Last week, ConfectioneryNews visited Barry Callebaut’s Decoration Inspiration Lab in Zundert, where the company helps to develop new products with its customers. There we met chef Jurgen Koens, who acts as a technical advisor to Barry Callebaut. He said that decorations were integral to the commercial success of a product.
“Do you like a car with nice wheels or the basic wheels under it? The product has to be attractive – if it’s not attractive you don’t want to buy it as a consumer,” he said.
Barry Callebaut uses decorations and inclusions from its subsidiaries such as ASM Foods and La Morella Nuts to put the finishing touches on newly developed confectionery, bakery, ice cream and dairy products.
Gold & glamor
Sofie De Lathouwer, marketing director, Food Manufacturers Western Europe at Barry Callebaut, said: “All the gold and sparkling things are gaining more popularity. It’s bringing brightness. We are living in an economic depression and people are looking for something brighter.”
Chef Koens said the same trend was true in the car and fashion industries. “You see brighter colors make people happy,” he said. “For pralines I go for the glimmer and the glamor at the moment.”
Pralines can be given a shimmer by spraying a transfer sheet with edible gold or silver spray then adding a tempered chocolate layer. After cooling, the transfer sheet is removed and the praline has its sparkling effect.
Multisensory experience with crunch
“At the moment it’s all about texture,“ continued Koens. “People are looking for products that can be used as decoration but also as flavor and texture.”
“People are not happy with only one thing inside – it needs to be double or triple,” added De Lathouwer
Koens said products that delivered a multisensory experience and particularly those that gave an extra crunch would succeed.
“In the restaurant business it’s all about texture and acidity – they are always searching for a crunch and a sourness.”
Restaurants set flavor trends
According to Koens the best way to predict future trends in confectionery was to look to the restaurant industry,
“In terms of flavor, people are still searching for acidity in products and it’s not going to change because acidity gives a less guilty feeling.”
He said the trend for acidity had originated from the now closed Spanish restaurant elBulli, formerly one of the world’s top restaurants.
“If there are trends going on in the food business it all comes from one of the best restaurants – it’s looking what Noma, the Fat Duck and Can Roca are doing. These trends will go on into confectionery and into pastries and whatever – they are the trendmakers of flavors.”
Barry Callebaut has also noted a rise in requests for products with cleaner ingredients labels.
“A lot of questions are on e-number free – it’s really a big thing in the chocolatier world,” said Koens.
Barry Callebaut has patented process to naturally print designs onto pralines using cocoa powders. De Lathouwer said the method helped to keep ingredients lists simple.
The company also owns a US decorations factory in North Carolina and yesterday announced that it would expand the plant by adding a new molded cup line and a high-capacity decorator machine.
The Mona Lisa Chocolate Decorations factory in Hendersonville will increase its square footage from 40,892 to 65,666. Barry Callebaut acquired Mona Lisa Food Products in 2012.