staying abreast of this trend by always reviewing its range to ensure they are offering the best possible ice cream and a wide range to consumers with varying tastes.

This Easter, Bunnies are out but Bilbies are in

Australian sweet specialists, Fyna Foods, is encouraging Aussies to ‘ban bunnies’ and instead support native wildlife this Easter, unveiling a newly refreshed Australian Bush Friends chocolate range in partnership with the Save the Bilby Fund.

For the fourth year running, the partnership will see up to 30 cents from the sale of each specially-marked Australian Bush Friends pack going to the country’s most iconic endangered marsupial, the Bilby, with potentially as few as 400 – 600 left in Queensland, where Save the Bilby Fund focuses its work.

The much-needed funds raised will continue to contribute to ongoing conservation efforts to prevent extinction, including support for the population of captive-bred Bilbies, relevant academic research, and expansion and support of the national recovery program.

According to Fyna Foods CEO, Gillian Powell: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Save the Bilby Fund and believe the launch of our newly rebranded Australian Bush Friends range will help to bring the focus back to Australian wildlife this Easter, whilst providing a year-round awareness about the importance of protecting this endangered native animal.”

The new range will introduce ‘The Gang’ of five unique edible characters: Billy the Bilby, Chrissy the Koala, Anna the Kanga, Tom the Frog and Terry the Tasmanian Devil.

“As an Australian-owned company, this cause really resonates with Fyna Foods. We raised over $33,000 last year and are dedicated to raising the bar even higher in 2016,” Powell said.

Save the Bilby Fund CEO, Kevin Bradley, said: “It is wonderful to once again have the support of Fyna Foods to help ensure this unique and iconic Australian animal lives on by putting our precious wildlife at the front of mind, not only at Easter, but every day of the year. We are determined to see our Bilbies remain for future generations.”

China leads sugar and gum confectionery market

China continues to lead the global sugar and gum confectionery market, while the US remains second, according to a Global Annual Review for 2016.

The poor performance of sugar and gum confectionery in developed markets is attributable to a number of causes, ranging from the continued sluggish behaviour of gum sales to the global obesity pandemic, which has led to a number of governments starting to intervene by taxing high-sugar products. As a result, consumers are cutting back on their sugar confectionery intake.

It is not just government intervention, but it is also the actions taken by parents. In a category with a strong focus on children, sugar confectionery has been in the spotlight not only because of its high sugar content, but also because of the artificial colour and flavour that are so popular in kid-focused products. Removing these ingredients and replacing them with natural equivalents have been expensive, and while the “free-from” products now suit parents’ requirements, they are not always agreeing with the sensibilities of children, who lament the passing of the electric blue and bright white candies they enjoyed.

In 2015, manufacturers continued to hunt for the “best” sweeteners for sugar confectionery, challenged by the fact that success in producing affordable confectionery with the “right” taste and texture continue to be elusive. At the same time, there has been growing interest in using confectionery as a delivery system for functional ingredients, an area that is likely to continue to gain in importance as manufacturers look for ways to justify consumers’ confectionery purchase.

Nestlé to develop iconic Italian chocolate brand internationally

Nestlé has announced a significant investment in Baci Perugina to further strengthen this iconic Italian chocolate brand on the world stage.

The company will extend and modernise its factory in San Sisto commune and establish a new business unit to drive global growth for its Italian chocolate business. This includes investing in marketing to grow Baci Perugina sales abroad.

Baci Perugina is already established as an historical brand in Italy. Now the company is looking to further its presence in its home country and also to make it into a symbol of ‘Made in Italy’ around the world.

The move will start with the set-up of the new Confectionery International Business Unit, which the Group has entrusted to Valeria Norreri, one of the key managers responsible for international expansion of S. Pellegrino brand (1.3 billion bottles sold in 145 countries).

Her work greatly contributed to transforming a mineral water into a product now recognized all around the world as a synonym of Italian excellence in the food and beverage market.

