Chocolate bar.
Chocolate bar. Dmitriy Ganin/Pexels

World Chocolate Day is marked annually on July 7 to celebrate the dark, velvety treat, which can be enjoyed as a candy, beverage, baked good, frozen bar, and in countless other ways.

It is common knowledge that cocoa beans were grown and consumed by the ancient civilizations in Central and South America.

However, here are some not so common facts to enjoy on World Chocolate Day with a cup of cocoa or a big piece of chocolate fudge or even a gooey cake.

  1. The Aztecs drank their chocolate with water and mix-ins, such as vanilla, chili, flowers, maize, and wine
  2. The global chocolate industry was valued at $113.6 billion in 2021, and was expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 3.7% each year from now until 2030
  3. Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana are the two largest producers of cacao beans globally, and together produce more than half of the world's chocolate
  4. Snickers is the most popular candy bar in the world and sells over two billion units a year. It is followed by Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with two billion bars and Toblerone with one billion
  5. The best growing conditions for cacao trees are rainy, high humidity, and wind-protected areas. Because of the increase in global temperature, by 2050 the prime cacao growing areas will move uphill in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana
  6. One pound of chocolate is made from about 400 cacao beans
  7. The country that consumes the most chocolate per person is Switzerland. An average person in the European country reportedly consumes 22 pounds of chocolate a year

In spite of being a booming industry, cocoa farmers reportedly struggle to make ends meet due to issues such as forced labor, child labor, poverty and deforestation.

While picking a chocolate bar to enjoy on its namesake day and henceforth, consider buying a fair trade option. Fair trade products aim to pay farmers living wages, help them invest in their business, and reduce poverty. Fair trade purchases can also combat forced labor or child labor.

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