Willy Wonka coming to the West End
Roald Dahl’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has captivated chocolate lovers for almost 50 years. In June 2013, this deliciously dark tale of young Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectioner Willy Wonka will come to life in a brand new West End musical directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Mendes has been involved with the project since its inception. (The musical’s production dates were arranged around his filming schedule for Skyfall.) The £10 million stage adaptation will feature an entirely new score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman. Douglas Hodge will follow in the footsteps of Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp as the eccentric Willy Wonka. The actor recently revealed to The Daily Telegraph that his take on Willy Wonka would be “a cross between Charlie Chaplin and Dali.”
Prepare to be dazzled by set designer Mark Thompson’s chocolate river, an army of squirrels and a master class in Oompa-Loompa morality. Tickets will range in price from £32.50 to £90. We can’t wait…
Allsop Goes Pop
With Christmas just around the corner, Master Chocolatier Damian Allsop will be opening two pop-up shops over the festive period. The first is at The Corinthia Hotel in Northumberland Avenue on The Embankment, London. The second is in Tunbridge Wells at Chapel Bar, 8, Chapel Place.
Opening hours are 11am-7pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday up until Christmas. Snap up goodies from Allsop’s award winning Eat London bars to Chocopops (pictured).
India’s Love Affair with Chocolate
According to a recent market research report by Mintel, India is emerging as the fastest growing market for chocolate. Sales have almost doubled from $418 million in 2008 to $857 million in 2011.
This month’s Diwali celebrations (13-17 November) have seen chocolate sales surge, with many Indian consumers considering it a longer-lasting and more luxurious alternative to traditional Indian sweets. October also saw the launch of India’s first chocolate festival, Choco-la-vita, in Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and Bangalore.
Indian chocolate consumption was estimated at 70 grams per capita last year, with over 65% of consumption in urban areas. This may seem low in comparison to Britain – where we allegedly consume 6kg per year each! However, India’s thriving economy and rising disposable income means the opportunity for growth is huge.
Major players such as Mondelez, Nestle and Mars, have been making strong efforts to distribute their products to an Indian market looking for affordable chocolate. “This has given the Indian consumer an array of choice,” says Mintel Trend and Innovation Consultant, Deepa Dsouza.
India’s growing culinary influence can also be discerned in British chocolate production, with flavours like cardamom, saffron, ginger and chai masala gaining in popularity.
The Rise of the Chocoholic Chap
Stressed out men, haunted by the threat of redundancy and rising living costs, are increasingly turning to chocolate for comfort, reports Vince Bamford in The Grocer.
The number of times men eat chocolate has risen 10.5% year-on-year compared to an increase of just 4.5% among women, reports Kantar Worldpanel. Industry observer Dr. Siri Harrison says, “Traditional male jobs are being lost, unemployment rates are soaring and those that remain fear redundancy… These issues are placing pressures on men and they may seek comfort through the age-old tradition of self-medicating with sugar.”
In your Christmas Magazine: