Dark Chocolate truffles piled on a square white plate

Want to create a high-end experience for your customers? Look to high-cocoa-percentage couverture. Among core fine chocolate consumers, 73 percent believe that cacao percentage is important*. Over half of them look for cocoa percentages in the range of 71-80*%. Those deep, dark couvertures that you love for their intensity and complexity? Your customers love them too!

Make no mistake, variety is key, and you’ll want to curate a product selection that includes many different types of chocolate and cocoa percentages. But as customers increasingly seek premium experiences, offering an assortment of confections that feature dark chocolate becomes a key to continued appeal for your existing customers and a great way to attract new fans.

label showing percentage of fat and cocoa in Tanzanie couverture, chunks of dark chocolate in background

A Cacao Percentage Primer

The cocoa percentage of a couverture indicates what percentage of the weight of the chocolate comes from cocoa beans: chocolate liquor (also known as cocoa mass or paste), cocoa butter, and cacao solids. The remaining weight of the chocolate can include sugar, vanilla, and lecithin. 

FDA standards for chocolate labeled “semi-sweet” or “bittersweet” require only that these chocolates have a minimum cocoa percentage of 35%. These outdated standards do not reflect the preferences of modern consumers. While the definition of terms like “extra-bitter” will vary among manufacturers, high-quality couvertures have high standards and will almost always include the cocoa percentage on the product label. 

For the real story, look for what portion of the cocoa percentage includes fat (from cocoa butter and, sometimes, milk solids). This is will help you understand the best use of the chocolate and can even give you some hints about the intensity of the chocolate’s flavor.

There are other important factors that determine a couverture’s flavor: where the chocolate comes from and how it is processed have just as much impact on flavor as cacao percentage.

Packshot of 2.5kg bag of Cacao Barry® Mexique couverture

Here are some of our favorite high-percentage couvertures:

 

Cacao Barry® Mexique 66% Couverture
After a slightly sourish initial taste, this Mexico Origin dark couverture chocolate with its high cocoa content releases spicy and woody notes, with a hint of licorice.

 

 

Packshot of 2.5kg bag of Cacao Barry® Tanzanie couverture

Cacao Barry® Tanzanie 75% Couverture

This Tanzania Origin dark couverture chocolate is the perfect balance of acidity and intense cocoa bitterness, lifted by floral notes.

 

 

Packshot of 2.5kg bag of Cacao Barry® Guayaquil couverture

Cacao Barry® Extra-Bitter Guayaquil Couverture

This bitter dark couverture chocolate with roasted notes has a powerful cocoa flavor delicately lifted with a hint of coffee and chestnut.

 

 

*National Confectioners Association Study, 2019