2018 Conference Programme






Live lectures from the London Chocolate Forum in our amazing lecture hall (pictured) are almost all completely exclusive to the event, enabling you as a delegate to get a strong sense of where the chocolate trade and industry is heading through; technology, trends, health issues, ethics and debate. LCF lectures in 2017 and 2018 were voted by our audience as ‘outstanding’ using data collected in 2017/2018 surveys by SmartSurvey. The event was also voted as having collectively the best presentations in the global chocolate industry. Much research is carried out exclusively for the LCF and is not heard until delivered at the LCF.

07.00Access – Set Up
09.00Chairman's Welcome
Simon Wright, OF+ Consulting & LCF 2018 Chairman
09.10 Session 1
09.10Chocolate Confectionery: Repositioning Indulgence to Reach Market Potential
Karine Dussimon, Euromonitor
09.30The Chocolate Dream: Driving Change in the cocoa-producing regions of Colombia
Sergio Restrepo, Marketing Director, CasaLuker
09:50Sponsors Paper: Digitization in the Chocolate Manufacturing Industry
Ganesh Ram T S, Director, L & T Technology Services Ltd
10.10Chocolate Foresights: Trends in consumer behaviour and what it means for chocolate
Katelijn Vanrespaille, Sr. Global Consumer & Market Insights Manager, Barry Callebaut
10:30Q and A to Panel
11:10 Session 2
11:10All About the Cocoa - The Journey From Chocolate Lover to Chocolate Maker
Sophie Jewitt, Founder, The York Cocoa House
11:30Healthier Chocolate - is it Too Good to be True?
Jenny Hearne, Head of Thinkers' Thoughts, Watch Me Think
11:50ADM Wild - Advances in New and Dynamic Formulations for Our Chocolate of Tomorrow
David Aisthorpe, Global Key Account Manager, ADM Wild
12:10Live 1-2-1 Interview. Angus Kennedy with his guest HRM Oba Dokun Thompson – King of Eti-Oni, Nigeria
Angus Kennedy, Editor, Kennedy’s Confection
12:20Q and A to Panel
13:40 Session 3
13:40Government Policy & Chocolate: Current Work and What’s Ahead
Amy Glass, Senior Executive (Diet and Health), Food and Drink Federation
14:00Chocolate & Public Health: Pressures & Prospects
Prof Jack Winkler, Prof of Nutrition Policy, London Metropolitan University
14:20Healthy chocolate: a Balancing Act
Ilco Kwast, Marketing Director, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate
14:40Q and A to Panel
15:30 Session 4
15:30Tony’s Chocolonely: A story of an Unusual Chocolate Bar.
Ynzo Van Zanten, Choco Evangelist, Tony's Chocolonely
15:50Reinventing Consumer Society
Erik Bruun Bindslev, Managing Director, Europe, Guittard Chocolate Company Europe Ltd
16:10Essential Clean Label Chocolate Innovation with California Almonds
Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation, Innova Market Insights
16:50Q and A to Panel

Speaker Profiles

Kennedy's Confection 


Angus KennedyAngus Kennedy, founder, London Chocolate Forum, Editor, Kennedy’s Confection and Author – Bittersweet

Meet your host – the founder of the LCF –   and also (like many of us) is a self-confessed incurable chocolate lover.

Angus Kennedy is has been the editor of Kennedy’s Confection for over 30 years and is the founder of the London Chocolate Forum.  He is passionate about the subject of chocolate; so much so, his latest book to consumers – Bittersweet, has just been published in New York in July 2018 and featured across major TV channels to millions of people around the world.

He is also the author of a popular blog called Friday Light, which he says’ is complete nonsense’ and can’t understand why it has ever become popular; now with several thousand email recipients.

Angus, over the years, has become an expert on the industry for global media on the subject of chocolate and is often featured in Global press and radio for his knowledge of the chocolate industry, with appearances with BBC World News, Al Jazeera Television, Fox News, CBS, Hallmark, ITV and Channel 4. He is currently making a film ‘Angus and the Cocoa Farmers‘ and looking for interested parties to sponsor him at the LCF this year!

In addition to authoring 8 books to date, Angus labels himself as a professional dream facilitator and is n addition, a public speaker with a talk that will inspire people of all ages to help them, as he did, succeed against all odds and fail their way to success!

Copies of Angus book telling his story of failure to success – Bittersweet will be at the LCF or it can be purchased here!



Meet your LCF chairman

Simon Wright, UK representative of ICAM SpA

We are delighted to welcome your chairman for the day; Simon Wright. Simon is currently the UK representative of ICAM SpA of Milan, Italy and involved in all aspects of chocolate development and marketing, for both brands and private label.

Simon has a particular interest in sustainable chocolate and was involved in setting up key brands Green & Black’s (organic) and Divine (Fairtrade). He has a degree in Food Science & Nutrition and is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology and a Member of the Guild of Food Writers: he sits on the Soil Association Standards Board and Chairs the Certification and Oversight Committee of the Fairtrade Foundation.

