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Beneath the Fairy Tale of Chocolate Confectionery

Alexandru Marginean

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Photo by Marta Dzedyshko from Pexels
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The organic chocolate confectionery is a new trend due to the increasing demand from the health conscious consumers across globe. This is creating more room for new entrants and established players for product innovation to meet consumer needs and preferences.

Let’s take a dip into the history of chocolate world!

Chocolate and confectionary are the favorite sweet treat panning all ages and races. The chocolate we as consumers are consuming now a days is not the same. It was consumed as a drink called “tchocoatl”, and was favorite of Emperor of the Aztecs (now Central America), Montezuma. The Spanish conquistador, Hernando Cortez, brought the drink in 1529 to the Spain. Later, that drink became popular among Spanish royals and widely throughout the Europe. Origin of the word chocolate remains uncertain. Some linguist say the word chocolate is derived from the word “xocolatl” meaning bitter water. Whereas, Merrian-Webster points that the word chocolate entered English in 17th century, taken from Spanish word which can be tracheked down to the Nahuatl “chocolātl”.

Three centuries later chocolate was used as a non- liquid confection in Europe. In 1847, Joseph fry discovered the chocolate eating bar by adding cocoa, cocoa powder and sugar. Later, in 1849 John Cadbury created similar product as of Fry. But, both the inventions were not palatable. Then Henry Nestle and Daniel Peter created milk chocolate that was more palatable than previous ones. In 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, chocolate making machinery were introduced to the world and there was turning back for the chocolate industry. The Hershey Company, in 1900, installed the chocolate machinery and produced the first wrapped chocolate bar, The Hershey Bar. In this decade over 220 products were launched and alone in U.S. market 40 different candy bars appeared.

                                                                                            Image Source: Grand View Research

 

Chocolate that matters you the most.

Types of chocolate was a heated point of discussion in twenties, where chocolate debaters were questioning if white chocolate is really a chocolate or not as it does not contain chocolate liquor. In 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considered it as a confectionary rather than chocolate. Later, the Hershey Food Corp. and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association petitioned the FDA resulting in putting a place for white chocolate in types of chocolate.

Types of chocolate accepted globally are as follows

  • Dark chocolate – Containing chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, lecithin, sugar and vanilla
  • Milk chocolate- Has all of the above plus milk fats and milk solids
  • White chocolate- Containing everything milk chocolate does except chocolate liquor

Meet the “chocolatiers”

Nowadays, companies are focusing on product innovations, flavor innovation, marketing strategies, meeting consumers demand, understanding consumer’s preferences and setting trend in the market. Manufacturers are conducting several manufacturing and promotional activity to increase their outreach amongst the consumers by means of gift packages with chocolates, appealing packaging of products and products targeting holiday and festival seasons by keeping the end user segment in mind.

How demanding chocolate confectionery?

Chocolate confectionary market was valued at USD 123.7 Billion in 2016 and is expected to grow continuously due to decline in price of cocoa beans, growing consumerism and rising expenditure of the consumers is strengthening market growth. The cocoa bean prices in 2017 fell by around 40% as per the Financial Times. Declining price of cocoa bean is anticipated to have a favorable impact on the market growth and the manufactures profit margin.  Chocolate confectionary business is steady growing due to changing preferences of consumers for dairy and milk products. This is creating more room for new entrants and established players for product innovation to meet consumer needs and preferences.

Image Source: Grand View Research

Europe dominates the chocolate confectionary market with market share of above 30%. Europe had 12,315 companies and produced 11.7 million tons of products annually in 2014. Also, in 2015, the production increased by 2.3% reaching 11,736 million ton of product.

Go Organic

Multiple studies reveal that consumption of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate helps in improving cognition improvement and heart health. Growth in organic and free-from food sales are increasing as consumers are more inclined towards health benefit, paying attention on labels, seeking organic and natural ingredient. Organic chocolate are averagely 30% premium than the traditional market.

