On the Money

Jacques Torres: Not all dark chocolate is created equal, and here's why

Key Points
  • Americans will spend billions on Easter candy this year, data shows.
  • Chocolate is a big seller this time of the year, with dark chocolate considered the healthiest.
  • Chocolatier Jacques Torres explains to CNBC why some dark chocolate is better than others.
Mr. Chocolate
Mr. Chocolate

Whether you're buying chocolate bunnies, marshmallow peeps or perhaps Cadbury eggs, Americans are expected to spend $18.2 billion on the Easter holiday. And candy purchases alone will make up more than $2.5 billion of that spending, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.

Over 80 percent of Americans celebrate Easter, according to the research firm — and therefore it's one of the busiest times of years for chocolate makers.

For New York City-based chocolate company Jacques Torres Chocolate, Easter ranks as the second busiest holiday after Christmas. Valentine's Day is 3rd, followed by Mother's Day.

But with more than one-third of Americans obese, is there a healthy way to indulge in the sweet treat? Torres offered some tips to help out the calorie-conscious eaters.

Health experts point out that dark chocolate — often considered among the healthiest of candy options — is healthier than milk chocolate. Among other benefits, the dark variety may help promote a healthy heart and is rich in certain vitamins, according to Harvard's School of Public Health.

"Dark chocolate can be good for you, and when I say 'can,' it's about what type of dark chocolates are you eating. Don't eat the dark chocolate with too much sugar," Jacques Torres, Founder of Jacques Torres Chocolate told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview.

"Dark [chocolate] is a milk chocolate that contains over 50 percent cocoa contents and very little sugar," Torres told CNBC. However, too much can be counterproductive: Harvard points out that dark chocolate is "high in calories (150-170 calories per ounce) and can contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess."

The chocolatier said experiments are now underway to create a new type of dark milk chocolate. It's not for sale in his stores yet, but he expects it will be soon.

Torres stated his biggest sellers are the smaller items, like his eggs, and small molds of chicks and bunnies.

"Remember that Easter is for the kids and for the kids to find some little things...so we sell quite a bit of those little things," he added.

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