Simon is also Chair of the Quality Food Awards judging panel, a member of the Food Matters Free From judging panel, a founding member of the Organic Trade Board and a member of Slow Food UK. Most recently Simon has been appointed to the organising committee of the Academy of Chocolate. And he confesses to us that his favourite chocolate is Vanini 49% Milk.


Euromonitor International

Speaker: Karine Dussimon, Consultant at Euromonitor International

Paper title: Chocolate Confectionery: Repositioning Indulgence to Reach Market Potential

Despite some economic uncertainty, global retail demand for chocolate confectionery is bound to continue to expand steadily over the next few years. The rules are however changing, with consumers wanting a more premium offering and a healthier profile from their sweet treats. In this presentation Karine Dussimon, Food and Nutrition Consultant at Euromonitor International will provide an overview of this market globally, its key players as well as key opportunities lying ahead for innovation




Speaker: Sergio Restrepo, Marketing Director, CasaLuker (Colombia)

Paper title: The Chocolate Dream – Driving change in the cocoa-producing regions of Colombia

Over the last 50 years Casa Luker have trained over 30,000 farmers at La Granja Luker, one of the few cocoa research centres in the world. By promoting profitable cultivation models and providing planting material together with ongoing technical support we can assist farmers to increase the quality and yield of their cocoa & associated crops. This has a positive impact on their quality of life and their income.
Armed with this profitable model for sustainable cocoa production we asked a simple question. Could fine flavour cocoa drive change in the cocoa-producing regions of Colombia? The Chocolate Dream was born; a 15-point long-term vision made up of goals and principles closely aligned with the UN’s program for Sustainable Development. Learn how we are making this dream a reality and effecting change in Colombian rural development.


Speaker: Erik Bindslev , CEO, Guittard Europe

Paper title: Reinventing consumer society – creating a brand that stays relevant and flexible in a world of changing consumer demand.  

Rooted in a global career spanning more than two decades, Erik discusses how he learnt to take a values-driven approach when it comes to building a global strategy for products or concepts. When working with Guittard and Scharffenberger, Erik’s expertise has ensured he can build flexible brand strategies that are fresh, relevant and profitable in the chocolate industry. LThis fascinating talk looks at the different aspects of chocolate brands in the ever-changing consumer landscape where empathy, transparency, ethics, creativity and sustainability are key to longevity and success.


Barry Callebaut

Speaker: Katelijn Vanrespaille, Sr. Global Consumer & Market Insights Manager, Barry Callebaut

Paper title: Chocolate Foresights: Trends in consumer behaviour and what it means for chocolate.

Get inspired and be prepared for the future! The world is changing, people are changing, and faster than ever before. And consumers are becoming much more powerful than at any time before. Hence the increased importance of understanding what consumers really do want and how to prepare for that. How should chocolate producers prepare token their message and chocolate relevant and differentiate in an ever more complex market. This paper also focuses on how to tune into new emerging consumer passions. Barry Callebaut’s outlook on the future of chocolate is based on a thorough research process in collaboration with trend watchers, consumer behaviour experts and trendsetting chefs. 


HRM Oba Dokun Thompson

Speaker: HRM Oba Dokun Thompson, Nigeria

Paper title: Live 1-2-1 Interview. Angus Kennedy with his guest HRM Oba Dokun Thompson – King of Eti-Oni, Nigeria

Listen to this amazing live interview with HRM Oba Dokun Thompson and Angus Kennedy on the troubles he faces in the Village of Eti Oni, Nigeria. A truly fascinating story on the lives of cocoa farmers his personal life- quite a fairy tale. A must-not-miss interview on how it really is in Africa for the people of this cocoa village offering a unique insight that has never been heard before – direct from a Nigerian King himself.


London Metropolitan University

Speaker: Prof Jack Winkler, Prof of Nutrition Policy, London Metropolitan University

Paper title: Chocolate & Public Health: Pressures & Prospects

Public health pressure on the chocolate industry is likely to continue and increase, for a long time ahead.  The nature, scale and duration of relevant health problems: sugar, obesity, tooth decay…and diabetes.  Difficulties in measuring what people buy and eat.  Chocolate’s role in the problems and in their solution. Current policies: diet and lifestyle changes, reformulation and price, in stores and out-of-home.  The ambivalent relationship between health and industry, health and profit: enemies and allies, simultaneously problem and solution.  Policy options for the future: more of the same, plus demand and supply. Successes and precedents so far.  Prospects for low/no-added sugar chocolate.  The “controversy” over sweeteners and strategies for coping with it.  New substitute ingredients.  Obstacles: science or marketing.  Unexplored issues.  The future: the good, the bad, the continuing.


Tony’s Chocolonely

Speaker: KYnzo Van Zanten, Choco Evangelist, Tony’s Chocolonely 

Paper title: A story of an unusual chocolate bar.

