chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on July 24, 2012 11:01 AM
McDonald's and Coca-Cola aren't the only food and snack brands whose sponsorship of the planet's premier platform for healthy living — the Olympic Games — has been challenged by healthy living advocates. Cadbury is the official snack brand of the London 2012 Summer Games, and has been conducting a marketing blitz in the UK including hosting a free interactive pavilion in London's Hyde Park from July 27 through Aug. 12. And it may not be such a stretch to argue that some chocolate products may aid health.
Dark chocolate long has enjoyed a solid reputation, luring health-conscious consumers to indulge in it who wouldn't be caught dead nibbling on milk chocolate. The reason is that cocoa "flavanols," which are more present in chocolate the higher the cocoa content is, can be good for blood circulation. According to the Wall Street Journal, the European Food Safety Authority has just moved the European regulatory structure one step closer to approving an official health claim for that connection, which some big candy manufacturers could then use on their labels.
Barry Callebaut, one of the world's largest makers of chocolate products and thus largest buyers of cocoa, says the claim could be applied by Nestle, Kraft and other customers to their packaging if it is approved by the European Commission. A final decision is expected at the beginning of 2013. Callebeaut has a proprietary process that preserves most of the flavanols in dark chocolate, and the company predicts great market potential for applications in beverages, bars and cookies. That's why it's excited for EU backing of research showing that even a small portion of dark chocolate — the flavanols found in only 0.35 oz. — would contribute to normal blood flow.
Of course, the nutritional problem with chocolate is that it also includes fats and sugars, which is why it remains an easy candidate for most lists of junk foods, along with other confections. So in the United States, Kraft — which sells the Cadbury brand overseas but not in America — has come up with its own better-for-you innovation: lower-calorie chocolate. Kraft has filed a patent for a lower-calorie chocolate formulation that delivers an eating experience similar to that of regular chocolate, according to Candy & Snack Today. It could offer a substitute for high-calorie ingredients such as fat and sugar with water.
While a boon for chocolate lovers, attaching health claims is not taken lightly, especially as according to Reuters, the "European Union has been clamping down on health claims for food products, approving only some 200 out of over 2,500 applications earlier this year and giving food companies until the end of 2012 to remove any rejected claims."
Below, find out more about the Cadbury House activation for the London 2012 Summer Olympics: