US studies find majority of shoppers consume chocolate amid the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen 80% of US consumers eating the same or more chocolate compared to the previous year, according to latest industry research, reports Neill Barston.

Studies from the cocoa ingredients business showed that confectionery remained high on the agenda for the majority of American shoppers, as they turned to familiar and nostalgic brands for their snacking treat amid the coronavirus crisis.

The increased snacking trend centred on the availability of better flavour variety and healthier options, as manufacturers responded to consumers desire for a greater range of innovative, yet healthier option products.

Chocolate remains the top snack of the pandemic with nearly 90% of consumers purchasing some form of chocolate candy within the last 3 months. Flavorchem, a supplier of cocoa-based ingredients, revealed some of the most prominent chocolate confectionery trends currently driving demand within this innovative sector.

As rising attention is placed on the importance of mental and emotional health; confectionery is already well-positioned as a “feel good” category that provides consumers with a sense of comfort. 72% of consumers agree that confections are an important part of their emotional well-being as many seek out indulgent chocolate moments. In fact, 80% of consumers are eating the same amount (56%) or more (24%) chocolate during the course of the pandemic.

Furthermore, limited edition and seasonal chocolates play a significant role in everyday celebrations, with 60% of U.S. consumers purchasing holiday-themed chocolate candy, according to Mintel.

Multi-Sensory Experience: Daring flavours, unique textures, and new formats excite consumers and elevate their chocolate experiences. Launches of hot cocoa bombs, dippable snacks, ruby chocolate, and cross-category confections are popular in the candy aisles. Flavorchem’s team tapped into this trend with a red, white, and berry hot cocoa bomb as a nod to the upcoming 4th of July holiday and unveiled a mocha macaron and honey graham cake pop utilising our vast portfolio of natural chocolate flavours.

Vegan Claims: Wider consumer interest in plant-based diets and ethical standards is attributing to a rise in vegan claims, which have appeared in 7% of all chocolate confectionery launches in 2020.

Chocolate launches with ethical claims continue to expand as more consumers expect brands to invest in sustainability with efforts prioritized in responsibly sourced ingredients and production, positive environmental impact, and human rights.

Flavorchem creates flavour, ingredient and colour solutions including a wide selection of organic certified flavours and extracts. Established in 1971, it is a privately held business whose customers include first-class brands well recognised throughout the world. A full-service operation with strategically located manufacturing facilities throughout the world, Flavorchem strives to provide its customers with innovative, high-quality products along with superior service and support. For more information,email [email protected].

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