Several players in the industry are rapidly increasing the promotion of product line that are free of fats such as Trans and saturated fat. Also, considering the consumer growing awareness regarding health and consumption of dairy and milk product is posing vital impact on the manufactures product portfolio. Companies are also promoting products that are free from artificial flavors and sweeteners and those which contains ingredients such as   organic wheat flour, rice syrup, cane sugar and corn starch. Producers are understanding the potential of adding organic as a label in their product portfolio. For instance, U.K. based company Green&Black, where green stand for organic and black stands for dark chocolate, they launched their first product with organic dark chocolate bar containing 70% cocoa and still having the same share in their organic line. Organic line of Green&Black is available in 10 flavors, including Maya Gold the Fair Trade Mark awarded by Fairtrade Foundation UK. This trend in growing and reached up to 30 million euro value in Western Europe.

 

 

Authors Bio: – Saurabh is an experienced professional with a demonstrative work history in market research industry. He is currently working with Grand View Research is an India & U.S. based market research and consulting company provides syndicated research reports, customized research reports, and consulting services. He is working as a Senior Research Associate in the Consumer Goods domain.  He has over 2+ year of experience in research industry, supported by managing end-to-end syndicate research project, industry analysis, in-depth company profiling, value chain & supply chain analysis, and market sizing, among others. He has worked on diverse topics, such as Milk and Dairy Industry, Organic beverages, Confectionary Industry, Clothing and Apparel Industry and various industry specific studies. He holds Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Pune University, India.

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Business and Management

Latest Innovations to Transform Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) Landscape

Alexandru Marginean

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Source: Pexels.com
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Revenue cycle management, better known as RCM, is a business process that allows healthcare companies to be paid for providing services. For most healthcare service providers, RCM is available right from the process of pre-registering a patient all the way through the collection of final payment. Efficiency and time management play vital roles in RCM. A healthcare provider’s choice of electronic health record (EHR) can often be largely centered on how its RCM is deployed.

The implementation of RCM in a particular healthcare company is a lengthy process. The company has to submit all the documents of its patient to the in-house staff or RCM vendor, who will then code the charts according to the ICD-10 CM. Afterward, the claims are posted, submitted, and adjudicated by the payer. If a claim is rejected, steps are taken to resubmit and adjust it before the deadline of appeal. Then the patient cycle is initiated if there is a patient responsibility portion following adjudication. Nowadays, numerous RCM vendors are providing coding benchmarking, managed-care contracting, analytics, and coding education services to capture all the earned revenue for a practice. No matter the size of a hospital, health system, or practice, failure to prioritize and maintain revenue collection efforts and RCM can hinder growth, create an uncertain financial failure, and increase operational risk.

As per Fortune Business Insights the market is anticipated to reach USD 216,990.6 Million by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.4% in the forecast period. But, the RCM market was valued at USD 86,811.4 Million in 2018.

Why is Revenue Cycle Management a Complex Procedure?

The focus of several healthcare service providers is on offering top-notch care to their growing patient population. However, attention must also be paid to the financial solvency of the business to make sure that a hospital will be able to provide the same level of care in the upcoming years. Doctors and physicians are persistently faced with the challenge of providing cost-effective care to the patients while witnessing annual increase in administrative and care-delivery costs. Maintaining healthy accounts, preventing and reducing unpaid claims, reducing inefficient billing and coding processes, and enhancing point-of-service collections can severely impact profit margins.

The task of preventing unpaid claims to witness the greatest profit margins is strenuous, considering the nature of healthcare. The healthcare sector is complex as the price to offer services is shouldered by the organizations even before those services are paid either by the patient or the insurance companies. But the claims process is time-consuming. It can take months before a bill is paid in full. According to a survey, more than 95% of medical practice leaders reported inadequate billing processes. The majority of the leaders executed backup efforts to resolve the process by the end of the year. Besides, an inclination towards direct patient responsibility with high deductible health plans from commercial payer reimbursement supports the fact that healthcare service providers must closely examine their RCM and evaluate the methods to achieve multiple benefits.

Key Industry Developments

A rise in the adoption and usage of novel technologies have aided the prominent players in acquiring a lucrative revenue since the past few years. The utilization of RCM software solutions has supported several companies on a global scale. This article further provides insights into a few of the key developments that have recently occurred in the revenue cycle management industry.

