Good chocolate melts easily in the mouth

Ülker Group Vice-Chairman Emin Özkan offers some advice for good quality chocolate as Şeker Bayramı quickly approaches: “Poor quality chocolate does not melt readily on the palate, it’s hard. The higher the quality and amount of cocoa butter, the more easily the chocolate melts in the mouth. Its aroma wafts throughout the mouth and lingers there after it is swallowed...” Özkan says not to put chocolate into the refrigerator.

* When referring to the chocolate market in Türkiye, what do you mean?

The total Turkish chocolate market is a 2.8 billion TL market. And Ülker products make up 51% of this market.

Which province consumes the most chocolate?

Of the chocolate consumed during Şeker Bayram, 32% is sold in the Marmara region and 18% in Central Anatolia. In terms of provinces, Istanbul is the province where the most chocolate is consumed. This followed by Ankara, Izmir, Adana and Bursa.

* What kinds of chocolate are preferred by chocolate eaters?

Socio-economic group and age determine preferences. Young people like milk chocolate; older people prefer bitter chocolate. The amount of sugar in bitter chocolate is less and the cocoa level is higher.
Therefore, it performs has an antioxidant function and, as I said, it is preferred as people get older. It’s eaten mostly in large cities. Young people and children like more sugary products. Among the different, new flavors, we see that young people show an interest in products with caramel in them.

We mostly eat milk chocolate but as we get older, we start eating more bitter chocolate

* What kind of chocolate are eaten the most?
If we look at the total chocolate market, milk chocolate is the favorite, making up 40% of the total market. Chocolate with pistachios, making up 30% of the market, is in second place, followed by chocolate with hazelnuts.  Bitter chocolate is in fourth place with 15% of the market. The most popular product sold by Bizim Ülker is milk chocolate squares.

* What kinds of chocolates are popular with foreigners; are there any differences between them and us?

Chocolate bars (long-thin versions) are the most popular in foreign countries. We like thicker versions of chocolate because we want to savor the taste of the chocolate in our mouths fully.

•    To what countries do you export the most?

Countries of the Middle East, particularly Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, and to Germany…

* Ok, so what kinds of chocolates do you yourself eat?

I mostly eat chocolate with pistachio. I have tea with it. I eat at least one a day.

* How do you keep from gaining weight? How do you both eat and stay fit?

What is important is when and how much you eat and how active you are in return.

Women eat to change their moods while men eat for energy.

* How can you tell if the chocolate is good?

Good chocolate melts easily in your mouth. Poor quality chocolate doesn’t – it’s hard. Therefore, the higher the quality and amount of cocoa butter, the more easily the chocolate melts in the mouth. Its aroma wafts throughout the mouth.

* Do men and women eat chocolate for different reasons?

People eat chocolate on different social occasions and have different motivations for doing so. Some eat to change how they feel; others eat it as dessert after a meal, while still others eat it to assuage their hunger. Our research shows that the products eaten can vary from time to time...

* Who eats the most?

Women eat chocolate more than men do. And their reasons for doing so are different, too. No man will say “I get up at night and open the refrigerator and eat a spoonful of chocolate.” This is classic woman’s sentence. If we have to generalize, women eat chocolate to feel better and see chocolate as a way of devoting time to themselves and as a form of entertainment. Men, on the other hand, see it as a source of energy.

* How is interest in diet chocolates?

A woman worries about calories. So in order not to feel guilty when eating, she sees chocolate as a way of having fun. She gets pleasure eating it by telling herself, “I’m doing something for myself.” So not much low-calorie chocolate is sold in either Türkiye or in other parts of the world. This is because people want to experience this pleasure to the fullest.

We eat 1.9 kilos, but the English eat 12 kilos of chocolate per year

* How much chocolate do we eat annually?

Annual per capital consumption in Türkiye is 1.9 kg. It’s 9 kg in Germany, 6 kg in the US, and 12 kg in England. In addition, chocolate consumption increases as income level rises.  This shows that consumption will continue to increase in Türkiye, too.

* Do you have anything special for Şeker Bayramı?

Our Bayram special is Ülker Golden Madeleine chocolate. We have a total of 50 different varieties.

* You also have unpackaged products, right?

There is a return in the world to spiritual values and family bones. We are lucky in this respect since we are a society where family bonds are quite strong. And they become even stronger during holidays. For example, we never visit without taking something with us. If our income allows, we buy chocolate and take that. The same goes for the hosts. If they can afford it, they will serve chocolate. But generally, when buying chocolate for the home, it’s bought unpackaged, while going on a visit, boxed up chocolate is preferred.

Never refrigerate chocolate – doing so spoils its taste

* We know that Şeker Bayram came in the hot days of summer this year. Has this lowered sales?

No, sales are increasing. Sales increase at Bayram by 25%. This is because air-conditioning is widespread and chocolate can be stored correctly at sales locations.

* How should we store it at home; shall we keep it in the refrigerator?

No, never do that. It ruins its flavor... The proper storage temperature is 18-22 degrees. It is important to keep it out of direct sunlight and heat. In addition, it’s crucial that chocolate not absorb smells, so it should be stored in pantries. This because odors can penetrate it.

Source: Vatan Gazetesi

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