"I enthusiastically accepted this nomination; for me it is a new, exciting challenge" said Valeria Norreri, Nestlé Italy Confectionery IBU Manager.

"Baci Perugina has an exceptional legacy of tradition. Sales results of several countries confirm that the product has the potential to win in foreign markets. Now we have the opportunity to develop its value in international markets, relying on the Italian talent that combines the quality of know-how with passion and lifestyle. It’s more than just chocolate: we will tell the pleasure of surrounding with small things, gestures of love, and Italian-style flirting to create unforgettable moments made in Baci Perugina".

Already today, 40% of the volume produced at San Sisto goes to foreign markets, with Nestlé chocolate bars for all Europe. The modernization plan will increase the factory competitiveness, in order to sustain the business expansion plan.

New confectionery capabilities from tna at Prosweets 2016

One feature of the ProSweets 2016 exhibition will be tna’s flagship high-speed vertical form fill and seal (VFFS) packaging machine, the tna robag FX 3ci. 

Compact and easy-to-clean, the robag system is designed to package at top speeds from a single tube with triple rotary jaw action for a wide range of confectionery products from loose sugar-coated fruit sweets to pre-wrapped chocolate-covered hazelnuts. 

As a result, this bagger ensures optimum productivity by improving performance up to 30 per cent in terms of output and reducing the number of rejects, while achieving throughput rates never before thought possible.
In addition, tna has made it even easier and more efficient to operate its robag by simplifying the film system with its revolutionary tna robag auto-splice system. 

A key feature of the robag range, the auto-splice head increases packaging efficiency and product throughput by automatically switching to a new roll, reducing the need for manual intervention. 

This helps manufacturers to reduce film wastage as well as maximise performance and cut overall costs on the manufacturing line when bagging confectionery. 
According general manager for tna Central Europe, Andre Tombult, “As confectionery manufacturers increasingly search for fully integrated turnkey solutions, industry-leading technology and first-class service are of the upmost importance.”

New liquorice brand set to take off

Fyna Foods Australia has launched Superior Liquorice, a unique new soft eating liquorice brand designed to appeal to young adults and trendsetters.

By evolving Fyna’s existing liquorice recipe and product knowledge, the new range offers a variety of fragrant and sweet flavours, uniting soft liquorice qualities with smooth milk, dark and white chocolate options, all made in Fyna’s factory in Melbourne’s South East.

Fyna Foods Australia CEO, Gillian Powell, said: “We’re really excited about introducing a new and fun brand to Australia. As part of the research and development phase of Superior Liquorice Co, we recognised that soft eating liquorice has the potential to be marketed towards younger consumers, because their tastes are now a lot more adventurous than perhaps was previously thought.”

Ten flavours will be released under the new brand including Soft Eating Liquorice Bites, Raspberry Flavoured Soft Eating Liquorice Bites, Milk Chocolate Coated Liquorice Bites, Raspberry Flavoured Dark Chocolate Coated Liquorice Bites and Soft Eating Liquorice Wheels among others.

Racing the melt: the quest for heat-resistant chocolate

When I was conducting fieldwork on the chocolate industry in Ghana in 2005, I satisfied my cravings with Golden Tree chocolate bars. The brand was local, made with a fraction of Ghana’s enormous cocoa output by the Cocoa Processing Company in the coastal town of Tema.

Air-conditioned shops at petrol stations usually carried the brightly wrapped bars, especially in cities. But mostly it was women at roadside stalls or children who wove through traffic, transacting through car windows, who sold the chocolates.

As a chocolate lover, I enjoyed eating Golden Tree. As a researcher, I was intrigued by a particular quality: the chocolate never melted. Despite an average daily temperature of nearly 80 Fahrenheit (26 Celsius), Golden Tree chocolates retained their precise edges and pointed corners. This was a mystery, as the labels listed cocoa butter as the only fat.

