Since the pandemic, foods that provide a sense of comfort have become more important to consumers. As we all know, a delicious piece of chocolate can support emotional well-being and make our day that much better.
However, it is not only comfort that consumers seek, they also want healthier options with lifestyle benefits, as well as bold and adventurous flavours.
In this article we have highlighted the top 5 trends within the confectionery industry.
Nostalgia and comfort
Chocolate confectionery has benefited from the pandemic by providing that sense of comfort and nostalgia during such stressful times.
Brands are bringing nostalgic flavours to their products by adding a twist or different combinations to innovate. New versions of familiar favourites are popular within the category, such as popcorn and cookies.
A pinch of adventure flavours
In these uncertain times, consumers are looking for different ways to deliver memorable experiences, and flavour is the key element for this audience. Brands are experimenting around taste, texture and occasion of use as a way to channel more alternative moments of pleasure and escapism.
From sweet and salty popcorn to herbal, spicy and umami flavours, all are possible within confectionery products. Bold flavours like pandan or shiso, can bring so much versatility and a balance to so much sweetness.
A little luxury never hurts anyone
Brands are seeing opportunities in luxury chocolates by adding alcohol as an extra element of fun, as well as flavour. Whether it’s luxury champagne fudge, coconut mojito biscuits or cocktail flavoured chocolates, it adds a touch of sophistication to the category.
Indulgent but healthy
Healthier choices are in focus, even in this sector. The pandemic has created a sense of urgency towards low/no-sugar claims across a range of products and confectioners are striving to win consumers over to the healthier lifestyle.
Many chocolate brands have looked beyond mere indulgence as a selling point and are innovating around options that balance pleasure with better-for-you features, according to Mintel’s report – A year of innovation in chocolate confectionery, 2022.
Consumers aware of the impact of their choices on the planet are growing and with that the demand for plant-based products and sustainable packaging has also seen an increase.
Cocoa is in the spotlight around the world from a sustainability perspective. More consumers want the reassurance that they can indulge in their favourite treat without harming the planet and its people.
Plant-based chocolate is coming through with different vegetable ‘milks’ and is even expected to reach $1 billion by 2027 (Globe Newswire, 2022). Over half of the vegan and plant-based chocolate launches introduced in the last year were available in tablet format, making this the most prolific vegan format, according to Mintel.
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Our indulgent ‘Natural Flavours for Chocolate’ range incorporates some of our favourite flavours for use in milk, dark and white chocolate, confectionery, and other sweet applications.
There is something to suit all tastes in this collection, including a Chilli Chipotle Soft Extract, a perfect pairing with lime, or why not try the sweet Cherry Flavour or a more seasonal Speculaas Spice Flavour.
With allergens in mind, our versatile Nutty ‘No-Nuts’ flavours have been formulated to deliver ‘true to the taste’ flavours without the use of any nuts or nut derivatives. Perfect for plant-based concepts and allergy-free.
Mintel – A year of innovation in chocolate confectionery, 2022
Thefoodpeople – Category Snapshot – Confectionery & Sweet Snacking 2022