Despite the recent tumble in oil prices and a dip in price for key raw materials from which confectionery ingredients are sourced, today's economic climate is, by all accounts, a challenge.
A situation that demands new concepts from, and for, food industry participants to keep ahead of the curve.
At this year's SIAL, the show organiser's set up 'Food Design', an event that explores ingredients, colours, flavours, shapes and textures involved in creating a new, value-added product. Formulated by young designers from Reims ESAD Art School, the fresh product ideas gave more than a passing nod to confectionery.
Marc Bretillot, culinary designer at the Reims ESAD school, outlined the aim of food design initiative: "A product that is attractive and good to eat because it is well-thought out and based on fair and responsible practices - in other words, good design!"
Pitching the evolving food trend for all that is sophisticated, ESAD student Adrien Goubet has come up with sugar and chocolate "that give a new twist to that coffee moment."
He designed a moulded, mini-mountain of chocolate, called 'Immersions coffee rite', that includes a dip in the 'mound' where a lump of sugar can be placed. In ESAD's words, "a confectionery creation that can be crunched, dunked or simply allowed to melt."
From the sleek to the imaginative, Anne Thach Nguyen showcased a fine, caramel, spheric cage that encloses "a spicy treasure".
The thin threads of caramel encase a core made up of several layers to include marzipan, fruit and hazelnut powder, peanut flakes, all heightened with spices. She also proposes a crystallised fruit and nougat, bitter chocolate, pistachio flake centre in the decorative, edible cage.
Alternatively, Jeremy Guenole designed his 'lace-like' sugar disc that slots over a spoon via the hole in the middle of the disc. Served with coffee, the design will focus on a decorative presentation for coffee.
Dark chocolate was used by Joachim Baillif to formulate an edible bitter chocolate spoon. The collection of slim, long chocolate spoons contain spices for use with either spicy, or savoury, recipes.
Moving into the realms of the fun and whacky, and a potential child-pleasing product, Constance Laisne designed an emmental snack – called Domino: Fromachoc – that contains varying-size spots of dark 70 per cent cocoa chocolate. With the dark spots, the confectionery, dairy and biscuit snack all rolled into one, takes on the appearance of a domino.
"This balanced bar can be enjoyed, and even be used as a game to be played on one's own, or with others," wrote the show organisers.
Matching product packaging presentation with a popular sweet confectionery product Geoffrey Gillant and Olivier Cortes. The two design students ventured a new twist for their L-shaped flavoured, boiled-sugar lollipops, sprinkling the product with ground dried fruit or citrus peel. In addition, the transparent, high-tech feel presentation case serves "to create a gourmand landscape".