Homecare Homebase Launches its New Revenue Cycle Management Service

Homecare Homebase, LLC, a developer of mobile software solutions for home health and hospice agencies, headquartered in Dallas, announced the launch of its new RCM service in June 2019. The latest RCM service is providing part of the organization’s HCHB services suite, a collection of technology-driven services that are designed to reduce the burden of time-consuming administrative operations. Moreover, it reduces in-house billing staff of the agencies by transferring the lion’s share of the collection tasks and administrative billing to a highly skilled team of billing experts.

Additionally, it offers more clarity into the often opaque RCM process for managing agencies through the use of the company’s dashboards and analytics. Homecare’s new service provides an extraordinary return on investment as several agencies are ready to leave money on the table. They are often not ready to spend the time required to resolve all the billing issues. The company’s extensive knowledge and expertise of billing will put it in a unique position.

Apprio, Inc. Unveils its New Commercial Health Unit Named ApprioHealth

In March 2019, Apprio, Inc., a provider of specialized technology solutions, based in Washington, D.C., unveiled its new, commercially focused business unit called ApprioHealth. The unit is aimed to fulfill the revenue cycle management requirements of health systems and hospitals. It will be led by Donny Zamora, who will be the division’s president. ApprioHealth will provide advanced technological solutions and services catered to the needs of the healthcare providers’ revenue cycle. The unit is a perfect blend of Apprio’s highly skilled revenue cycle management team and 20 years of technology experience. The main aim of the new division is to transform the way health systems and hospitals use technology to maximize revenue from existing payers as well as to register patients in the available coverage options.

Into the Future of Revenue Cycle Management Industry

With susceptible relationships enter new challenges that require attention. Payers have to prioritize individuals as buyers of healthcare coverage and healthcare due to the increasing exchanges in ways that they may not have focused as acutely in the past. The future of RCM is fully entangled with the idea of a more accountable customer. Payers are taking multiple actions to prevent and minimize financial glitches. The industry will exhibit a more consumer-centric approach. It would occur as patients are now responsible for a significant part of healthcare revenue due to a rise in the number of high-deductible health plans.

Accenture had surveyed approximately 2,000 consumers regarding medical bill payment. As per the survey, nearly 40% of the consumers mentioned that they would pay their medical bills in advance if they knew the cost beforehand. To increase the likelihood that patients will pay the bills and to guard their revenue streams, hospitals and healthcare companies are likely to maintain their consumer-friendly transparency in the future.

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About the author: Reeti Banerjee is currently working as a content writer in a prominent market research firm named Fortune Business Insights. She specializes in writing articles, press releases, blogs, and news reports. She believes in maintaining simplicity throughout her content to provide the clients with a seamless reading experience. Reeti Banerjee on Linkedin

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Bellagio and MGM Grand Could Be Up for Sale

Zoltán Tűndik

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Photo source: Bloomberg
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Two Las Vegas landmarks could be up for sale. MGM Resorts International may sell the Bellagio and MGM Grand to Blackstone Group Inc. Talks are supposedly in the advanced stages and will involve a sale-leaseback agreement. What this means is that after the sale, MGM will lease the two properties via its affiliated real estate investment trust, MGM Growth Properties.

IMAGE CREDIT: Pinterest

The potential sale would come at a perfect time. MGM is purported in a lot of debt, and the sale, according to analysts, is a logical solution. “These are two key pieces of real estate,” explained Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli. “If you’re MGM, you can expect a healthy premium for those assets… I think they’re evaluating ways to unlock value.”

Macquarie hospitality analyst Chad Beynon agreed, noting that the sale-leaseback setup will help MGM reduce its debt. He pointed out MGM’s need to deleverage now, given its exposure to “highly volatile markets like Las Vegas, where revenues fell 16 percent during the last recession.” Beynon added, “With interest rates coming down to historic lows and ample liquidity, we believe it’s a good time for MGM to explore value for some of these irreplaceable assets.”

