Based on research in London, Paris, Rome and Brussels over the past year, the company has come up with six trends which will shape the chocolate industry and how it will use this data to co-create ‘meaningful chocolate innovations’ with its customers for 2016.
Chocolate milkshakes with crunchy super foods
Examples include merging food and taste – juice smoothies with crunchy chocolate bits, chocolate milkshakes with crunchy super foods, and nuts or fruits that will crack in your mouth.
Speaking to ConfectioneryNews at ProSweets 2016 in Cologne, Germany, recently, Bas Smit, head of marketing, Barry Callebaut, said regardless of their age and where they are from, consumers are interested more than ever in trying new things.
“Our research indicated to us some categories are quite boring to them at present and some categories are no longer clear or relevant,” he said.
“For the past year, we've immersed ourselves in the lives of the consumer across all our market segments; confectionery, bakery and pastry, home baking, ice cream and desserts, drinks and dairy, biscuits and cereals.
“Expect some surprises from us with new launches, but as an example: millennials are looking for wholesome food in fitting with their wholesome lives. They want their foods tasty and good for them.
“We want to develop Rough Smoothie Drinks, which are healthy smoothies with different textures, like the Smoothie Shake, fruit smoothies with chocolate bits, nuts or fruits that will melt, crack or burst in your mouth and excite your senses.”
The gap between a product and taste explosion is huge
According to Smit, the gap between a product and a taste explosion is huge, and Barry Callebaut wants to bridge that gap, in collaboration with its customers.
Barry Callebaut 2016 Chocolate Trends
Home; Dining out is out and eating in is, in. ie. creating chocolate and cocoa products that create 'baking moments' and stimulate creativity.
Clean, Clear, Responsible; ‘Green’ is no longer an adequate label for consumers - they want ‘clean and clear’. Brands who want to stand out need to be transparent.
Wholesome Choice millennials; Globesity is becoming a severe threat. Millennials are taking responsibility for their wellbeing with a holistic view on health.
Wholesome Choice Healthy Agers; Parents and grandparents are more at risk of undernutrition. ‘Healthy Agers’ wish to live longer, and remain active while growing old. Food has to support their changing metabolism, fill their nutritional needs, and prevent age-related diseases.
Premium Vs Value; Consumers either trade up or trade down but ‘mainstream’ is a dead-end road for a food brand. Desirability will be driven by the capacity for storytelling.
‘MY’ chocolate experience; To win the heart of today’s consumer, make it about them. Not as a segment, or as a generation, or a class but as an individual.
“The chocolate offerings in the supermarket are still a world removed from these radical innovations. In categories like tablets, pralines, ice creams and biscuits we still see mostly traditional tastes and shapes," he added.
"We also observe a lot of price promotions, which may indicate that brands struggle to capture the audience’s loyalty.”
By creating six trends (Home; Clean, Clear, Responsible; Wholesome Choice millennials;Wholesome Choice Healthy Agers; Premium versus Value; MY chocolate experiences) it can generate more than 1,000 taste manifestations with its customers, depending on their brand and strategic programs.
“A relevant concept platform is the next generation dairy experience, we have some great dairy brands in the world but we want to develop some interesting flavours that they can explore in the future,” said Smit.
“One of the big things we see is indulgence, multi-sensory experiences. The challenge in dairy is that it is a water-based product so to bring crunch and texture is not easy. Texture is a critical thing and we want to develop a range of products with different textures.
“If we don’t come up with new ingredients to combine them in a specific way no innovations will surface.”
He added today’s consumers are global. People travel to exotic places, and are used to buying ingredients and food experiences from all around the world. European, Asian, African, fusion, or paleo.
“We continue to hone our craft and to create innovations in our 19 Chocolate Academy Centres and 23 Chocolate Labs around the world,” said Smit.
“Food is often about nostalgia, rituals, and childhood memories.
"There is no product that has an emotional resonance like biscuits, bakery, chocolate and ice cream. For a chocolate company, it’s crucial that we never lose sight of this.”