The sweet truth

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The sweet truth

Friday, 31 December 2021 | Team Viva

The sweet truth

Team Viva culminates chocolate trends that will rule the food industry next year

Comfort food has been integral to consumers since the Covid-19 outbreak. Chocolate, an innovative and fast-evolving segment that fits right into the comfort food bracket, is also growing at a healthy clip. On that sweet note, here are some trends and future predictions that will dominate the chocolate industry in 2022:

Premium chocolate made convenient

The premium chocolate category is projected to grow in double digits. Consumers are embracing chocolates as a snacking option, and brands are catering to this shift with delicious, bit-sized snacking chocolate. Premium chocolates in different formats such as couverture chocolate boxes to more unconventional chocolate dragees, pebbles, barks, bars, coated nuts are already gaining momentum, and ready to take the market by storm in 2022 as well. Going forward, premium chocolate in numerous flavours will become a convenience food product, satiating hunger and the taste buds.

Taste as the mother of invention

The growing and evolving consumer palate has helped chocolate brands experiment with flavours and formats. There has never been a better time for innovation in the chocolate segment. As such, we’re creating never-seen-before chocolate variants such as cashew and curry, spicy Indian chilli, star anise, an many more. The trend of unique and delightful flavours is very likely to continue well into 2022, as consumers demand more excitement from their chocolates.

Catering to health-conscious choco lovers

Apart from just the taste, chocolate innovations will also be driven by the rising health consciousness among conusmers. Post the Covid-19 outbreak, people also need to know how a food product is affecting their health. Dark chocolate has become popular since it is known to be healthier. We will also be seeing high fibre, high protein, low sugar, no sugar, and vegan chocolates as the consumer-demand evolves further.

Desserts and beverages galore

While chocolate bars, coated nuts, dragees, and so on, are as popular as ever, chocolate-based beverages and desserts are also becoming big-time crowd pleasers. New-age brands are bringing forth signature cakes, cookies, cupcakes, macarons as well as hot cocoa mixes and chocolate-on-a-stick hot chocolate stir it ups that will be both the life of the party and the main attraction of a cozy night in. The segment is set to grow at an accelerated pace.

Online v/s offline — it’s a tie!

More than anything, brands will need to strike a balance between online and offline sales simply because – the customers are present everywhere! Each business model will have its own market share in 2022. While chocolate sales were majorly occurring in the offline space, the online route opened up during the Covid-19 scenario in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, thus, both alternatives will be used by brands to achieve a wider reach. Brands will also need to enhance their delivery and last mile infrastructure to thrive in the online sales medium.

There is a high level of novelty in the chocolate space as brands continue to delight consumers with new and improved offerings. Chocolate lovers can, therefore, revel in the future of chocolate — there’s a lot more where that came from!

(SMOOR is a Bangalore-based luxury chocolate brand that crafts the ultimate indulgence experiences with couverture chocolates.)

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