So how did they do it? The global chocolate industry, whose value is expected to climb to nearly US$100 billion by 2016, would dearly love to know.

Melts in your mouth

Chocolate is compelling to the human palate partly because cocoa butter, the natural fat of the bean, melts at just below our body temperature, around 93F (33-34C). If you hold chocolate in your hand, it ought to melt. Obviously most of us would rather the chocolate melted in our mouths – hence the famous Mars M&M slogan and candy shells, designed to prevent premature melting. But this melting property of cocoa butter gives chocolate its distinctive mouth-feel, covering our taste buds thickly and evenly. We feel as well as taste.

The manufacturing step that keeps cocoa butter stable until it does reach our mouths is tempering. Cocoa butter fat crystallizes in six forms, and only the fifth of these produces the ideal shine and pleasing “crack” of fresh chocolate. Stored properly at room temperature, this form will maintain for a long time: dark chocolate generally has a two-year best-by date, and milk chocolate, one (due to the dairy). In my experience, these are conservative estimates. I have much older chocolate in my cupboard that remains unmelted and shiny.

However, if the chocolate heats up and then cools, the fat crystals break apart. The chocolate “blooms”: cocoa butter rises to the surface, creating a yellowish sheen or even a thick-ish layer of fat. It’s still edible, but obviously not very nice to look at, and bloom throws the texture off.

Blooming chocolate

In air-conditioned stores across North America and Europe, chocolate bars sit at checkout counters and retain their temper. But in hotter climes, selling chocolate is a persistent challenge.

For the global candy companies, which rely upon impulse buys that happen near the cash register, product visibility is key. This kind of placement is impossible when a shop is not air-conditioned. My experience in rural Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, is that chocolate either sits melting on a shelf or is at best buried in a chest freezer. There it remains unseen unless a shopper opens the freezer door.

Even in Africa’s mega-cities, which have better distribution infrastructure, finding in-temper chocolate is a challenge. In Lagos, Nigeria, where I live part-time, I buy imported chocolate from stores with modest air-conditioning and regular shipments. I always find a thin sheen of cocoa butter bloom on these bars. Somewhere between factory and store shelf, the cold chain failed.


Slightly bloomed chocolate, purchased in Lagos, Nigeria.


In short, keeping chocolate shiny and shaped like a bar is not easy. It requires a comprehensive cold chain, from refrigerated trucks to display cases that both maintain temper and offer high visibility. In rural areas, this cold chain must extend to villages where electricity is often lacking.

During my doctoral research, I interviewed rural shopkeepers in Ghana’s Ashanti and Western regions. For the most part, they chose not to stock chocolate, even though we were in the heart of cocoa-growing country. Chocolate that melted at higher temperatures might be a more attractive inventory for these shopkeepers.

This, in turn, could make chocolate more readily available to farmers themselves. Though they spend their lives growing cocoa, most farmers cannot afford to buy expensive chocolate bars for sale in towns and cities. A cheap, heat-resistant chocolate that stayed fresh in rural shops might make it possible for cocoa farmers to enjoy chocolate, too.


A chocolate-y morale booster for GIs. Army Quartermaster Foundation


Chocolate on the battlefield

Early innovations in heat-resistant chocolate did not focus on farmers, but on the armed forces. In 1937, Hershey began developing a heat-resistant bar for the US Army, which resulted in the Field Ration D.

According to the Hershey Community Archives, “It has been estimated that between 1940 and 1945, over three billion ration units were produced and distributed to soldiers around the world.” The corporation eventually received the Army-Navy E Award – given to companies that have “achieved outstanding performance on war production” – for creating the heat-resistant bar.

As Joël Glenn Brenner documents in Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars, the longstanding battle between these two chocolate giants for US market dominance has also played out as a rivalry for military supply contracts. This prompted further research into heat resistance as conflict moved to the sweltering Middle East over the 20th century.

