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The Sweet Success of a Chocolate Business

If chocolate is your passion, this could be the business opportunity you've been waiting for.
November 17, 2006

The verdict is in: Chocolate has officially gone from sinful to unstoppable. In fact, trend-watching firm Datamonitor named chocolate "the new coffee" in a list of the top 10 trends to watch. But that's not all: Studies have come out demonstrating the health benefits of flavanoids often contained in dark chocolate. Sales are soaring (dark chocolate sales were up 40 percent in 2006, according to Mintel International), and entrepreneurial opportunities are rich with promise. "Chocolate is more popular today than ever before," says Joan Steuer, founder and president of Chocolate Marketing LLC, a Los Angeles consulting firm that specializes in strategic forecasting and tracking trends in the chocolate industry. So stop drooling and take a bite of the action. Dark, artisanal, organic, socially responsible and nutraceutically enhanced chocolates are especially hot varieties, according to Steuer. Opportunities also exist in chocolate cafes, chocolate fountains and chocolate education, such as tastings. And you can't go wrong with basics like chocolate snacks or a shelf-stable ganache. Says Steuer, "The world of chocolate is wide open for anyone to succeed if they take the right steps."

Getting Started
Thinking of launching your own brand of chocolate? Follow these tips: