Big Chocolate

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"Big Chocolate" is a business term assigned to multi-national chocolate food producers, akin to the terms "Big Oil," "Big Pharma," and "Big Tobacco".[citation needed]


According to self-described fair trade proponents including Ghanaian cooperative Kuapa Kokoo,[1][2] "Big Chocolate" companies are Mondelez (which owns Cadbury), Mars, Nestlé, and The Hershey Company. Together these companies process about 12%[citation needed] of the world's 3 million tons[3] of cocoa each year.

"Big Chocolate" also refers to the political and social effects of a unifying industry. Consolidated buying enables large cocoa users to wield significant impact in economies, many of them poor African nations, that rely on cocoa production as a critical element of foreign trade.[citation needed]


At the core of the chocolate debate across Europe, parts of Asia and the United States is the definition of chocolate itself, and whether percentages of cocoa in production should render some candies unable to carry the chocolate food definition.[citation needed]

At issue also is the ability to replace cocoa butter or dairy components of chocolate with cheaper vegetable fats or polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR), thereby reducing the quantity of actual cocoa in the finished product while creating a less healthy confection.[4] Currently the United States, some parts of the European Union and Russia do not allow vegetable fats as ingredients of products labeled as chocolate. The United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark allow vegetable fat as an ingredient.[5]

There are many ethical issues implicated in the chocolate industry, among them child labor, environmental impact, sustainability, and the extreme poverty of the average cocoa farmer. Food Technology reports over two million children working on cocoa farms in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire as a result of cocoa farmer poverty.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Swift, Richard (August 1998). "A cocoa farmer in Cadbury's court". New Internationalist. Archived from the original on 5 January 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2008.
  2. ^ Estis, Wynston (February 2004). "Fair Trade and Chocolate". Willy Street Cooperative. Retrieved 9 January 2008.
  3. ^ Strott, Elizabeth (21 March 2007). "World chocolate shortage ahead?". MSN Money. Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2008.
  4. ^ "Chocolate wars: Big Chocolate wants to make bars with even less cocoa in them – but not everyone thinks this is a good idea". New Internationalist. August 1998. Archived from the original on 5 January 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2008.
  5. ^ Osborn, Andrew (17 January 2003). "Chocolate war over after 30 years". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  6. ^ Hensel, Kelly (2018). "Making sustainable chocolate the norm" (PDF). Food Technology. 72 (1): 37–41 – via Google Scholar.

Further reading[edit]