Indeed, Glenn Brenner opens her book with the crisis that looms in Mars’ Middle East operations on the eve of the first Gulf War in 1990. As Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, the ensuing panic threatened Mars’ regional distribution network. At the time, Glenn Brenner notes, the region brought in sales revenue of $40 million. Those Snickers bars were not heat-resistant and, with distribution compromised, sales seemed doomed.

Ironically, the same conflict that threatened the fragile inventory ultimately supplied an alternative market: Mars sold the candy to arriving British and American armed forces. At the same time, the company enjoyed its real coup over Hershey. Mars was already supplying the armed forces with heat-resistant M&Ms. Though Hershey’s Desert Bar received US media attention during the Gulf War, the soldiers were eating Mars candy.

Growing demand for heat-resistant chocolate

Today, the target consumers for heat-resistant chocolate are civilians in emerging markets. These markets hold enormous potential.

In Chocolate Fortunes: The Battle for the Hearts, Minds, and Wallets of China’s Consumers, Lawrence L Allen documents the fierce competition among Cadbury, Hershey, Mars, Nestlé and Ferrero for the one billion potential customers in China. By 2008, he noted, “annual retail chocolate sales in China [were] approaching $1 billion” (p.203).

Seven years later, emerging chocolate markets include not just China but the Indian subcontinent, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Indo-Pacific. Euromonitor predicts that the combined markets for chocolate across Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa will surge more than 50% to $48 billion by 2019, Bloomberg Business recently reported. The fastest growth rates are predicted for the Middle East and Africa. These are places where cold chains are least developed. Hence, the solution to chocolate distribution lies in its melt.

Cracking the secret to heat resistance

As the taste for chocolate moves beyond the temperate zones and emerging chocolate markets swell, the quest for higher chocolate melting points has become more intense.

As Bloomberg reported, Barry Callebaut, one of the world’s largest chocolate-makers, can make a bar that remains stable at up to 100F. Nestlé, Hershey and Mondelez International also have heat-resistant projects in the works. Meanwhile, researchers at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences announced in April their discovery of the gene that determines cocoa butter’s melting point. If this gene can be manipulated, it may mean another route to heat-resistant chocolate.

Back in Ghana, I eventually gained entry to the Cocoa Processing Company factory in Tema. I had a tour of areas that made semi-finished products, including cocoa butter. But when we reached the section that made Golden Tree chocolate, I was told that no visitors were allowed. Instead, my guide led me back to reception, where I viewed a film on how they made their chocolate confections. I never did discover how Golden Tree became nonmeltable.

But the achievement is likely to be replicated on a much larger scale, and soon. As researchers and scientists race toward this engineering feat, the result will one day be a planet covered in chocolate – sharp and square, in its most pleasing form, and ready to melt where it ought: in our mouths.

The Conversation

Kristy Leissle is Lecturer at University of Washington, Bothell.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Heritage Dessert – Madagascan Vanilla Creme Brûlée

Product Name: Heritage Dessert – Madagascan Vanilla Creme Brûlée

Product Manufacturer: Chris' Dips

Launch date: July 2015

Ingredients: Reconstituted Skim Milk, Cream (28%), Pasteurised Egg Yolk (9%), Sugar, Cream Cheese [Milk, Cream, Milk Solids Non Fat, Salt, Vegetable Gum (410), Food Acid (270), Starter Culture, Preservative (235)], Thickener (1422), Stabilisers (407, 415), Madagascan Vanilla (0.9%) [Sugar, Madagascan Vanilla Bean Specks, Madagascan Vanilla Bean Extract, Natural Flavour], Preservatives (202, 211), Natural Colour (100). Sachet: Sugar Garnish

Shelf Life: 25 days

Packaging: Chris' European terracotta pot

Country of origin: Australia

Brand Website: www.chrisdips.com.au

What the company says: A gorgeously silky egg custard with luxurious Madagascan vanilla notes. To serve, sprinkle with the enclosed toffee garnish and place under a pre-heated grill for 3 minutes or until toffee caramelises. Alternatively a kitchen blow torch can be used. Allow to cool for 5 minutes prior to serving.


