Healthier raw sweets identified as key trend for ProSweets

A host of new confectionery recipes for ‘raw sweets’ with significantly reduced sugar levels or alternative substitute is set to prove a key theme at the upcoming ProSweets international trade fair.

As research for the event, which takes place in Cologne, Germany, between January 27-30 2019 found, consumers are increasingly placing strong value on snacks that are perceived as offering a healthier option.

Studies have revealed that almost half of the Germans want to reduce or totally avoid the consumption of foodstuffs that contain sugar. Consequently, sweets with highly innovative recipes are reportedly taking the shelves by storm at the point of sale.

The so-called raw sweets are newcomers on the market, at visitors to this year’s ProSweets Cologne, which runs alongside ISM, will be demonstrating how the manufacturers of sweets and snacks can enjoy more scope with alternative recipes and innovative processes.

The secret of many sweets lies in the cocoa or to be more precise in the cocoa beans. They are the basis for numerous products that sweeten up our lives. Over 350,000 tonnes are roasted, grounded and subsequently conched into chocolate in Germany every year. This involves the beans being rolled, grated and heated to temperatures of over 70 degrees Celsius. Even the most exotic recipes for filled chocolates, slabs of chocolate as well as chocolate bars and figures can be produced using the machines on display at ProSweets Cologne.

New products for the sweet assortment

In contrast to this, there are methods that involve the beans being ground in a stone mill – this initially means plain and fine dark chocolate without the addition of milk.

The non-conched “stone ground chocolate” is only minimally processed and has a coarser consistence. There is a high demand for such products: with raw sweets identified by Innova Market Insights as a major trend within the industry.

This especially applies to¬†fruit snacks, whether dried or processed otherwise are selling better and better. The most popular fruits include plums, bananas, mangos and apricots. However, the concept of the “raw sweets” faces traditional manufacturers with major challenges, because the ingredients are heated to a maximum of 48 degrees Celsius, so that the enzymes and nutrients remain intact.

The focus is always on the nutritional value and it is always about ingredients like almonds or cocoa nibs remaining as natural as possible – the ingredients only retain their full taste and natural colour if they are dried gently.

Sugar is frequently omitted. Agave syrup, maple syrup or honey are used to add the necessary sweetness. To this end, the product developers have to change the entire recipe, which involves great effort considering the limited selection of raw materials.

Whereas some manufacturers increase the share of fruit, others work with natural aromas and extracts. Raw sweets partly represent what is currently hip for snacks and treats: Products that are made following this principle unite the advantages of natural ingredients with those of a more gentle manufacturing process.

Raw sweets are also an experimental playground for the developers of vegan snacks, because the consumers not only enjoy a nibble they are also looking for sustainable and ethically responsible products. At the same time there are many gluten-free products among the fruit and cereal bars.

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