A report last week from Swiss bank Credit Suisse stated that "food consumption holds up pretty well in recession times".
The dominance of luxury at the Salon du Chocolat, which opened its doors to the public on Wednesday, has arguably taken this statement to an optimistic height.
From an intricate 'Cinderella' shoe made entirely from dark chocolate, to a soaring three-metre high, diamante-clad Eiffel Tower, the intriguing power of chocolate to impress and pamper the consumer was very much in evidence.
"Everyone likes a little square of luxury," an exhibitor who was promoting a range of 'single varietal' chocolates told ConfectioneryNews.com.
In terms of innovation and less typical chocolate ingredients, chocolate maker Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki Paris, which combines “French chocolate with Japanese ingredients”, stood out.
The firm presented a range of sushi-style, thin bars of dark chocolate with a wafer thin, plastic-looking top coating (made from cocoa butter and natural pigments) in bold, primary colours. Flavours range from wasabi – with a bright green topping – to blackcurrant, of a startling electric-blue.
Other less classic ingredients at the show formulated into chocolate products included lavender, coriander seeds, green tea – actually quite prevalent – thyme, and black tea.