How Research & Development has Shaped Valentine’s Day

valentines-day-1182252_960_720On February 14th around the globe, confectioners would have us believe that the way to the heart is through the stomach – in particular, with heart-foiled chocolate. However, how has research and development (R&D) helped shape this day into what it is at present?

As it turns out, chocolate actually has quite a rich history as a ‘love’ food. Passion for chocolate is rooted deep in Mesoamerican history and cacao beans consumption can be traced back to ancient Mayan in 500 A.D.. In fact, cacao beans were as valuable a commodity as gold, and were even used to pay taxes levied by Aztec rulers. Moreover, it was a highly-prized luxury item among Mayan and Aztec upper class elites. Montezuma, a one-time emperor of Mexico, allegedly always swigged a liquid chocolate drink called xocoatl before entering his harem to fuel his romantic trysts – touting it to be a natural aphrodisiac.

chocolates-491165_960_720Nonetheless, chocolate wasn’t always the delicacy we know and love today. Rather, Montezuma’s variety was hot, bitter and liquid. It was centuries before research & development assisted in learning how to make it into a solid treat. Daniel Peter, a Swede, was the first to add dried milk and produce the milk chocolate variety. However, it was Richard Cadbury, scion of a British chocolate manufacturing family, who “invented” the first Valentine’s Day candy box during the Victorian era in the late 1800s. Moving forward, the commercialization of Valentine’s Day flourished in America at the turn of the century.

From fair-sourced cocoa beans and sugar-free chocolate to understanding the health benefits of flavanols in cocoa – undeniably, chocolate has transformed over the ages thanks to R&D. Currently, there is even a start-up company in Spain that’s utilizing 3D printing for chocolate. On Valentine’s Day, customers can send a chocolate with their own portrait printed on it for their loved one to devour. Who said romance was dead?

Certainly, chocolate is universally loved and the global demand for it remains constant. Hence, it is to no surprise that research and development of new applications for this old flavor persist. On the whole, research and development (R&D) is a valuable tool for growing and improving products. Whether that be for expanding the horizons of chocolate, or growing innovation within your own businesses.

In addition, if you are conducting eligible R&D activities, you may be able to claim generous tax savings back on your investment. The government encourages businesses within the U.S. to do this by allowing business owners to offset research and development with R&D Tax Credits.  Although as noted above, you don’t need to be inventing new varieties of chocolate for Valentine’s Day – the IRS has a purposely broad range of industries which qualify for the credit. Moreover, businesses can take advantage of both state and federal credits and can claim the credits concurrently.  Contact us today to see if you are eligible to claim the R&D Tax Credit.

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