According to the latest Global Chocolate Report conducted by Sterling-Rice Group, from approximately 5,000 chocolate consumers surveyed across 10 key global markets, 1 in 2 participants selected almonds as an ingredient in their ideal chocolate product.
The first Global Chocolate Study was fielded in 2010 and has since been conducted biennially to gather consumer insights regarding chocolate consumption and consumer key motivations, attitudes, and preferences. Almonds were the #1 selected ingredient across milk, dark and white chocolate. Almond butter appears in consumers’ top-five preferred fillings and flavours, along with other fillings like caramel, coffee, strawberry and nougat.
Survey results indicate that manufacturers may set themselves up for retail success by incorporating almonds in chocolate product offerings. Two-thirds of worldwide consumers stated they are more likely to buy chocolate with almonds than without almonds, and 65% believe adding almonds to chocolate is worth paying more for at the store.
Adding almonds to chocolate products can deliver nutritional value with indulgence, as one serving of almonds contains six grams of plant-based protein, four grams of filling dietary fibre, 50% of the Daily Value for vitamin E, 13 grams of ‘good’ unsaturated fats and only one gram of saturated fat.
“Chocolate manufacturers are balancing a complex list of consumer priorities across better-for-you ideals, indulgence, sustainability and more,” said Harbinder Maan, associate director of Trade Marketing & Stewardship at the Almond Board of California.
“Ingredient selection can play a role in ensuring a product’s ability to meet these demands, and the Global Chocolate Study results suggest that almonds may help enhance consumers’ perceptions of chocolate value and quality. California almonds are a natural, plant-based and widely available ingredient with over 14 versatile forms that lend themselves to product development, and those grown in California benefit from a heritage of continuously improved sustainability practices.”
Innova Market Insights data notes that confectionery is the largest category for new product introductions with almonds. Chocolate product launches with almonds from 2022 indicate that free-from, clean-label and dietary choice claims are becoming established within the category, but that value-added claims involving protein, fibre, or antioxidants are emerging as consumers seek more benefits.
Chocolate Demand Remains Strong
Despite indications that concerns over mental and physical health have influenced consumers to seek a healthier lifestyle, the Global Chocolate Study also found that the pandemic did not halt consumers’ worldwide love for chocolate. Ninety-two percent of consumers worldwide report they are eating the same amount or more chocolate than they had versus the prior year, and increased chocolate consumption was driven by emotional benefits.
- For more information read the TECHNICAL/WHITE PAPER published by ConfectioneryNews.