London, England (PRWEB) January 23, 2011
Valued Opinions has revealed that the UK has the second highest consumption of chocolate per person in the whole of Europe, and that the confectionary market is worth a staggering £4 billion.
A recent Valued Opinions online poll has found out the favorite type of chocolate: two thirds of Brits (66%) like milk chocolate the best whilst 22% prefer dark chocolate and 12% would choose white chocolate. Just 1% of all respondents of the online opinion poll didn't like chocolate at all, reflecting the fact that for most of the people in Britain, chocolate is a luxury they can't live without.
Although chocolate has traditionally been regarded as a naughty-but-nice treat, recent scientific research into its chemical properties has revealed that it has important health benefits. Raw cacao has the highest antioxidant value of any natural food. Among other things, it also improves heart function, helps to reduce cholesterol and high-blood pressure and has a wealth of stress-busting, feel-good and anti-depressant chemicals.
Evidence has suggested that consuming small quantities of high-quality dark chocolate (which, according to Valued Opinions, around a fifth of Brits consider their favorite) has some measurable health benefits including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and increasing insulin sensitivity.
However, consumers won't get a chocolate-induced bill of health from the cheaper chocolate bars that stack the UK shelves. The majority of milk and white chocolate is made from cocoa beans that have been roasted, treated with alkalis or other chemicals. These processes strip the beans of virtually any valuable nutrition. The chocolate is then bulked out with additives such as hydrogenated oils, animal fats, refined sugar, dairy products and chemical preservatives; all of which make it a less than healthy option.
Milk chocolate typically contains around 20% milk fat which aside from being calorie laden also inhibits the body's absorption of cocoa's antioxidants. White chocolate, which many consider not to be proper chocolate because it contains no cocoa solids, doesn't fare any better; a recent Cornell University study found that it yielded no measurable health benefits at all.
This is bad news for milk chocolate-loving Brits. Most chocolate produced for the UK market is milkier and contains less cocoa than chocolate in the rest of Europe. In 2003, the Food Standards Authority was pleased when the EU regulations allowed British chocolate to have 20% (rather than the former 25%) cocoa solids in order to be classified as real chocolate.
It might not be good quality and it's certainly not healthy, but market research shows that Britons like cheap, sweet, milky chocolate and the FSA argues that they should be allowed to continue making and eating it.
About Valued Opinions:
Valued Opinions is an online opinion poll (http://www.valuedopinions.co.uk/) platform where members have the opportunity to earn rewards by participating in paid online surveys (http://www.valuedopinions.co.uk/about/service/). Through various partnerships with popular retailers such as Amazon.com, Tesco and HMV, Valued Opinions provides its members with attractive rewards in exchange for completing online paid surveys (http://www.valuedopinions.co.uk/rewards/).
The survey topics are tailored to their member's preferences and can include anything from green issues to healthy living, fast food to slow trains, politicians to favourite film.
Made up of more than 2 million members globally, the Valued Opinions community provides market research companies with access to untapped opinions from a large database of consumers.
Sebastien Van Schalkwyk
Loyalty Marketing Manager
1st Floor, Elizabeth House
39 York Road
0207 921 2562