Founded in 1884 in Chicago by representatives of 69 confectionery manufacturing firms, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) is one of the oldest, most respected trade associations in the world. The National Confectioners Association's Chocolate Council was founded in 2008 by members of the trade association who process cocoa and make chocolate.
The Council focuses on opportunities to educate the public about the natural origins of chocolate and build a better understanding of this unique and special food.
The U.S. chocolate industry has worked together in an organized fashion since 1923 when the Chocolate Manufacturers Association was founded. Throughout the previous century, CMA served manufacturers of cocoa and chocolate products by funding and administering research, promoting chocolate to media and consumers, and serving as an advocate before Congress and government agencies. In 1947, the Board of CMA formed a separate non-profit research arm known as the American Cocoa Research Institute.
In 2008, recognizing the many shared interests of chocolate ingredient producers and finished chocolate confectionery manufacturers, CMA's Board decided that it would align itself with the National Confectioners Association and form the Chocolate Council, which ensures coordination between chocolate users and manufacturers on issues related to chocolate and cocoa.
The original members of CMA hold at-large (permanent) seats on the governing body of the Council, and chocolate users are represented by revolving seats. All NCA members who make chocolate or chocolate confectionery are members of the Council itself.