Chocolate: there’s nothing quite like it. Maya Bekhazi Noun, founder and managing director of The Food Studio, explores the latest trends and why consumers are gravitating toward healthier chocolates.
Recent trends have focused on the comforting aspect of chocolate, positioning it as a product that’s good for your emotional and mental well-being.
Healthy dark chocolate remains a favorite among baby boomers and Gen X, and is even more popular with millennials and Gen Zers, many of whom have adopted vegan lifestyles.
Extremely dark chocolate presents itself as sugar free, vegan, gluten free, additive free, low carb, natural and organic. Some brands are offering cocoa contents as high as 95 percent and 99 percent. It is even possible to find chocolate containing 100 percent cocoa under a raw or a more natural offering.
“In tune with immune“ is a 2021 trend, reflecting how immunity and health have become essential factors for consumers, with ongoing anxieties over Covid-19 dominating our minds.
Immunity-boosting ingredients will play a significant role in the coming year. There is greater awareness about the antioxidant content and potential health benefits of snacks featuring dark chocolate and superfruits, as well as the use of vitamins, proteins and zinc in confectionery.
Consumers are seeking chocolate that they can trust and are actively checking labels for quality in which they have confidence. They want to know where the chocolate comes from and what is in it. Cocoa is certainly in the spotlight from a sustainability perspective.
There are several other trends to keep an eye on. These include:
1. New forms of cocoa are being used in pastes, sauces, bombs, sticks and powders, in line with the entire snacking industry’s continuous evolution.
2. Smaller pack sizes – a trend empowering consumers to make informed choices regarding portion size, calories and price when purchasing sweet snacks.
3. More tropical and exotic flavors are taking center stage, with a focus on pineapple and coconut, in addition to spices and superfood mixes.
4. Mix-and-match flavors are providing consumers with the best of both worlds, offering a combination of sweet, salty, fruity and tart tastes.
Maya Bekhazi Noun,
co-founder and managing director of The Food Studio