London — Chocolate purveyors’ commitment to innovation has long led the industry’s products to the top of food trend lists and have helped maintain steady sales growth for more than a decade now, according to Infiniti Research, which highlights the following three emerging worldwide chocolate trends.
Dessert As An Ingredient: Chocolate has long been an inclusion staple for desserts, but Infiniti notes end-of-meal treat flavors such as crème brulée, crepes and tiramisu, are popping up more often in chocolate products. Taking it a step further, the research company notes sweet flavors mimicking ice creams and milkshakes are also gaining traction.
Citrus: Manufacturers are experimenting more with these fruit flavors and taking it a step further than traditional orange, with an influx of lemon-infused products this past year. Additionally, the flavors are getting more complex with products pairing citrus with ingredients such as yogurt, pepper and fruit-derived oils.
Vegetables: The unlikely pairing of chocolate with vegetables is gaining traction, particularly in Asian markets, according to Infiniti. Noting it is still very much in a niche stage, Infiniti notes that while chocolate covered potato chips and popcorn are commonly seen, chocolatiers across the global are venturing into new territories, such as Japan-based manufacturer Mujirushi Ryohin’s Purple Sweet Potato Chocolate, which combines purple potato paste and white chocolate.
Although the veggie and chocolate combinations seem extreme, Infiniti notes a growing consumer base interested and more than willing to try “outrageous innovations” from the industry are fueling sales gains.