Since bursting onto the food scene in 2005, the bean-to-bar chocolate movement has allowed small-batch chocolate makers to distinguish their products from chocolatiers and mass-market manufacturers. With a hands-on approach that prioritizes craftsmanship and sustainability, bean-to-bar chocolate changed the way consumers and chocolate manufacturers saw the possibilities of their favorite confection.
But this single-origin craft movement isn’t only for small-batch producers anymore.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the root of the bean-to-bar chocolate craze as well as why it’s so important for larger brands to consider a shift in their own sourcing game.
What is bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturing?
Instead of relying on industrial manufacturing lines and mass production, bean-to-bar makers rely on a far more hands-on approach to creating their unique products.
From cleaning to roasting, cracking, winnowing, and grinding the bean, this is far from a low-effort product. But what it offers chocolate makers is full control over the process and the final product.
What was born out of curiosity and wanting to learn how chocolate was made has evolved into a product niche that may be the answer to the cacao market’s sustainability. Because bean-to-bar production also means chocolate makers also have full control over where their beans are sourced from.
What makes single-origin cacao bean sourcing unique?
Mass-produced cacao loses much of its character and provenance through industrial refineries. On the other hand, unrefined single-origin cacao products allow chocolate makers to incorporate the natural flavors and character of a specific region’s cacao beans into their chocolate line.
For example, the Peruvian terroir (the combined elements that influence the characteristics of the crop) results in a cacao bean that offers fruity undertones along with the earthy flavor of the bean.
So the result of single-origin cacao products is a fuller-bodied product that is rich in flavors and remains unique among similar-tasting commercial products.
Raw cacao products are also far healthier than their mass-produced cocoa counterparts because they retain more of their minerals and antioxidants. Cacao nibs are packed with antioxidants, including flavonoids such as epicatechin, catechin, and procyanidins, which have been proven to contribute to lower risks of heart disease, certain cancers, and mental decline. These nutritional benefits are watered down the more refined the product becomes.
Why is the raw cacao bean market growing so rapidly?
What’s great for brands who want to explore the bean-to-bar market is the fact that they get to piggyback on the exponential growth of the global cocoa market, which is expanding in every which way.
Cacao is being used as a coloring and flavoring agent in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, healthcare, and cosmetics markets. And thanks to its strong aromatic properties, it’s become a valuable ingredient in toiletries as well.
So it should come as little surprise that the value of the global cacao market is projected to reach $79 billion by the end of 2032, increasing at a CAGR of 5% up to 2032.
This growth makes it the perfect time for businesses to explore the versatility of cacao now.
Bean-to-bar is no longer a small-scale movement
The “craft” approach of bean-to-bar chocolate may have begun as a small-batch movement, but established brands are beginning to explore the unique products that this direct-sourcing approach offers. But the increasing market size isn’t the only thing that’s changing.
The term “craft” carries with it a sense of elevation, longevity, and dedication. Yet it’s not just improved taste, impeccable craftsmanship, and the retention of local flavors that make the bean-to-bar approach such an important movement. Just as with other craft industries, such as craft beer or craft coffee, the focus of the movement extends to traceability and the creation of a more sustainable market.
And as larger brands embrace the sustainable and traceable benefits of single-origin cacao bean sourcing, more light is being shed on the aspects that are keeping the industry back and the sooner change can occur.
Why change is making Peru a sustainable source of cacao?
Peru is the largest organic cacao producer in the world (coming in at 9th place in the overall global cacao race) and produces some of the world’s finest cacao nibs. But Peru’s impact on the global cacao industry stretches beyond quality products.
The growing Peruvian cacao industry is providing new hope for next generation farmers who are forming part of something far larger than an export market. The dedication of newer generations in the cacao industry is a small part of a much larger effort to put an end to deforestation and empower women farmers in Peru. The objective of this change is to herald a new era of sustainable farming in Peru.
And in an industry that is still marked by child labor, deforestation, and even allegations of greenwashing, change is a vital factor in the journey to a better future.
But that’s exactly why traceable, single-origin sourcing is so important. And why it’s important to find a wholesale importer that works closely with reliable farming partners.
Ingredient Brothers: The single-origin sourcing partner you’ve been waiting for
As the bean-to-bar chocolate movement grows, so too does the need for reliable wholesale importers that understand the human story behind the hands-on craft movement.
And Ingredient Brothers is a company that was born out of that need.
Just like the small-batch chocolate makers who wanted to explore the finer intricacies of chocolate making, Ingredient Brothers is always exploring ways we can keep our hands in the game and get our feet dirty on the ground. Because we know a sustainable food industry is built on people, not products alone.
And where bean-to-bar chocolate may have begun as a small-batch movement, we’re helping brands access the same level of flavor quality through cost-effective bulk ingredient orders and warehousing that cuts the cost associated with small-scale orders.
So the only question now is, what innovative and delectable chocolate products can we expect from you next? For personalized consultations and to delve into the world of chocolate possibilities, reach out to Emi, Fran, or Eran. And don’t forget to check our ingredient list in this link, offering a treasure trove of options to inspire your chocolate creations.