20th April 2018

Dear Members,

2018 is already shaping up to be another exciting year in the cocoa markets. Grind numbers around the world indicate that activity is on the rise and the recent rally of the cocoa futures suggest that demand for cocoa ingredients is starting to once again outpace supply.

In Asia, the outlook continues to look positive for both cocoa ingredients producers as well as the end users for these products. Cocoa grind numbers for Q1-2018 once again showed strong year-on-year increases at 7.21%. Asian cocoa grinders are seeing strong demand for their products both within Asia as well as from consuming countries around the world. And despite the lack of cocoa beans originating in Asia, the local factories have been proactive sourcing in raw materials from Africa and South America to feed their growth.

On the consuming side, the outlook is equally upbeat. Chocolate confectionery sales are increasing faster in Asia than anywhere else in the world. The multitude of regional cultures and tastes are driving innovations and new products that are rapidly making their way across borders as the emerging middle classes travel more frequently and bring back their favorite cocoa and chocolate products as gifts when they return. And the large multinationals are quite aware of this trend as some of the most novel innovations in all of chocolate are being launched first in Asia!

And in the center of all this cocoa excitement is the Cocoa Association of Asia. Much like the rapidly evolving marketplace surrounding us, CAA is also growing fast and expanding its role as the leading cocoa association in the region. In 2017 we successfully hosted our first International Cocoa Conference and dinner which drew over 400 attendees from around the world. In 2018 our focus will be on building stronger partnerships both with sister organizations in other regions as well as with leading private and public institutions at home in Asia. We are revamping our website to better reflect the energy of our organization and will be gradually introducing new services and offerings for our member companies and the industry as a whole.

So please join us, literally, as we continue our journey. We are actively looking to recruit new companies to expand our membership base. If you are curious about what is going on in the world of Asia cocoa, or are looking to expand your contacts in the region, there is no better place to start. Send us a message or give us a call and we will gladly explain all the benefits of joining the leading cocoa organization in Asia!

Richard Fahey