EU ruling provokes chocolate outrage

A European Union threat to chocolate as we know it could prove a major bane to the packaging industry, say UK designers. – The European Parliament voted this week to ban the use of the term “milk chocolate” in connection with the UK product.

A European Union threat to chocolate as we know it could prove a major bane to the packaging industry, say UK designers.

The European Parliament voted this week to ban the use of the term “milk chocolate” in connection with the UK product. British chocolate traditionally uses up to 5 per cent vegetable fats as well as pure cocoa butter. This has upset purist chocolate makers in Europe.

An insufficient majority of votes against UK-style chocolate means that the ruling may still be amended, or defeated, before becoming law.

But if last week’s ruling is implemented it could mean serious change, forcing manufacturers to either rename their products or refer to them with the term “chocolate with a high milk content”.

“It could have serious implications for brand names which use the word chocolate, such as Chocolate Buttons,” says Williams Murray Banks director Richard Murray. “I suggest we stick two Chocolate Fingers up at the EU,” he adds.

Meanwhile, Pearlfisher creative partner Karen Wellman says that despite the difficulties there is unlikely to be any extra work for designers.

All major chocolate manufacturers carry out regular packaging reviews as a matter of course due to the competitive nature of the market, she says. “The work is there anyway,” she adds.

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