Olam Cocoa has made its premium deZaan cocoa powders available to restaurants, caterers and patisseries for the first time under its new business arm Olam Cocoa for Professionals.

The company’s deZaan cocoa powder range is built on over 100 years of Dutch cocoa-making expertise. In the past, it has been sold in tonnes rather than kilos. Now, a range of six dutched and natural cocoa powders in different colors and flavors will be made available in 1kg and 5kg bags, giving professional chefs and bakers access to cocoa ingredients previously only available to large manufacturers. 

The move is a response to rising demand from professional chefs and bakers for high quality cocoa ingredients that give them greater control over the flavor and color of their final creations. Over half (53 percent) of all professionals and 70 percent of restaurant chefs say they have changed their cocoa powder brand in the last year, and they gave taste as their number one reason for switching. 

While the food and hospitality sector has been heavily impacted by lockdown restrictions, there are signs that demand is returning to, and even exceeding, pre-lockdown levels. A third of consumers (29 percent) say they are now seeking out artisanal food and drink, and a similar number (28 percent) plan to visit professional bakeries, patisseries and restaurants more often than they did before lockdown.

“Cocoa is a vital ingredient across so many bakery, confectionery and patisserie recipes, yet professional chefs have had to make do with limited options. We want to change that,” said Simon Brayn-Smith, business head of Olam Cocoa for Professionals. “Olam Cocoa’s deZaan powders are incredibly versatile and made only with the finest cocoa beans and processing techniques. We hope that by making these available we can help inspire professionals to think again about how cocoa can be used in their creations. Especially now, as professional chefs are able to get back into their kitchens.” 

As well as being of the highest quality and flavor, the new range is sourced responsibly through Olam’s Cocoa Compass sustainability program. Cocoa Compass aims to support smallholder farmers, their families and communities, and the environment. It makes a commitment to help farmers achieve a living income, eliminate child labor and protect forests through a net increase in tree carbon stock, all by 2030.