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FCIA Member Happenings

  • October 04, 2018 9:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Last month, I placed an online order for 70 percent, single origin chocolate from Bolivia.  A couple of weeks later, three carefully wrapped tablets arrived at my home, each costing approximately $10.  This was hardly an impulse purchase and the experience was completely different than buying a chocolate bar from my local convenience store.  After sharing the bars with family members, we discussed the unique flavors and smoothness, and unique attributes of the different chocolates.

    My cousin asked me a reasonable question: Why did these bars cost so more than mass-produced chocolate?

    His query brings to mind this recent The Huffington Post article that well explains the cost dynamics. First of all, smaller batches of beans which have been carefully grown, fermented and dried by cocoa farmers demand a premium price.  Fine chocolate companies also use other quality ingredients without substitutes. Finally, artisan chocolate takes longer to make.

    Now, this pricing makes sense to me (and no doubt to those of you reading this.)  As a consumer, I also like the fact that fine chocolate companies are directly sourcing from farmer groups or know the origins of all their ingredients.  And of course, the quality and flavor makes it well worth the extra cost -- similar to paying for specialty coffee or wine. (Make sure to read Ecole Chocolat Founder Pam Williams’ insights on this topic in this issue’s Member Spotlight.)

    I bring all this up because it speaks to underlying needs that are driving the implementation of our new five-pillar strategy, a key component of which is to help spread the word about our industry through smart education and outreach to consumers, legislators, and NGOs.

    To that end, I’m pleased to announce the formation of two new FCIA Committees.

    In addition to our Education/Events Committee, we have recently added a Communications/Market Research Committee and Cocoa Supply Chains/Partnerships Committee.  These committees are open to qualified members who have the time and expertise to participate in conference calls once every other month. For more information on how to join a committee, please contact me.


  • October 02, 2018 2:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Candy Industry Magazine's September 2018 issue features an article by Curtis Vreeland. The article offers insights from FCIA's summer event held this past June 2018 in New York City. The keynote presentation featured guests from the specialty coffee and craft beer industry as they shared their experiences and how these might benefit and help guide the fine chocolate industry.

  • September 26, 2018 5:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Plan to visit the Kansas Chocolate Festival on Saturday, September 29, 2018 and check out Nick Xidis' bean-bar presentation; challenge your taste buds at Karen Bryant's Fine Chocolate Challenge to see if you can tell the difference between mass market and fine chocolate; and hear Francisco Moreno talk about how organic chocolate is grown, processed and made along with Bill Copeland's talk on the future of chocolate.

  • September 24, 2018 5:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read about FCIA members and bean to bar chocolate makers - Brian Wallace, Greg D'Alesandre and Emily Stone, featured in this public radio article and radio broadcast.

  • September 24, 2018 4:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Check out this article and radio broadcast from KALW public radio in San Francisco. It features FCIA members Guittard, Dandelion and Alice Medrich as it explores of the history of chocolate in the Bay Area.

  • September 08, 2018 7:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Foreign Agricultural Service, the Cacao and Chocolate Research Network (CCRN) at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 Visiting Scientist Program. The program will support five visiting scientists to work with Penn State faculty and international collaborators to advance research that is critical to the development of the fine flavor cacao/chocolate industry in Latin America and the Caribbean. These visiting scientists will spend six months at Penn State or at a partner institution working on one of the following topic areas: advanced sensory evaluation, the fine flavor cacao market, or issues related to cadmium accumulation in cacao. Exchanges will take place within the January 2019 to May 2020 timeframe, with exact dates to be determined jointly by the visiting scientist and his/her Penn State faculty mentor.


    For more information:

    https://plantscience.psu.edu/research/labs/guiltinan/news/2018/penn-state-fine-flavor-cacao-visiting-scientist-program-2018-2019

  • September 06, 2018 12:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read about how FCIA board member, Brad Kintzer first became interested in cacao and making chocolate in this New York Times article.

  • August 30, 2018 1:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    TCHO installs flavor labs to allow cocoa farmers to taste their own chocolate

    Premium chocolate brand TCHO has installed 10 flavor labs globally to let farmers taste chocolate made from their own cocoa beans so they can charge manufacturers a premium for their higher quality cocoa varietals.

    HTTPS://WWW.CONFECTIONERYNEWS.COM/ARTICLE/2018/08/23/TCHO-ALLOWS-COCOA-FARMERS-TO-TASTE-THEIR-OWN-CHOCOLATE 

  • August 30, 2018 1:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Huffington Post published this article explaining the price difference and cost of producing mass-produced chocolate versus small batch bean-to-bar chocolate. 

  • August 30, 2018 12:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    You are invited to our Chocolate For Dinner series at indi chocolate. We are hosting PNW chefs from around town for their take on chocolate for dinner, which includes a full course meal created by these talented chefs. 

    Sept 29 with Michelin award-winning Chef Justin Khanna 

    Oct 20 with Eric Olinsky, Eat Seattle Chef

    Oct 27 with award-winning Tom Douglas Chefs: Matt Broussard and Chef Kelsi Billedo

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Executive Director: Bill Guyton / 1.206.577.9983 / Email Bill

Event Manager: Nicole Price / 1.312.953.4541 / Email Nicole

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