Barry Callebaut explores key global chocolate trends for 2022

Barry Callebaut has unveiled its latest chocolate trends for 2022, which continue to highlight the value consumers place on premium confectionery experiences that offer a sense of indulgence, reports Neill Barston.

The group’s latest analysis, in conjunction with Innova Market Insights and Euromonitor, build on a previous similar study last year that aimed to pinpoint consumer trends amid the pandemic – which is continuing to influence shopper preferences as the crisis continues around the world.

As the company (chefs from its ISM stand pictured main image) noted, chocolate represents a dynamic and innovative segment, with more than 5,000 innovations launched in retail worldwide in 2021 alone. In its Top Chocolate Trends report, it offered fresh insights and solutions, across four key areas.

Firstly, under the banner of ‘indulgent moments’, the business notes that food has become more important to consumers. Confectionery can support emotional well-being now, and in the “next normal.” Whether consumers are seeking comfort, finding moments to celebrate, or looking for ways to escape the ordinary, chocolate has a role to play in those occasions. Consequently, 55% of Global consumers agree that chocolates with multiple flavors and textures are more premium.

Secondly, under the ‘good for me’ trend, the business acknowledged that consumers still want chocolate confections and snacks to be treats, but also want healthier options to bring into their repertoire. An increasing number of consumers are following eating lifestyles that have specialised needs, or seek extra goodness infused in their chocolate. We expect this need for “better-for-me” alternatives to accelerate, as health & wellbeing has become a top priority. As a result, 83% of Global consumers agree that chocolate needs to be tasty and good for individuals.

Beyond this, trust in a product is also considered a major market trend. As such, cocoa is in the spotlight around the world from a sustainability perspective. More chocolate lovers want to make sure they can indulge in their favourite treat without harming the planet & its people. They also value provenance and craftsmanship of chocolate, because it communicates quality they can trust. Notably, a total of 67% of Global consumers want to know more about where their chocolate comes from and what is in it.

Finally, the shift to at home occasions is reshaping and accelerating change in consumer behaviour. Chocolate remains a top flavour in treating, so manufacturers and brands are taking cocoa into new formats and categories to meet this new demand. As a result, chocolate categories continue to mutate and borders blur, while snacking and gifting are going through a little revolution. Significantly, a total of 75% of Global consumers want to try new and exciting chocolate experiences, revealed the company’s latest research, which has been compiled to offer a global perspective with regional variations.


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