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Belcolade launches new milk-alike Plant-Based Belgian Chocolate

7 Dec 2021


Given the growing demand for Plant-Based food, Belcolade launches a truly indulgent plant-based milk-alike chocolate perfect for ALL chocolate lovers. Delicious & creamy, this well-balanced Belgian Chocolate is suitable for people with the most common allergies, Dairy-free[1] and Nut-Free[2].  Launched in October, Belcolade Selection M. Plant-Based Cacao-Trace, has already been hailed by chocolate industry players as “the best chocolate in the plant-based market”.

Plant-Based: from niche to food revolution

The chocolate category is undergoing significant change, led by global food trends such as health and well-being. In particular, consumers’ concern about their own personal physical wellness, as well as that of the planet, is fueling plant-based eating habits. Our Taste Tomorrow consumer trends research has found the number of consumers buying plant-based foods has almost doubled (from 35% to 60%) since 2018, making it the biggest trend in the entire food industry.

In the chocolate industry, this new trend is also booming. The global vegan chocolate confectionery market size is expected to reach USD 1.41 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 14.8% over the forecast period[3].

Filling a long-standing gap

“Until now, there has been a very clear gap in the plant-based chocolate market” states Youri Dumont, SBU chocolate director at Puratos. “We know the chocolate sector is still driven by many millions of milk chocolate lovers, whose expectations are not being adequately met when they look for plant-based alternatives.”  From a recent study[4], it appears that Milk-alike Vegan chocolate innovations are often perceived as less tasty than conventional products making it challenging to convince consumers of the chocolate’s sensory attributes. Most consumers believe that Plant Based chocolate means a poor replacement for “the real thing”. Neither the flavor (described as high sweetness) nor the texture (sandy) are right. Some chocolates have a more indulgent approach, but they are not suitable for people with common allergies as they contain allergen-based dairy alternatives such as nuts.

“There is a strong need for a allergen-free milk-alternative chocolate which is really about indulging these milk chocolate fans with a truly attractive plant-based option” states Youri Dumont. “We’re very excited to have solved the puzzle of delicious yet allergen-free plant-based chocolate.”

No milky, so silky

Plant-Based Cacao-Trace is a real Belgian chocolate, thanks to being manufactured at the Belcolade factory in Erembodegem. It is commercially available today.

The development of Belcolade Selection M. Plant-Based Cacao-Trace was a true co-creation project, involving professional chocolatiers and customers from the outset, alongside Belcolade’s own experts. Their mission was clear: developing a no-compromise, truly indulgent milk-alike chocolate that can be enjoyed by absolutely everyone, including allergy sufferers. The collaboration enabled the team to determine the taste, texture and working behaviour that would best reflect both the needs of professionals and the preferences of consumers. As a result, Belcolade Selection M. Plant-Based Cacao-Trace is highly versatile, suitable for the production of tablets, hollow figures and pralines by chocolatiers. It also has numerous artisan and industrial uses, including mousses, ganaches, coatings and dipping.

Industry plaudits

Feedback from chocolate experts, customers and consumers has been extremely positive. One chocolate industry player stated the new product is “the best chocolate I have tasted in the plant-based market” and a second one said: “I am really struggling to put into words to describe the little piece of heaven that has just melted in my mouth… I think this is actually the best dairy-free milk chocolate I have ever tasted and ever thought possible.”

Complementing our offering of dairy-free dark chocolates, Belcolade Selection M. Plant-Based Cacao-Trace is suitable for all chocolate lovers. Let your consumers enjoy this delicious and creamy plant-based milk-alike chocolate whether they are Vegans, Flexitarians or chocolate lovers eager to discover a new taste.

Order your samples now!  Contact your local Puratos sales representative to learn more about our solutions:

[1] Produced in a nut free and dairy-free production line. In addition, this product is gluten-free and without soy allergen.

[2] Produced in a nut free and dairy-free production line. In addition, this product is gluten-free and without soy allergen.

[3] Research and Markets, Vegan Chocolate Confectionery Market Size, Share & Trends and Segment Forecasts, 2021-2028


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