For the past several months, the FDA has been considering a proposal that would change the definition of chocolate. The change would allow products made with vegetable oil or other non-cocoa butter fats to be called chocolate, in spite of the fact that it the properties of cocoa butter are what make chocolate so special in the first place. Most big candy manufacturers are endorsing this change because it would be a huge money saving thing for them (“mockolate” is much cheaper to produce than real chocolate), but there has been a lot of opposition to the potential change from consumers and high-end chocolatiers, who want to keep the standards the way they are now and ensure that buyers know they’re getting the real thing when they buy chocolate.
And it look like those opposing voices are being heard.
This week, Mars, Inc. announced that it would not change its recipes for M&Ms, Snickers or Dove chocolates – no matter what the FDAultimately decides on the mockolate issue. Coming out against the change, when major competitors like Hershey’s support it, not only raises the company’s profile in the eyes of consumers, but might help to put a stop to the proposal entirely.
VickySeptember 20, 2007
This shouldn’t even be legal! Get a rope… >:(
eastmeetswestkitchenSeptember 20, 2007
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read about mockolate, but I am so proud of Mars Inc’s decision!
DebbieSeptember 20, 2007
Well, we’ll see what happens to Mars’ competitors when/if the change is made. I’ll definitely buy their chocolate first – I’m not a huge fan of Hershey’s chocolate now. I can’t imagine what it would taste like if they don’t include the cocoa butter. ;-P
cybeleSeptember 22, 2007
The scuttlebutt at the All Candy Expo was that the FDA got over 34,000 responses in support of keeping the current high standard for chocolate. (As a touchstone the open comment period on the new nutrition labels got only 20,000 responses.)
The FDA considers this portion of the proposal dead.