Heritage Dessert – Mixed Berry Mousse

Product Name: Heritage Dessert – Mixed Berry Mousse

Product Manufacturer: Chris' Dips

Launch date: July 2015

Ingredients: Yoghurt [Milk, Milk Solids, Skim Milk, Cream, Live Cultures], Mixed Berry Preparation (20%) [Strawberry, Sugar, Blueberry, Water, Blackberry, Raspberry, Corn Starch, Thickener (440), Acidity Regulator (330)], Sugar, Cream, Cream Cheese [Milk, Cream, Milk Solids Non Fat, Salt, Vegetable Gum (410), Food Acid (270), Starter Culture, Preservative (235)], Gelatine (Bovine), Stabilisers (440, 412), Preservatives (202, 211), Acidity Regulator (330), Natural Colour (163), Natural Flavour. Sachet: Toffee Garnish (Water, Sugar, Glucose, Salt)

Shelf Life: 25 days

Packaging: Chris' European terracotta pot

Country of origin: Australia

Brand Website: www.chrisdips.com.au

What the company says: A decadent mousse with sweet and tangy mixed berries and Greek-style yoghurt. Served with a roasted pistachio garnish.


Heritage Dessert – Madagascan Vanilla Panna Cotta

Product Name: Heritage Dessert – Madagascan Vanilla Panna Cotta

Product Manufacturer: Chris' Dips

Launch date: July 2015

Ingredients: Reconstituted Skim Milk, Yoghurt [Milk, Milk Solids, Skim Milk, Cream, Live Cultures], Cream (18%), Sugar, Cream Cheese [Milk, Cream, Milk Solids Non Fat, Salt, Vegetable Gum (410), Food Acid (270), Starter Culture, Preservative (235)], Gelatine (Bovine), Stabilisers (440, 412), Modified Starch (1442), Madagascan Vanilla (0.6%) [Sugar, Madagascan Vanilla Bean Specks, Madagascan Vanilla Bean Extract, Natural Flavour], Preservatives (202, 211), Acidity Regulator (330).

Sachet: Toffee Garnish (Water, Sugar, Glucose, Salt)

Shelf Life: 25 days

Packaging: Chris' signature European terracotta pot

Country of origin: Australia

Brand Website: www.chrisdips.com.au

What the company says: A deliciously light Greek-style yoghurt Panna Cotta with Madagascan vanilla throughout. Served with a toffee garnish.


Allen’s discontinues Spearmint Leaves and Green Frogs

A spokesperson has confirmed Allen’s ceased production of Spearmint Leaves and Green Frogs last year.

A spokesperson for the parent company of Allen’s, Nestle, said only two lolly variations are being deleted, despite false reports that Odd Fellows Mints, Sherbies and Marella Jubes would also disappear.

Nestle stopped production of the Spearmint Leaves and Green Frogs last year after “sales dropped right off over the years,” but some may still be in store. The two lollies were only being sold in bulk packets, typically to wholesalers.

Allen’s announced it would halve its Killer Pythons in October last year, in an effort to reduce the confectionery item’s serving size and therefore its sugar and calorie content, but the company said Allen’s Red Skins will remain the same size.

Reports suggested that Allen’s had “quietly discontinued” bags of Violet Crumbles, but Allen’s said the product was discontinued in five years ago, in 2010. Butter Menthol Kids were also discontinued in 2011 and Jelly Tots, 11 years ago, in 2004.


China presents opportunities for heat resistant chocolate

China is forecast to become the leading APAC chocolate market in 2018, a market that may present opportunities for the innovative.