The sale of Bellagio and MGM Grand will not be without precedent. Bloomberg’s feature on another potential MGM deal noted how the company previously sold “all but four of its wholly owned casinos to MGM Growth Properties Inc.” Now, the Bellagio and MGM Grand look set to be sold, too, along with the lesser-known Circus Circus located north of Las Vegas. Once finalised these deals will continue MGM’s years-long restructuring. Perhaps just as important the sale could set up MGM for its foray into Japan. The company is currently trying to secure a gaming licence in Japan that could potentially bring the MGM brand to a new lucrative market in Asia.

Worth the risk?

IMAGE CREDIT: Pinterest

Between the Bellagio and MGM Grand, Blackstone will get 10,000 rooms and more than 300,000 square feet of casino space. But the question now is whether or not Blackstone’s alleged power move will pay off as the casino industry in Vegas is struggling. Nevada’s largest casinos lost $1.2 billion in the last fiscal year. Much of this loss was “driven by expenses associated with the reorganization of Caesars Entertainment after emerging from bankruptcy.” This is despite total casino revenues in Nevada increasing with customers paying more for games, hotels, and food and drink. In particular, gaming revenue for the state increased to $11.6 billion, marking the 7th increase in 8 years.

One reason for this increase in spending is that more people are coming to Vegas for alternative attractions. Alongside casino gaming, Vegas is also becoming a top destination for online gaming such as eSports. With the largest RazorStore opening in the city this year, the hope is to “encourage and foster an avid gaming community”. This shows how the city is adapting to modern online gaming audiences after years of competing with digital platforms. The online casino boom had a huge affect on the future of Vegas with more people playing games online. This was also driven by the availability of online resources as people could learn and play from the comfort of their homes. The online guides on PartyPoker for Texas Hold’em and Omaha help players learn the rules of the games as well as find tournaments for them to play in. However, despite ease of access this can’t compare to playing in an actual Vegas casino. Which is why the Bellagio and MGM Grand, which offer two of the best poker rooms in all of Sin City, are still seen as top tourist destinations. With gaming revenues up Blackstone will hope to take advantage of both casinos’ global reputation to develop their investment.

So far, though, neither Blackstone nor MGM has commented publicly about the reported sale. But if it does push through, it could signal a further revival in Las Vegas.

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European Commission Press Releases

European Labour Authority starts its work

Vlad Poptamas

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Today, the European Labour Authority starts its activities with an inaugural ceremony and the first meeting of its Management Board. The launch takes place two years after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the idea for such an Authority in his 2017 State of the Union address before the European Parliament.

Marking the event, President Juncker said: “The European Labour Authority is the cornerstone in our work to make EU labour rules fair, effective and enforceable. It is no surprise that the Authority was established in record time, given its great necessity. The Authority will provide workers and employers with better access to information on their rights and obligations and will support national labour authorities in their cross-border activities. This will directly support the millions of Europeans who live or work in another Member State as well as the millions of businesses operating cross-border in the EU. This is another major step towards an integrated European labour market built on trust, reliable rules and effective cooperation. I want to thank all those – in the Parliament, the Council and the Commission – who have made the Authority a reality. I wish it every success.

President Juncker will participate in the opening ceremony in Brussels together with the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Peter Pellegrini, given Member States’ choice of Bratislava as the Authority’s location. Commission Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis and Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioner Marianne Thyssen and other guests will also attend.

Vice-President Dombrovskis said: “The European Labour Authority brings national authorities together. Both in its governance structure and day-to-day operations, the Authority will facilitate the cooperation between Member State representatives, as well as social partners.” Commissioner Thyssen added: “The Labour Authority will be the oil in the machinery of the internal market. A place where colleagues from different national authorities become used to working together and solving problems together. This will make the wheels of labour mobility turn more smoothly, to the advantage of millions of European citizens and businesses that make use of their right of free movement every day.

The Management Board of the Authority consists of representatives of Member States, of the Commission, EU-level social partners, European Parliament, as well as observers from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and other EU Agencies in the field of employment and social affairs. On 17 October, they will meet for the first time to adopt the necessary decisions to put the Authority into action and share their views on the initial work programme.

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