Consumer trends

Millennials’ taste buds and demand for healthier snacks force brands to innovate or be ignored

By Thalia Jemmett Skinner

- Last updated on GMT

Millennials demand a more healthier choice of chocolate and snacks. Pic: GettyImages
Millennials demand a more healthier choice of chocolate and snacks. Pic: GettyImages

Related tags: Millennials, Chocolate

Chocolatiers face a monumental challenge in appealing to a younger generation no longer turned on by sweet-tooth products and marketing,

To tap into social media influencing millennials’ idea of perfection, confectionery brands are being forced to broaden their horizon of possibility and opportunity when marketing to the younger generation.

As ‘healthy trends’ become a part of millennials’ snacking habits, the market for sugar-filled chocolate products is plummeting.

Brands such as Mars and Nestlé must integrate healthier options by changing ingredients and adding new products.

Sugar is portrayed as the new tobacco​,” Eric Bergman, a commodities broker at Jenkins Sugar Group, told Bloomberg.

Consumers are now shifting away from the iconic, sugar-filled chocolate brands that we know and into healthier foods. The largest chocolate companies have followed suit and they are transitioning from chocolate companies into snack companies​," he said.

Sustainable and healthy treats

With millennials’ demand for sustainable and healthy treats and chocolate, brands must be innovative and perform new tactics to keep their companies popular and in business. These include new formulas that reduce the use of refined sugar and an increase in organic ingredients.

People are beginning to look at different tastes, different flavors​,” Gerry Manley, head of cocoa at Olam International, said in an interview recently in Berlin. “They are beginning to want ingredients to mix together themselves. You are getting a lot more artisan type of chocolate​.”

Companies are not only altering their production and ingredients, but bringing brand new healthier alternatives to their range. Barry Callebaut’s recent launch of ruby chocolate, using natural ingredients, being just one example.

Nestlé is also producing new slimmed-down Milky Bars, using 30% less sugar, by replacing normal sugar with a healthier alternative that dissolves faster on the tongue but tastes almost identical.

And Nestlé is not the only brand making changes. Mars stated it would be spending $1bn on sustainability in the upcoming year, with changes such as altering the amount of energy and water used in production and sourcing ingredients from sustainable organisations.

Related topics: Chocolate

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