The chocolate and confectionery industry is not short of challenges.
Chocolate and confectionery manufacturers have a lot to contend with these days.
Like many industries, confectionery manufacturers are having to contend with supply chain issues, plus increases in the costs of transportation, energy, packaging, fuel and so on.
In addition, chocolate is often considered a luxury item or a treat. So with many consumers having to tighten their belts due to cost-of-living increases, it’s an easy product to remove from the weekly shopping list.
But what else are they struggling with?
Here are a few other issues facing chocolate and confectionery manufacturers, and how HPS liquid product recovery (often called pigging) technology, is helping them stay efficient and contribute towards keeping costs down.
Sugar reduction initiatives
Various governments around the world, health departments and other agencies, are trying different methods to reduce the amount of sugar we eat. This is to protect the health of their populations from the dangers of eating too much sugar.
From health warnings to maximum quantities per serving to sugar taxes, it’s meant chocolate and confectionery manufactures have had to navigate these additional rules and regulations, however laudable and well-meant the rules are. It’s resulted in things like recipe changes and reformulations (a risky strategy if the consumer decides they don’t like the new product as much), to simply making their packets or bars smaller.
Volatile Prices of the Cocoa Bean
A major problem for chocolate and confectionery manufacturers is that the cocoa bean, which is traded as a commodity, suffers from volatile pricing. In other words, it’s price on different markets fluctuates almost daily, so it’s hard for manufacturers to predict costs.
However, over the mid-term the price of the cocoa bean is generally expected to increase. This is due to predictions of lower than usual harvests due to droughts in several cocoa growing regions. There is also less fertiliser available due to Russia’s illegal invasion and continuing war in Ukraine.
In addition, the world’s biggest producers of cocoa, Ivory Coast and Ghana, are raising the price of their cocoa beans. This is because many of their cocoa farmers are in poverty. So as a way of tackling this poverty, the governments are adding on a premium to ensure their producers receive a reasonable income for their cocoa.
Child Labour in the Supply Chain
Tragically, one of the things that can go hand in hand with poverty, and not just in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, is the use of child labour. Allegations of the use of children on cocoa farms and other areas of the supply chain are well documented.
Fortunately, governments, NGOs and all of the major confectionery manufacturers worldwide are taking this extremely seriously and have initiatives in place to prevent the use of child labour in their supply chains. There are arguments on both sides however about the success of these initiatives.
Either way, child labour is not something chocolate and confectionery manufacturers, or any other industry for that matter, wants to be in any way associated with.
What’s This Got to do with HPS?
If you’ve stumbled across this article, you may wonder why a company that makes liquid product recovery (pigging) technology is talking about the chocolate market.
Quite simply, because it’s a tough market, chocolate and confectionery manufacturers have to ensure they manufacture their products as efficiently as possible.
For many years, HPS has worked with many of the world’s largest chocolate and confectionery companies, as well as some of the smaller and medium-sized manufacturers.
These companies choose to work with HPS because HPS technology minimises waste in chocolate and confectionery production, which increases yields and capacity, and ultimately contributes towards keeping the costs down.
Because it minimises waste, as well as reducing energy costs, waste treatment and transport costs, and generally improving efficiency, HPS technology also helps chocolate and confectionery manufacturers in environmental sustainability and carbon footprint reduction.
Increasing interest in pigging
In the past few months, we’ve seen a marked increase in enquiries from chocolate and confectionery manufacturers, from existing clients to companies we haven’t worked with before. We put this down largely to the challenges of this particular market. Also, because we’ve worked with many different companies in this sector, we’re able to overcome the unique technical challenges involved in pigging systems for chocolate and confectionery manufacture.
In fact, if you take a walk through the HPS factory today, you’ll see equipment destined for various different confectionery companies around the world.
So if you work for a company that manufacturers chocolate or confectionery, or perhaps an engineering company or other supplier to the industry, or even if it’s just something you’re interested in, here’s a link to a free guide to HPS liquid product recovery (pigging) technology in the chocolate and confectionery industry.
Alternatively, if you would like to know more about how HPS technology works and could be applied to your company, please contact HPS.