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Confectioners sweet on ADM's decision to keep cocoa business

By Marcy Nicholson NEW YORK (Reuters) - Easter came early for the global chocolate makers this year. Just days before one of the busiest holidays for chocolate sales, Archer Daniels Midland Co <ADM.N> on Tuesday ditched long-running efforts to sell its niche cocoa business, easing concerns that have weighted on the market for months about a possible tie-up with ADM's closest rival.

Lindt to boost U.S. chocolate output; sees first China sales from U.S

By Marcy Nicholson NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rising demand for premium chocolate has spurred Lindt & Spruengli <LISP.S> to boost production at its U.S. headquarters by 8 to 10 percent, where it will start making high-quality treats for China for the first time, Lindt USA chief executive said. "The U.S. chocolate market is the largest in the world with a premium chocolate segment that continues to grow rapidly," said Lindt USA Chief Executive Officer Thomas Linemayr in an email to Reuters.

Japan women splash cash on Valentine chocs for friends

Japanese women flocked to department stores Thursday to buy Valentine's Day chocolates for all the men in their lives, but more of them this year are dispensing with tradition and treating themselves or their friends. In much of the West, February 14 is a day when men can sink or swim on their ability to make impressive dinner plans or buy a suitable bunch of flowers. But in Japan it is the women who make the running, buying "honmei" (true love) chocolates for the husband or lover, and "giri" (obligation) treats for colleagues and bosses.

Food inspectors issue recall for Simply Lite dark chocolate product

VANCOUVER - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a recall warning for a sugar-free dark chocolate product. The agency says Simply Lite's 50% cacao, low-carb, sugar-free dark chocolate contains milk protein that isn't declared on the label. People with milk allergies are advised to avoid consuming the product since it could cause a serious or life-threatening reaction. The chocolate was sold in stores in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and may have also been distributed in other provinces. No illnesses have been linked to the product.

World Chefs: Chocolate sculptures showcase pastry artist's crafty side

By Dorene Internicola NEW YORK (Reuters) - As executive pastry chef at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York, Gonzalo Jiménez creates all kinds of desserts but he has a passion for chocolate and uses it to create intricate sculptures of robots, steam pumps and other objects. "I was supposed to go to architecture school," said Jiménez, also known as Chef Gonzo, whose whimsical creations often reflect industrial themes.

Commodities trader turns 'ethical' cocoa bean buyer

When she was a trader Sylvie Bellanger Guillaume barely gave a thought for the farmers who produced the commodities she bought and sold. A world away in her Paris office, the Frenchwoman spent her life scanning her computer screen for fluctuations in price and cutting deals on the phone. Setting up her own company buying cocoa beans direct from farmers in 1994, however, quickly brought the realities of distant lives home to her.

Craving for a chocolate fix? Prepare to pay more

By Lewa Pardomuan and Marcy Nicholson SINGAPORE/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chocoholics may have to dig deeper to pay for their favorite treat this festive season as sweet makers face sky-high prices for cocoa butter, the special ingredient that gives chocolate its melt-in-the-mouth texture. Increased demand from Asia's expanding middle class and a turnaround in sales in big consuming countries have seen butter prices nearly double to more than $7,000 a tonne (1.1023 ton) from $4,000 a tonne six months ago.

Exclusive: Cargill explores purchase of ADM's cocoa unit - source

By Josephine Mason NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cargill Inc <CARG.UL>, one of the world's leading cocoa traders, has explored the possibility of buying Archer Daniels Midland Co's <ADM.N> cocoa business, a source familiar with the situation said, a purchase that would create a global giant in the sector. Privately held Cargill performed due diligence on the ADM business last month, the source said.

Venezuela promotes its high-quality chocolate

Caracas, May 14 (EFE).- Venezuela will showcase its "high quality" chocolate at a June 26-28 fair in Caracas featuring producers, exporters and master chocolatiers, organizers said. The 2013 1st International Chocolate Fair is to be held at Teatro Teresa Carreño and will include both Venezuelan and international firms, the Fundacion Nuestra Tierra said. Besides the chance to sample and buy great chocolate, the fair has arranged a program of musical performances to entertain participants and the public.

Now, fruit juice chocolates with 50 per cent less fat

In good news for chocoholics, scientists have developed chocolate bars infused with fruit juice, which contain fifty per cent less fat than conventional varieties.According to new research presented to the American Chemical Society's meeting in New Orleans, the new technology would allow manufacture of chocolate with fruit juice, vitamin C water or diet cola replacing up to 50 per cent of the fat.The juice is in the form of micro-bubbles that help chocolate retain the lush, velvety "mouth-feel" - the texture that is firm and snappy to the bite and yet melts in the mouth, lead
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