An interesting post on Slashdot.com notes that the USDA is considering changing their rules on what may and may not be considered “chocolate” in the US.
The US Food and Drug Administration is considering redefining ‘chocolate’ to allow substitution of vegetable oil ($0.70/lb.) for cocoa butter ($2.30/lb.), and whey protein for dry whole milk. There are already standard terms to differentiate these products from chocolate, such as ‘chocolatey’ and ‘chocolate-flavored.’
For my part, I’ll say that my version of what is and what is not chocolate is fairly straight forward. Pretty much anything with a bar code on it doesn’t fit my standard. My bet is that even if this does pass, people are going to know the difference. Really, try a Lindt some time vs. the stuff from that town in Pennsylvania…
It’s like the difference between Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (or even better a fine homebrew) and Miller Lite…but the real point here is this: if you need to redefine your industry to be competetive, you may have a broken business model.