28 Jun 2022
Taste Tomorrow is the world’s largest ecosystem for consumer understanding in the chocolate, patisserie and bakery sectors. Always-on tracking of local and global consumer behaviors, attitudes and choices provides us with valuable, in-depth insights. We are able to use these insights to track the evolution of trends and reveal new ones. What’s in it for you? Discover here.
In this article, we focus on three trends for chocolatiers that will be essential in 2023.
To track and measure changing behaviors and attitudes considering the current economic and political situation, Taste Tomorrow is continuously interviewing consumers worldwide. Our latest results show that food is within the top 3 categories where consumers are most concerned about rising prices. Interesting fact, only 24% of consumers are trying to save money by purchasing fewer chocolate bars, pralines and other chocolate items, which is the lowest number in the “sweet” category. This number is higher for desserts and ice cream (25%), candy (27%), cakes, patisserie and sweet goods (29%).
Despite the universal concern about the impact of the current market situation on their household spendings, 45% of consumers are not willing to go for the cheapest chocolate, but keep on buying products of higher quality, products they trust.
Discover the top three trends distilled from the recent global taste Tomorrow research that will shape the chocolate industry in 2023:
The world of chocolate is under scrutiny now as more and more consumers recognize that not all plantations work in a sustainable manner and respect workers’ rights. Sustainable and transparent brands have seen substantial growth over the past years in different parts of the world, which helped increase awareness about the origins of cocoa. Consumers appreciate sustainable brands and Fair Trade initiatives.
Organically grown chocolate also enhances the experience of enjoying chocolate. Interest in natural and organic foods has remained fairly stable, though increased in 2022 and is expected to grow further in 2023. Natural retains a health halo where it dials up permissibility and perceived health benefits of the finished chocolate products.
Carefree indulgence is especially true if chocolatiers manage to decrease the amount of sugar used, or replace it altogether. In recent years, the percentage of the population that believes sugar to be healthy has steadily decreased (from 18% in 2015 to only 13% in 2021). Honey, syrups and coconut sugar are all quoted among consumers as healthier replacements for sugar that make chocolate even more attractive to consumers.
As concerns about the environment, health and animal welfare persist, and with a greater number of plant-based options available, many consumers enjoy indulging in vegan and plant-based foods. So it’s no surprise that plant-based will also become a huge trend in the world of chocolate next year. Chocolatiers and confectionery manufacturers have been developing great alternatives to traditional milk chocolate that can be enjoyed by consumers who are following a plant-based diet, but will also seduce traditional milk chocolate lovers.
In short: premium chocolate-based recipes with natural ingredients and tasty plant-based replacements for dairy chocolates will be able to reach (much) larger audiences in 2023.
Chocolate has been associated with higher levels of endorphins and physical health benefits. Our Taste Tomorrow research shows that consumers actively point out the health benefits of certain foods, both for mental or physical health. “The magnesium in the dark chocolate helps our receptors for oxytocin to function better, and the Vitamin C in the berries, and Vitamin D in eggs help with the production of all our happiness hormones”, one consumer commented on a dessert with dark chocolate mousse and blueberries. Chocolate is traditionally associated with comfort and pleasure. It was also associated with lowering anxiety during the pandemic by many consumers. Search trends for food alleviating anxiety remained high in all languages researched over the course of this year. But in 2023, it will be increasingly turning into a moment of indulgence that is good for the body as well as the mind.
Satisfying these consumer demands may seem difficult, but it’s surely possible. Belcolade offers chocolate of an exceptional quality that is sustainable, sugar-reduced and plant-based, allowing you to add various claims with no need to adapt the process or recipe. Learn more here.