The fundamental ingredient in chocolate, cocoa is a remarkable combination of flavour and aroma. It has been known and used in Central America for thousands of years and, since then, has conquered the rest of the world with its intense flavour and unparalleled ability to give people comfort.
The cocoa plant is a tree that originates in South America and can be found throughout the tropics. It produces fruits that look like small, elongated melons, called cocoa pods. Inside the fruit, we find dozens of large seeds, which become the famous cocoa beans when fermented and dried. The beans are then processed to create cocoa paste, cocoa butter and cocoa powder, the starting points for many delicious recipes.
The botanical name for cocoa, Theobroma cacao, is a Greek term that means "food of the Gods". It is widely known, not only for its pleasant taste, but also for its nutritional value. Could this be the reason why people of every age and in every area of the world love and search out this exquisite ingredient?
Kinder selection and quality control
Only 30% of world cocoa production satisfies our quality standards and is, therefore, suitable for Kinder products. These types of cocoa come from West Africa and Ecuador. Just like with any other agricultural product, cocoa harvests differ from year to year and some of the crops' characteristics will vary too. We must then constantly research the right blend of cocoa beans to ensure the consistent quality and the unmistakable flavour that are the hallmarks of Kinder chocolate.
The quality of the cocoa also varies during the harvest season. We therefore ensure that we primarily buy the beans that come from the main harvest, which have the highest quality.
Fermentation and drying are carried out at the source. The beans are then transported to our facilities where the next stages in the process are carried out. The beans are cleaned, toasted and granulated. The cocoa butter and the cocoa paste are then extracted and made into powder. Carrying out these processes ourselves means that we can guarantee the freshness, fragrance and quality of the Kinder chocolate that you know and love.
The priorities for Kinder, together with Ferrero, are to ensure not only the source of high quality cocoa, but to help farmers to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve this in a sustainable way, while also improving their livelihood.
Did you know?
The very first cocoa farmers were the Maya who used the seeds in a huge number of ways, including in religious rituals, in medicine and as currency. A single seed was worth as much as four corn cobs, and a hundred could buy you a canoe!