The new report claims that with the impact of Covid-19 and the acceleration of pre-pandemic trends, consumers are now looking for different types of indulgence.
“I think the name of the game for the years to come is less about market share, but about stomach share. And what do I mean by it? The moment a category grows …then you will see that a brand fights for market share – and shelf space,” says Smit.
“But the moment a consumer starts to rethink what they consume … they start to reconsider what kind of food and drink they put in the stomach.
“And that has its implications, obviously for the world of chocolate and for chocolate indulgence, because if you're a shopper and in the shopping aisles of the supermarket, you have a specific mindset then you pass by the chocolate aisle because it is not addressing this [healthier option]”.
It is less about market share, but about stomach share -- Bas Smit Global VP of Marketing, Barry Callebaut
Smit, says that while there will always be a need for “intense and healthy indulgence”, consumers want to live more with “a soft health approach to life”, increasing their mindful indulgence space.
“How these changes affect the indulgence landscape for the decades to come is what Barry Callebaut is focusing on,” he says.
“For example, following the latest study, we know that actually more than half of the consumers expect every brand to have a plant-based offer. That doesn't mean that half of your portfolio needs to be plant-based, but at least part of your portfolio or some SKUs needs to be plant-based.”
A 'symbiotic lifestyle'
The new report highlights key findings and showcases consumers looking to live a ‘symbiotic lifestyle’ - finding a sweet spot between celebrating life and living consciously.
This new mindset has led consumers to seek more mindful and delicious indulgences, products with health benefits and good for the planet.
Key data points from the report include:
- 43% of consumers are influenced by general health concerns for choosing what to eat and drink
- 73% are concerned about what they personally can do to help protect the environment
- 70% of consumers would love a healthy-boosted chocolate
Smit says he knows from the global study that more than half of the consumers across the globe want to reduce their sugar intake.
In the UK, specifically, about 60 to 66% of the consumers do understand that getting used to less sweet products is the way to go to dial down on sugars.
“Now, in the world of chocolate, close to 70% of chocolate buyers over the last 12 months have been looking out for products on shelves that contain less sugar.
“That is a clear indication that living a symbiotic life, which is basically living a life that follows the soft health trend, is not about complete celebration, it’s not about living with hardcore consciousness and purposeful, intentional, dietary choices …
“But if you live this symbiotic life, mindful indulgence is the name of the game, and that manifests itself mainly in the coming years through plant-craft chocolates and chocolates, which do indeed address a different sugar intake,” says Smit.
Barry Callebaut's survey on consumer attitudes was fielded digitally in August 2021 in Brazil, China, the UK, the US and France with 420 respondents per country.
The Group’s marketing team, led by Smit, also analysed data from other consumer surveys, including global trend agency ForesightFactory.
It conducts yearly in-depth analysis in 27 markets into consumer needs, motivations, expectations and behaviours to ‘create mega trends, consumer trends and sector trends’.
The main findings in Barry Callebaut’s The Future of Indulgence Report (2022) are centred on the following insights: Merging attitudes, Celebrate Life with Intense indulgences, Live Consciously with Healthy indulgences, and Live a Symbiotic Life with Mindful indulgences.
As Barry Callebaut’s survey also shows: as many as 81% of consumers agree that chocolate needs to be tasty and good for them. This evolution in consumer attitudes will become increasingly important in the coming years. By understanding this shift, the industry can unlock new opportunities in the world of indulgence.
- Check out our latest podcast with Bas Smit for more industry insights on consumer trends.
- Read more: The Future of Indulgence