December 9, 2023

Isn’t it a “chocolate maker” to make any chocolate?

You will find the terms chocolate maker and Chocolatier in almost every article from a major news media outlet. It’s easy to get confused by this – isn’t everyone making chocolate a “chocolate maker”? What is a chocolatier, then? What is the difference? Both professions have different skill sets and knowledge.

Chocolate makers create chocolate from dried cacao beans using special equipment like a grinder, conch, tempering machine, refiner mill, and conch. The final product is usually pure chocolate bars.

The inside of a dried cocoa pod – cocoa beans can be used to make chocolate.

Click to find out more about cocoa production and growth.

Chocolatiers take the raw chocolate from the chocolate maker(s) and mix it for flavor and specific properties. Using this mixture, they then create their own bonbons, confections, and bars.

Chocolatiers make bonbons out of chocolate and other confections using it.

Similar principles apply to other food industries. A baker may need a flour mill to make the flour she uses to make her products. The miller buys wheat grain and then mills it into flour. To make her cakes, the baker buys flour from a mill. Although they are two separate businesses, the mill and the bakery are partners in turning grains into flour and baking cakes and cookies.

You can also use fashion as an example if you wish to draw a parallel from another industry. One company usually makes the fabrics, and another makes shirts or dresses, etc. Two very different skill sets and two very other end products.

Perhaps you’ve heard the terms “craft” and “small batch” used for chocolate makers. These terms are not regulated and have no defined meaning. However, they are used by smaller chocolate makers to distinguish themselves from multinational chocolate companies. Although Mars may be a bean-to-bar chocolate maker in theory, the quality of their product is quite different from that made by artisan chocolate makers. In the last 15 years, the number of bean-to-bar chocolate makers has increased rapidly in many countries around the globe, especially in the United States. Maintaining a listing of chocolate makers on our website is difficult as new companies are constantly added to it.

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