The year started with the pandemic still disrupting life in many parts of the world, and then came the Russian invasion of Ukraine, followed by an energy and supply chain crisis against a backdrop of global recession and rising inflation in many countries.
Early on in the conflict in Ukraine multinational companies including confectionery giants Nestlé and Mondelēz faced growing pressure to pull out of Russia, which was one of our most read articles of 2022.
Food safety and food security issues were also at the forefront or our readers’ minds and two outbreaks of salmonella at separate chocolate factories in Belgium, belonging to Ferrero and Barry Callebaut, came as a shock. Both companies dealt with the outbreaks swiftly to ensure the risk to consumers was minimal.
Sustainability is never far from CN readers’ minds and the publication of the 2022 Cocoa Barometer made sober reading for many when it declared: ‘after two decades of discussions on sustainability in the cocoa sector, the question the latest issue raises is: 'why haven’t we solved these problems yet?'’
Our podcast interview with Antonie Fountain, one of the report’s authors gave CN readers a 360-degree insight into the problems still facing the cocoa industry. For more on our sustainability coverage check out all the articles in our regulation & safety section, which also includes articles on how the confectionery industry and retailers are preparing for HFSS regulations in the UK and the impending EU legislation on deforestation.
A visit to the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago in May revealed that the plant-based trend in confectionery is certainly now part of the mainstream and companies not offering alternatives to health-conscious consumers will likely be not around even in a year’s time such is the demand for new types of confectionery.
Along with vegan, gummies were also trending in 2022 and our podcast interview with Tessa Porter, founder of Sprinkk and a candy scientist, gave our readers and listeners the inside scoop.
Innovation in confectionery was never far from the CN agenda in 2022, and Barry Callebaut certainly pushed the boat out in Venice by unleashing its ‘2nd Generation Chocolate’ to herald a true cocoa renaissance. In a major breakthrough for the industry the Belgian chocolate supplier claimed to have redesigned the ‘farming, fermentation, and roasting of the cocoa bean to create what it has called the ‘second generation of chocolate’.
Colombia’s Cordillera Chocolates are another company with innovation at its core and a trip to Medellín to see its impressive operation, from farm to factory, proved to be an enlightening experience. With the country on a secure and peaceful footing, companies like Cordillera are able to focus on promoting Colombian premium cocoa on the global stage.
For ConfectioneryNews the year ended on a high note, but there will be challenges in 2023 – however, as John Downs president & CEO of NCA, said: “Innovation has always been at the heart of the confectionery industry, and it’s never been a more exciting time to innovate candy,”
“There is tremendous opportunity for continued growth in the non-chocolate candy category, which is largely driven by Gen Z and Millennial consumers who are seeking out new experiences in the candy aisle. Because of its unique flavours, shapes and colours, and the incredible variety within the category, it is clear that candy is special for everyone.”