Heat-resistant chocolate has resurfaced in the media, after a Swiss bulk chocolate manufacturer, Barry Callebaut released a thermo-tolerant chocolate, with a melting point up to 4 degrees Celcius higher than the normal 34 degrees Celcius. But Barry Callebaut isn’t the first, with the likes of Mondelez, Nestle and Hershey having already developed heat-resistant chocolate.

Heat-resistant chocolate could still provide opportunities for growth, particularly in the climates that traditionally turn chocolate into a melted blob.

According to Euromonitor, Japan (US$3.6 billion) was the biggest market in APAC/ANZ for chocolate confectionery sales in 2014, followed by China (US$2.7 billion), Australia (A$2.6 billion), India (US$1.7 billion), Indonesia (US$1 billion) and South Korea (US$570 million).

However, China is forecast to overtake Japan as the leading APAC chocolate market in 2018, with significant growth also predicted from India (and a strong performance by Japan) to drive much of the growth forecast for the Asia Pacific region over the next five years.

China and India are forecast to increase their chocolate confectionery markets by US$2 billion a piece, which represents 67 per cent total period (2015-2020) growth for China and 104 per cent for India.

While the Asia Pacific is predicted to lead confectionary growth, it’s forecast that the Middle East and African market won’t be too far behind.

“In five to 10 years, heat-resistant chocolate will be more important than premium chocolate in the Middle East and Africa, as they don't have the necessary infrastructure to keep it cool,” said Jack Skelly, Research Analyst, Euromonitor International.

But not all the analysts are convinced, with mouthfeel a concern.

“Mouthfeel will be the most important issue – specifically how to make a chocolate with a 50 degree melting point melt in a 37 degree mouth,” says Daniel Grimsey, Senior Research Analyst, Euromonitor International.


Cherry Ripe Double Dipped

Product Name: Cherry Ripe Double Dipped

Product Manufacturer: Cherry Ripe

Launch date: 3 June 2015

Ingredients: Dark Chocolate (45%), Coconut (15%), Glace Cherries (10%). Ingredients: Sugar, Cocoa Mass (Contains Sulphites), Glace Cherries (Cherries, Wheat Glucose Syrup, Colour (136), acidity regulator (330))). Wheat Glucose Syrup, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Vegetable Fat, Cocoa Butter, Milk Solids, Cocoa powder, Gelatine , Invert Sugar, Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, 476%). Colours (120,160(c)), Flavours, Mineral Salts (500,509). Dark Chocolate contains Cocoa Solis 43%.

Shelf Life: One year

Packaging: Individually Packed

Brand Website: www.facebook.com/cadburycherryripe

What the company says:

Cadbury has launched the Special Edition Cherry Ripe Double Dipped. Its addition marks a return to the Cherry Ripe portfolio after debuting in 2012.

Cadbury Cherry Ripe Double Dipped has cherries and coconut double dipped in Old Gold dark chocolate. 


Cadbury announces Vegemite-flavoured chocolate

Cadbury is set to release a Vegemite-flavoured chocolate bar on June 1.

Cadbury made the announcement on Twitter, along with three other new flavour combinations: golden toffee, pretzel & peanut and salted caramel.

Cadbury has launched the product as a part of its #ChocPlusWhat campaign, where it asks consumers what flavour combinations they would like to see.

The description on the bar reads “Dairy Milk milk chocolate with smooth flowing caramel and VEGEMITE.”

The Vegemite flavour combination was by far the most talked about on Twitter, with Cadbury following up with a video posted on their Facebook page.

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The most talked about flavour combination yet… is real! #ChocPlusWhat

Posted by Cadbury Dairy Milk on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Vegemite has been known for its pranks, announcing on its Facebook page on April fools this year that it would be launching a Vegemite museum in the shape of a Vegemite jar at its production factory in Port Melbourne.

Vegemite got into the spirit of things on April Fools’ Day last year; too, tricking consumers into believing it had launched an energy drink product.

