by: Jessica Mikaela Mones, Foodfindsasia.com |
Did you know that cocoa is the most essential ingredient in our favorite chocolates? And the good news is… Philippines is a potential producer of cacao because of its climatic conditions and soil characteristics making our country a perfect place to manufacture chocolates.
One of which is Theo and Philo, the first bean-to-bar chocolate artisan company in the Philippines that started in 2010. Given that Theo and Philo’s chocolates are handcrafted, each batch of chocolates they create is produced in small quantities, rather than the machines that can generate in bulks. These gourmet chocolates are made from natural cacao beans and pure cocoa butter proving it is all natural and high-class.
In the recent International Food Exhibition (IFEX) happened in SMX Convention Center last May 21-24, Theo and Philo is among the other cacao industries from Davao that make premium chocolates as well. Theo and Philo collaborated with these brands of chocolates to put their forces together as they encourage the Filipinos try local chocolates.
Joining Theo and Philo is the tree-to-bar, Malagos Chocolate. They were recently featured here in FoodFindsAsia when they won bronze in London’s 2015 Academy of Chocolates Awards for the Best Unflavored Drinking Chocolate. Being present in the expo, Malagos Chocolate wants to extend the honor they got to their fellow countrymen and be proud of the Filipino-made chocolates like theirs.
Theo and Philo is almost similar to Coco Dolcé since they both market gourmet flavored chocolates. However, what makes Coco Dolcé different is the Filipino touch of coco sugar and coco powder they use in making chocolates.
Another partner is Nutri Rich Philippines Davao Fine Tablea. These chocolates are made with 100% unsweetened chocolate. Tablea or unsweetened chocolate has no sugar, just pure cocoa.
Chokolate de San Isidro is from Federations of Cooperatives in Mindanao (FEDCO) is also included. FEDCO helps small farmer brewers to market, export and reproduce their stocks. They help banana and cacao growers in promoting their crops locally and hopefully, internationally.
Under Chokolate is Sikwate! and they produce industrial side of the cacao industry. Sikwate! sells blocked chocolates and cacao needs like Tablea.
Also part of the team is Kennemer. It is a cacao plantation and the eminent Mars American chocolate bar is its major client. Kennemer’s main target market is the industrial, the companies who specialize in processing and manufacturing rather than the commercial ones.
IFEX has opened many eyes regarding cacao and chocolate industry in the Philippines. Locals, natives and even foreigners have seen the capacity of the Pinoy-made chocolates. The event served as a gate of opportunity for markets like Theo and Philo, Malagos Chocolate, Coco Dolcé, Nutri Rich Philippines Davao Fine Tablea, Choko Late de San Isidro, Sikwate!, Kennemer and other products who are urging to generate locally and internationally.
Hopefully, after the convention, Filipinos would gain knowledge about the cacao-chocolate industry and products. We are in the Philippines so it should be “Filipino first”. Although it is also great to be known outside the country, exhibitors still want their products like these chocolates be recognized locally. Kit Laserna of Theo and Philo said, “We can do great things [eh]; only if we get support from our countrymen.”
Can you see it? The country has what it takes! Philippines has a big bright future in the chocolate industry having the needed resources at hand. We can compete with other countries and even go beyond expectations! We have the finest quality chocolates and for sure, it will be known all over the world.