As it’s National Chocolate Week, the UK’s biggest chocolate celebration, from 12-18 October, we’ve decided to celebrate all things cocoa-infused at VOW.

For anyone at work or supplying food and drink to workplaces, chocolate can be the perfect treat. If you’re looking for a way to reward your colleagues or motivate a team, then give it a whirl. Here are just 5 reasons why:

We love it

In Britain we love these dark, white and milk treats, with the average person consuming 11.2kg last year, which is the equivalent of 255 Mars Bars. Our consumption in the UK is in fact now said to account for around a third of the European market.

It goes back centuries

Chocolate dates back to around 1900 BC, when it was taken as a bitter frothy drink by people living in Mesoamerica. It came to Europe in the 16th century after being discovered by the Spanish conquistadors and by the 20th century was considered a staple food and included in the rations of US soldiers going to war.

It enhances mood

Dark chocolate stimulates production of endorphins, chemicals that bring feelings of pleasure. It also contains serotonin, an anti-depressant. A study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that those drinking polyphenol rich chocolate once a day (around 1.5oz of dark chocolate) were calmer and more content than those who didn’t.

It’s good for our heads and hearts (in moderation)

The biologically active phenolic compounds in cocoa may have benefits in ageing, reducing oxidative stress and blood pressure regulation. Harvard Medical School scientists have suggested that two cups of hot chocolate may keep the brain healthy, prevent memory decline and may preserve blood flow in working areas of the brain. The British Medical Journal has also reported a possible link between chocolate consumption and a reduction in the risk of cardio disorders. General advice appears to be consuming no more than 100g of chocolate a day though, if we want to keep an eye on our waistlines.

It may improve our work performance

Studies by researchers at a university in West Virginia have found that chocolate may boost memory, lengthen our attention span and shorten reaction time, as well as strengthen our problem solving skills.

So a little of what we fancy, particularly a moderate amount of dark chocolate, may be doing us and our colleagues wonders. Here’s to enjoying those workplace treats!