Announced on Facebook, the post read “Start your day with our NEW Vegemite iDRINK 2.1 energy drink! Will you swap your Vegemite toast for this when you’re on the go?”


Mondelez profits following size cuts in Freddo frogs

Mondelez Australia’s profit for the year to December was up 43 per cent, assisted by cost cutting and a $30 million tax credit.

News Corp reports that the company – which makes products including under the Cadbury, Vegemite and Kraft brands – saw its revenue slip 3 per cent to $1.74 billion, losing market share to supermarket private labels.

The local part of Mondelez International saw savings through reducing its R&D spend by 60 per cent, reducing its workforce by 186 jobs, and cutting the size of its popular Freddo Frog and family-sized chocolate block products.

It also booked a $30 million tax credit. Net profit after tax was $168.1 million for the year to December.

"While we're pleased to have made some modest progress, we continue to operate in an environment that's tough for Australian manufacturers," Fairfax reports the local Mondelez managing director Amanda Banfield as saying.

"We're making good inroads by taking action to ensure the business remains sustainable and competitive (and) we've regained ground by focusing on cost reduction and efficiency increases, which we are using to invest in our well -loved brands."


Nanna’s Crumble Cakes

Product Name: Nanna's Crumble Cakes

Product Manufacturer: Patties Foods

Shelf Life: 18 months

Packaging: Foil tray in box

Product Manager: Hannah Audas

Brand Website: www.patties.com.au

What the company says:

Nanna’s has come up with an exciting new dessert that combines the comfort of cake with the cosiness of crumble, which is can be eaten either heated or simply thawed.

Nanna’s Crumble Cake comes in two delicious flavours, Lemon Coconut, and Choc Berry. Lemon Coconut Crumble Cake features fluffy cake with a deliciously tangy lemon curd filling and crunchy coconut crumble topping. The Choc Berry Crumble Cake is a chocolate cake with a berry sauce made with real raspberries and blueberries and a choc chip crumble topping.


Technique discovered for healthier, sweeter chocolate

Researchers from Ghent University in Belgium and the University of Ghana have discovered a way to make chocolate more nutritious – and sweeter.

The technique used by the scientists involves roasting the cacao beans at a lower temperature and leaving bean pods unopened for five days rather than split open right away.

Roasting the cocoa beans brings out the flavour, but some of the healthful polyphenols (antioxidants) are lost during the roasting process, so the researchers wanted to figure out a way to retain as much of the polyphenols and flavours as possible.

“We decided to add a pod-storage step before the beans were even fermented to see whether that would have an effect on the polyphenol content,” said Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, Ph.D., University of Ghana.

“This is not traditionally done, and this is what makes our research fundamentally different. It’s also not known how roasting affects polyphenol content.”

Afoakwa’s team divided 300 pods into four groups that were either not stored at all or stored for three, seven or 10 days before processing. This technique is called “pulp preconditioning.” After each storage period passed, fermentation and drying were done as usual. He reports that the seven-day storage resulted in the highest antioxidant activity after roasting.

To assess the effects of roasting, the researchers took samples from each of the storage groups and roasted them at the same temperature for different times. The current process is to roast the beans for 10-20 minutes at 248-266 degrees Fahrenheit. Afoakwa’s team adjusted this to 45 minutes at 242 degrees Fahrenheit and discovered that this slower roasting at a lower temperature increased the antioxidant activity compared to beans roasted with the conventional method.

In addition, the beans that were stored and then roasted for 45 minutes had more polyphenols and higher antioxidant activity than beans whose pods were not stored prior to fermentation. Afoakwa said pulp preconditioning likely allowed the sweet pulp surrounding the beans inside the pod to alter the biochemical and physical constituents of the beans before the fermentation.

“This aided the fermentation processes and enhanced antioxidant capacity of the beans, as well as the flavour,” he said. Afoakwa explained at a press conference that the new technique would be particularly useful for countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America where cocoa beans produce a chocolate with a less intense chocolate flavour and have reduced antioxidant activity.

