The International Chocolier Institute has been founded for the appreciation and development of high quality chocolate

The Center for Taste Studies (Centro Studi Assaggiatori) has collaborated with chocolate companies Domori and Guido Gobino to found a new Institute for recognizing, appreciating, and best utilizing high quality chocolate.

In Italy, the per capita consumption of chocolate is 3 kg per person each year; Northern Europe’s consumption is over 9 kg per person; and in emerging Asian countries it is at 1 kg per person, with a growth potential of 4 kg in the future. In the past decade, consumption has moved towards high quality. The high standards that national chocolate companies guarantee have created a market sector for excellent quality chocolate, with a great propensity for export (€1.3 billion, equal to 25% of the total market value). France is the number one destination for Italian chocolate, representing 20% of its total value. 

The International Chocolier Institute was founded with the objective of valorizing and developing the high quality chocolate market by creating a training course for tasters and chocolate experts. This independent scientific organization is located in Brescia (Italy). It is open to all those who operate in the cacao supply chain (including producers of raw material, machinery manufacturers, chocolate producers, chocolatiers, and pastry chefs) and to discerning consumers who would like to learn to recognize, appreciate, and best use excellent quality chocolate.

IIC, created by the Center for Taste Studies (dedicated to coffee and founded in 1993, with over 9 thousand members today) and by way of initiative of Domori and Guido Gobino, is the only place in Italy that specializes in the studies of new methods of sensory analysis for chocolate.

The President of the Institute is Jean-Pierre Willemsen, CEO of Domori (part of the Illy Group); the Vice President is Guido Gobino, CEO of Guido Gobino company; and the CEO is Luigi Odello, as CEO of the Center of Taste Studies.

In Italy, per capita chocolate consumption (about 3 kg a year) has continually grown in the past several years. Italian chocolate production and that of cacao-based products has grown by 3.1%, which is largely an effect of increased exports (+6.5%). The growth is also due to the rise of numerous chocolate artisans and companies that sell high quality products with fine and extrafine cacao. In particular, many use the varieties Trinitario and Nacional, which still represent less than 10% of cacao produced in the world, as well as the rare Criollo variety (just 1% of world production).

The high standards that national chocolate companies are guaranteeing have created a market sector of excellent quality with a great propensity for export that has grown in the past several years by 33%,” says Jean Pierre Willemsen. “If we consider that France, an important country for fine chocolate production, is the first market destination for Italian chocolate with 20% of its total value, this means the potential for Italian chocolate is incredibly high. For this reason, we wanted to work together with Gobino and the Center for Taste Studies to create the International Chocolier Institute in order to contribute to the knowledge and appreciation of high quality chocolate, with the objective of developing the sector over time.

Hence, the Institute’s objective is to teach enthusiasts sensory analysis of chocolate following a scientific method, and knowledge of the entire production chain of cacao and chocolate.

The Institute’s program plans to hold a Chocoexperience seminar and beginners’ level tasting courses aimed towards chocolate workers, pastry chefs, and passionate chocolate consumers.

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About Domori


Domori was founded in 1997 from the creative mind of Gianluca Franzoni, out of his passion for nature, gastronomy, and cacao. In 1993, after studying economics, he went to Venezuela where the magic of cacao captivated him. He decided to build a framework for repositioning fine cacao on the market. Domori chocolate is an extraordinary experience, a unique sensory “tale” without compromise. Its story is told through first-time records that are true revolutions in the world of cacao.

Domori was the first company in the world to use only fine cacao in production.

The first to recover the biodiversity of the aromatic cacao variety Criollo.

The first to make chocolate with Criollo cacao.

The first to make a 100% cacao chocolate bar.

The first to rediscover and use the ancient and simple method of making chocolate with just cacao paste and sugar.

The first to create a Chocolate Tasting Code to discover the infinite nuances of cacao.

Every phase of Domori’s production is studied to conserve the aromatic notes naturally present in the beans of the best selected varieties. It is only in doing so that Domori chocolate maintains the natural and original essence of the cacao intact.

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