Although carob trees can rarely be seen in the US, they are popular in Mediterranean countries like Portugal and Morocco. When dried, their pods can be used to make carob powder. It’s a healthier alternative to cocoa powder that is naturally sweet and is also gluten-free. Business owners are feeling the wind of change in the candy industry. That’s why they’re incorporating sustainably sourced alternatives to the classic cocoa in their products. Businesses selling chocolate aim to appeal to a wider audience. That has increased the popularity of carob wholesale products. Although it’s associated with sweets, the import and trade of carob is also a part of the wholesale legume industry. You can read more about similar products in our articles on wholesale chickpeas and lupins wholesale.
Applications of Carob
Carob trees have multiple uses. In Greece, they are sometimes used as firewood but that’s not what carob is most famous for.
As carob trees can be found primarily in the Mediterranean region, the usage of carob pods as feed for livestock is concentrated mostly there. Carob pod meal is rich in carbohydrates and gives a lot of energy. It can be used to manufacture chocolate-like treats for domesticated pets such as dogs. In recent years, bakery businesses have started offering products like dog cakes and brownies have become more popular. That’s why bakeries might often purchase wholesale peanut butter and carob.
Carob powder is bought wholesale from manufacturers in the confectionery industry. They use it as an alternative to cocoa powder to produce various types of chocolate. As the supply of powdered carob wholesale is lower compared to cocoa, the price of this product can increase the cost of goods sold. That’s why it’s unlikely that carob will completely replace cocoa in chocolate production. The main benefit of carob powder is that it is gluten-free and suitable for people with diabetes. As it’s naturally sweet, carob powder doesn’t need additional sweetening.
Carob chips is another product that is used to make sweets and baked goods such as cookies and brownies.
One of the main roles of carob in the economy is related to its seeds. They are used for making a thickening agent called locust bean gum. The main application of this thickening agent is to be an alternative to gluten. However, other businesses might also find suppliers of carob bean gum as it can be used in cosmetics and other industries.
Syrups and Beverages
Carob wholesale suppliers often offer it in a syrup form. It can be used in mixology or other branches of the food and beverage industry. E-commerce retailers that specialize in healthy food products also benefit from wholesale prices and purchase carob wholesale either in its powdered form or as a syrup. In Cyprus, Malta, and other Mediterranean countries, carob syrup is used for distilling liqueur.
Key takeaway: Carob bean gum and carob powder are the most popular products made of the carob tree. Locust bean gum is used as a thickening agent while the powder is used for baking and making sweets. Carob products are a healthier and gluten-free alternative to chocolate sweets. The carob market is fairly small but it’s expected to grow in the near future.
The Carob Market
Unlike wholesale beans and wholesale peas, the carob market is fairly small. Carob powder has become popular in recent years as more consumers search for gluten-free alternatives or naturally sweet products that are suitable for people with diabetes or other dietary restrictions. In 2020, the total size of the carob wholesale and retail market was estimated at around $200 million. The expected yearly growth for the next ten years is around 6%.
The snack food manufacturing and restaurant industries are expected to be the biggest customers of carob wholesale in this growing industry. There are two main reasons behind that. Carob powder is naturally sweet and is a healthier alternative compared to cocoa bean powder. With an increased number of people suffering from diabetes and gluten intolerance, alternatives like carob products will become among the most popular legumes in restaurants and snacks.
Unlike wholesale soy which is extensively produced in the US, carob is primarily found in Mediterranean countries. Portugal is the biggest producer of carob products in the world. That’s why the majority of the carob powder in the US is imported from different Mediterranean countries. Various businesses purchase legumes in bulk. Unlike beans, peas, or lentils wholesale, carob is mostly used for desserts and baked goods. Thus, the main customers of carob wholesale suppliers are snack manufacturers, bakeries, and confectionery companies.
Frequently Asked Questions about Carob Wholesale
As they are fairly unknown ingredients in the US, consumers might have a lot of questions regarding carob products. Below we’ve answered some of the commonly asked questions on the topic of carob wholesale and carob products.
What Are the Different Carob Products on the Market?
Even though the carob tree is found mainly in the Mediterranean region, the products made from its pods are popular worldwide. As it is a gluten-free alternative to other food products, carob has become a popular ingredient for many food manufacturers. Here are the main carob products on the market.
- Carob powder. It’s made from the pods and the seeds of the carob tree. After they’re dried, the pods are ground into fine powder. It’s used for baked goods and pastries. Carob powder can also be mixed into drinks like carob milkshakes.
- Carob chips. Making healthy and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies can be done with the help of carob chips and gluten-free flour. Other sweets and baked goods can also be prepared with carob chips.
- Carob syrup. The pods of the carob tree can be used to make syrup. It can be a substitute for honey and used for sweetening various desserts and cakes. Carob syrup can also be used for distilling beverages like liqueur.
- Locust bean gum (LBG). Probably the most significant carob product is made of its seeds and it’s called carob gum or locust bean gum. It’s used as a thickening agent in various foods and other products. It’s an alternative to gluten.
Are Carob Products Healthy?
Carob is one of the healthiest options on the sweets market. It’s extensively used by candy businesses, especially the ones that aim to offer products for people with diabetes. The reason why carob is considered to be a healthier alternative compared to cocoa is its low fat content.
An additional benefit of this legume is its natural sweetness. Unlike cocoa, which is naturally bitter, carob does not need a lot of additional sweetening. That’s why businesses in the sweet snack industry are among the main clients of carob wholesale suppliers and importers.
Does Carob Taste Like Chocolate?
The sweet taste of carob is very similar to cocoa products like chocolate. In fact, there are chocolates that are made from carob powder instead of cocoa. However, the flavor is somewhat different. Carob has a slightly nutty taste. It’s also less bitter than natural cocoa which needs to be mixed with various sweeteners to become a delicious chocolate.
As the supply of carob is scarcer, it is not likely to replace cocoa in the chocolate industry. It is primarily used for making dietary products like naturally sweet goods suitable for people with diabetes.