World Chocolate Day buzz from industry experts

World Chocolate Day buzz from industry experts


On World’s Chocolate Day, four industry leaders tell HN what’s creating a buzz on the scene of our favorite sweet treat.

Trends to watch

There are two major chocolate trends, the first being plant-based and vegan chocolates, which are the industry’s response to the increasing popularity of plant-based diets and a growing demand for vegan options and alternative ingredients to dairy, such as almond, coconut, rice and oat milks. The other trend is single-origin and ethically sourced chocolates, which are gaining popularity on the back of rising interest in knowing the origin of the cocoa beans used in chocolate production.

Furthermore, chocolatiers are continuously experimenting with new ingredients and pairings to create unique taste experiences. Current innovative flavor combinations include: spices and herbs (cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, mint and lavender); citrus fruits (orange, lemon, lime, yuzu and grapefruit); exotic fruits (mango, passion fruit, pineapple and guava); nutty combinations (almond butter, pistachio, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan nut, praline and gianduja); floral notes (violet, jasmine and rose or orange blossom); and liquors and spirits (whiskey, rum, tequila, limoncello and cognac or parfait amour).

Master consultant chef,
CA Consultancy Services

Trends to watch

Sustainability has emerged as a key focus for major chocolate producers. In addition, I’ve noticed a growing demand for artisanal pralines crafted with exclusive chocolates, carefully selected ingredients, and unique blends featuring luxurious elements. There is an increasing interest in knowing the origin of the ingredients used in these creations, as it adds a sense of authenticity and transparency. The future of chocolate will require an artisanal and indulgent approach, utilizing carefully sourced high-quality ingredients and environmentally friendly packaging.

Furthermore, while working as the executive pastry chef at Bulgari Dubai, I had the opportunity to craft a unique chocolate bonbon combining gorgonzola cheese, orange and milk chocolate. Surprisingly, despite not being a fan of blue cheese, I found that the velvety milk chocolate coating perfectly complemented the orange and gorgonzola ganache. It was truly a one-of-a-kind pairing.

In addition, I’ve been working on a wide range of sugar-free products, including desserts, cookies and chocolate bonbons. It’s been an intriguing exploration of sugar alternatives, especially when it comes to achieving the right texture.

Technical advisor pastry chef, EMF

Trends to watch

Expect to see chocolates infused with new ingredients, such as exotic spices, botanicals and herbs or even unexpected flavor pairings to cater to adventurous tastebuds. Customers and chocolate enthusiasts are showing more interest in the provenance and quality of the cocoa beans. Artisanal chocolate-makers who focus on small-batch production using high-quality ingredients and meticulous craftsmanship will likely gain more recognition and popularity.

Furthermore, flavor combinations gaining more popularity include chocolates infused with exotic spices, like cardamom, cinnamon or ginger, since the heat of the spice complements the sweetness of the chocolate. A zesty taste of lemon and lime creates a whole new experience, fruit and herb combinations, such as strawberry and basil or raspberry and thyme, work well, since the sharpness and slightly acidic notes of balsamic vinegar add depth and complexity to chocolate.

Pastry chef instructor /consultant in KSA

Trends to watch

Trends worth keeping an eye on, include an increased focus on learning more about the technicalities involved in chocolate-making, from tempering and coloring to filling. There is also a move toward healthier versions of chocolate, with varieties using less sugar and plant-based (vegan) ingredients in high demand. Other interesting developments include the emphasis on versatility where chocolate is concerned, through sculptures and decoration, for example.

Furthermore, many aspects can determine which flavor combinations are popular, from seasons and countries to new trends. However, there’s a definite move right now toward fruity and tropical flavors, like passion fruit combined with basil and strawberry combined with rose. Some other flavors that are fixed, regardless of the season, include caramel, nut-based flavors and wafer.

Technical advisor, Banopuratos, UAE


For more articles, click here

Add to Favorites
About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *