Chicago — Insights collected by Barry Callebaut find that health and sustainability are top-of-mind and will be the focus moving into 2022. The company’s report on chocolate trends also identifies experiencing indulgent flavors in new forms. This is Barry Callebaut’s third ‘Top Chocolate Trends’ report for North America.
“As the leader in chocolate and cocoa, we have a unique perspective on the latest consumer insights and innovation in chocolate confectionery. We are excited to help fuel growth for leading brands and manufacturers by responding to these trends,” TJ Mulvihill, vice-president of marketing — North America, says.
The company says it is clear that as snack cravings continue to evolve and consumers seek products that are good for them and the planet, manufacturers will need to find ways to incorporate new flavors and textures while also committing to use ingredients that will not harm the environment.
Indulgent Moments — As the pandemic continues, consumers are turning to indulgences to seek happiness, pleasure and to celebrate. Chocolate is one of the first places they look to indulge; 65 percent of U.S. consumers agree that chocolate is their favorite indulgence, and 70 percent of U.S. consumers choose chocolate for their celebrations, according to research from Barry Callebaut.
Good for Me — The COVID-19 pandemic had many consumers turning to better-for-you alternatives to their favorite treats in an effort to boost their immune systems, a trend Barry Callebaut identified in 2021. Wellbeing is a priority for North American consumers, and 71 percent say they are actively trying to improve their diet, according to FMCG Gurus research. Though they are looking for healthier options, consumers don’t want to compromise on taste. Barry Callebaut data shows 61 percent wish there were healthier chocolate options, products that deliver the same quality of taste but have reduced sugar, are plant-based, or are all-around good for their body.
Chocolate I Trust — When consumers are choosing their next chocolate indulgence, they want something that won’t harm the environment. With the state of the environment looming over the minds of 80 percent of North American consumers, FMCG Gurus notes, in addition sustainable chocolate is a must, and consumers trust products that clearly communicate sustainability or transparency.
Taking New Forms — As more people are staying home — whether for work or at-home celebrations — snacking has become more common. To keep up with the demand for snacks, companies are creating new chocolate formats and categories. Mintel Group Ltd. reports 42 percent of consumers say that trying new snack flavors adds excitement to their everyday routines, especially when the flavors fit the season, such as pumpkin spice in the fall or peppermint in the winter.
Jenna McFarland, consumer & marketing insight manager, for Barry Callebaut, explains: “This year’s ‘Top Chocolate Trends’ were developed by our team of chocolate segment experts and is inspired by data and insights from our own primary research as well as data obtained from multiple leading industry sources. This report demonstrates Barry Callebaut’s thought leadership and deep understanding of the chocolate consumer and marketplace.”