The team will now study in more detail the effects of roasting on the flavour of freshly picked compared to stored cocoa beans. They will be testing different temperatures and roasting and storing times to determine if even higher amounts of antioxidants can be retained through the process.

A paper describing the research was published in the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development.


Charlie’s Bikkie Bites

Product Name: Charlie's Bikkie Bites

Product Manufacturer: Charlie's Cookies


Traditional Anzac Bikkie Bites: Unsalted Butter, Rolled Oats, Wheat Flour, Dessicated Coconut, Brown Sugar, Caster Sugar, Golden Syrup, Treacle, Water, Baking Powder and Cinnamon.

Handmade Double Choc Chip Bites: Wheat Flour, Couverture Dark Chocolate Chips (17%) [Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Emulsifier:Soya Lecithin; Vanillin], Vegetable Margarine [Vegetable Oils (60%), Water, Salt, Emulsifiers (471, Soya Lecithin), Milk Solids, Preservative (202), Food Acid (Lactic Acid), Colours (Annatto, Curcumin), Vitamins (A,D), Flavour], Brown Sugar, Caster Sugar, Whole Egg, Dessicated Coconut, Pregel [Wheat Starch], Cake Margarine [Vegetable Fats and Oils, Water, Salt, Emulsifiers (Soya Lecithin, 435), Milk Solids, Antioxidants [306 from Soya Bean, Flavours and Colours (160b, 100)], Vanilla Essence (Colours: E150b)], Baking Powder and Salt.

Passionfruit Heart Bites: Wheat Flour, Unsalted Butter, Castor Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Rice Flour, Whole Egg, Water, Dried Parrionfruit Seeds, Passionfruit flavour, Salt, Saffron Yellow.

Savoury Paprika Cheese Bites: Wheat Flour, Unsalted Butter, Shredded Parmesan cheese, Whole Egg, Baking Powder, Paprika, Salt, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper.

Gingerbread Baby Bites: Wheat Flour Unbleached, Brown Sugar, Butter, Golden Syrup, Spices, Sodium Bicarobonate, Wheat Starch, Salt, Vanilla Flavour, Water added.

Shelf Life: 9 months

Packaging: Sealed cello bag and cardboard box

Product Manager: Jacky Magid

Brand Website: www.charliescookies.com.au

What the company says:

This new range is a collection of old favourites and contemporary flavours include; Passionfruit Heart Bites, Gingerbread Baby Bites, Anzac Bikkie Bites, Handmade Double Choc Chip Bites and Savoury Parmesan & Paprika Cheese Bites

This range offers gourmet handmade biscuits (in the case of the double choc chip) at an affordable price. The square shape of the pack allows for vertical stacking which is not only practical but builds impact. The window in box, allows the consumer to see what it is they're buying.

Compared to some gourmet biscuit ranges (which are seen as more for special occasions or gifting), this range is for everyday enjoyment and is packed and priced accordingly.


Target Easter chocolate products recalled

Six of Target Australia’s Easter chocolate products have been recalled due to the potential presence of undeclared allergens.

The products which are being recalled are:

  • Target Milk Chocolate Bunny 900g, 500g, 200g, 100g
  • Target Dark Chocolate Bunny 100g
  • Target White Chocolate Bunny 500g, 100g
  • Target Milk Chocolate Duck 250g
  • Klett Easter Cone Mixed Bag of Chocolates 400g
  • Klett Milk Chocolate Sitting Bunny 150g

The recall is due to the potential presence of undeclared tree nuts and peanuts.

The label states ‘may contain shell fruit’ instead of ‘tree nuts and peanuts’.

Target said any consumers who have a tree nut or peanut allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if these products are consumed and customers who have a tree nut or peanut allergy or intolerance should not consume these products and should return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.