Tony’s Chocolonely isn’t your average chocolate company, but a chocolate company with a huge mission; to end modern slavery and exploitation in the cocoa industry. With amazing chocolate recipes they set the example and show that chocolate can be made in a more responsible way; in taste, packaging and the way they build long term relationships with cocoa farmers and the way they handle an open and transparent value chain. Ynzo van Zanten, Tony’s ‘Choco Evangelist’ will tell the story of Tony’s roadmap towards 100% slave free chocolate and how everyone can join this movement. 


Sponsors Paper

Speaker: Ganesh Ram T S, Director, L & T Technology Services Ltd, India

Paper title: Digitization in the Chocolate Manufacturing Industry

Possibilities that digitalization brings to the fore in chocolate industry in: Improving efficiencies in manufacturing – Connecting people, processes and machinesReducing CAPEX by Streamlining OPEX – Reducing downtimes with predictive maintenance Faster Time to Market – Connected supply chain, connected PLM, creating connected eco-systems: factory to market



Government Policy & Chocolate: Current work and what’s ahead

Speaker: Amy Glass, Senior Executive (Diet and Health), Food and Drink Federation

Both Westminster and Scottish Governments have recently published plans with the aim of halving childhood obesity by 2030. In this presentation, Amy Glass, Diet and Health Executive at the Food and Drink Federation will provide an update on proposals within these plans, including the consultations on promotional and advertising restrictions, and how this may impact the chocolate industry.

Reformulation remains a fundamental part of the Government’s approach to tackling obesity. We will explore the ongoing work by industry within the sugars reformulation programme and provide an update on the results from year 1. Looking forward, we will discuss what could be coming up next – will there be a tax on chocolate?



Healthier Chocolate – is it too good to be true?

Speaker: Jenny Hearne, Head of Thinkers’ Thoughts, Watch Me Think

At the LCF  today we are hearing from farmers, manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in. Research exclusively conducted for the London Chocolate Forum. Where is the voice of the person who ends up eating our wonderful products? That is where Watch Me Think come in.  Jenny’s presentation will help us to understand what ‘healthier’ chocolate really means from a consumers perspective. Listeners will also be able to observe fascinating footage of consumers as they experience a typical chocolate moment and understand the role that ‘healthier’ chocolate plays in that moment and in the wider arena of healthier snacking choices. All this will be done using a dozen carefully selected chocolate consumers making unmoderated videos exclusively for the London Chocolate Forum 2018. Prepare to be surprised!


All About the Cocoa – the journey from Chocolate Lover to Chocolate Maker 

Speaker: Sophie Jewitt, Founder York Cocoa House

Sophie Jewett shares her amazing cocoa experience from critical chocolate fanatic, to starting a business from home from scratch. Sophie tells her inspiring story of how she created a destination with the York Cocoa House and eventually the York Cocoa Works with the ‘Chocolate Manufactory’. A great case study of a dynamic entrepreneur of her story of setting up production, development and an education centre in a city surrounded by chocolate heritage, manufacturing and expertise. Over 10 years the business has evolved with the core mission to learn, discover and share the stories of cocoa. Sophie will be sharing the journey, joys, challenges and misconceptions of working across the whole of the production process, supply chain and consumer interactions on a mission to make great, British chocolate.


Essential Clean Label Chocolate Innovation with California Almonds

Speaker: Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation, Innova Market Insights

Consumers are seeking clean label products more than ever before, and chocolate is no exception. As the confectionary industry continues to innovate to meet challenges in consumer demand, ingredients with natural, wholesome appeal like California almonds can help manufacturers deliver next-level products. Lu Ann Williams of Innova Market Insights will discuss the latest consumer research on chocolate and confectionary from the Almond Board of California, highlighting opportunities to tap into preferences for texture and flavor, paired with a deep-dive into clean-label trends driving chocolate innovation forward across the globe.


Healthy chocolate: a balancing act

Speaker: Ilco Kwast, Marketing Director, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate

Consumers are embracing health as a lifestyle and making holistic choices to pursue vitality and wellbeing. We see people crafting their diets around food sensitivities, aspirations for clean consumption and a general drive towards health and wellness. In these times, sweet treats are threatened to be perceived increasingly as a guilty pleasure. A freshly conducted study by Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate shows that chocolate is not immune to this movement. In his keynote speech, marketing director Ilco Kwast will present you Cargill’s insights, shedding light on how consumers shape their diets around their healthy lifestyle choices and how this impacts the world of chocolate. He will lead you through the learnings of what matters to consumers and how this shapes their purchase decisions. In this solution-oriented keynote, Ilco Kwast will also present to you a brief overview of existing and upcoming innovations in chocolate that can meet these needs. Whether it’s the consumer demand for less sugar, dairy free and vegan options or fat reduction, there are already answers to the rising trends.