In recent years, chocolate, which once dominated Valentine’s Day, seems to have “fallen out of favor” now. What is the reason behind it? Is it possible for the chocolate industry to come back against the wind? What changes have companies made in this regard?
Why Did Chocolate Fall Out Of Favor?
In 2015, chocolate sales plummeted, and sales only maintained single-digit growth. By 2020, according to data from Euromonitor International, the scale of China’s chocolate retail market will directly shrink by nearly 2 billion yuan. From 22.34 billion yuan in 2019 to 20.43 billion yuan. The downward trend of chocolate has been very obvious.
The reason behind it starts with the properties of chocolate itself. The chocolate itself is not only not sweet but also bitter. In order to make the product have a better taste, many chocolate products have been adding “sweetness” to attract consumers for a long time. It also puts a “high sugar, high calorie” label on chocolate.
However, with the deepening of the global sugar reduction trend in recent years and the continuous changes in consumers’ life philosophy and dietary needs, “high-sugar, high-calorie” chocolates not only fail to attract consumers but also attract many people who need to reduce sugar and fat. Consumers pushed out the door.
Innova’s report on health and nutrition shows that an average of 73% of consumers in 10 countries try to limit or reduce products/ingredients that are harmful to them, such as sugar, salt, and fat.
However, as a symbol of indulgence and happiness, chocolate still appeals strongly to consumers. One more item is added to this basis-health, from simple deliciousness to a higher healthy and delicious standard.
How Do Achieve The Health Of Chocolate?
In the face of ever-changing health needs, chocolate brands and companies have begun integrating sugar reduction and health into their products. Chocolate products have begun recapturing consumers by reducing sugar, fat, and calories. At the same time, some brands have noticed consumers’ interest in plant-based products and developed related plant-based products.
Do subtraction and get rid of guilt easily.
There are many directions for chocolate to do subtraction. In addition to reducing the sugar added directly, chocolate can be sweetened using sweeteners and fibers. It allows consumers to easily get rid of the guilt caused by sugar intake while enjoying silky smoothness.
Nestle’s chocolate brand kitkat once launched a dark chocolate made with whole cocoa fruit and cocoa beans in Japan. The cocoa pulp of this chocolate can be used directly as the source of the sweetness of the chocolate. No additional added sugar is needed. It can help chocolate reduce sugar content by 40% while ensuring the taste and quality of the product.
At the same time, natural sweeteners, one of the options for sugar reduction in various foods and beverages, are also suitable for chocolate products.
Reduce sugar with natural sweeteners.
The representative brand in China is “Daily Black Chocolate.” Its products launched with “0 sugar” as a selling point have won first place in the sales of Tmall and Hema fresh dark chocolate categories within less than a year of their launch.
Many products launched by “Daily Black Chocolate” use inulin to replace white sugar. Adding inulin can provide a source of sweetness to the product, increase the dietary fiber content, and provide more health attributes to chocolate products.
On this basis, “Daily Black Chocolate” has successively launched milk black chocolate, oat milk black chocolate, and other products with a wider audience, providing consumers with more choices.
Chocolate products that are also fancy inulin, and Kuli Kuli, a superfood brand that focuses on the application and development of Moringa. The brand’s line of chocolates is infused with ingredients, including superfoods like Moringa, chia seeds, quinoa, and more. It is also flavored with natural sweeteners such as erythritol, stevia extract, and inulin. The product has a sugar content of less than 1 gram, a dietary fiber content of 25%, is gluten-free, and meets the needs of vegetarians.
In addition to using the above common sweeteners to reduce sugar, the functional chocolate brand Fxchocolate chose to use allulose. Dr. Bronner used coconut flower sugar as a sweetener to launch dark almond chocolate.
Reduced lactose content for milk chocolate.
While only reducing sugar in ordinary chocolate, the Finnish dairy brand Valio has focused on reducing sugar in milk chocolate. The brand has launched a milk powder solution, Valio Bettersweet™, which can reduce the lactose content in milk powder. The resulting milk chocolate has 30% less sugar.
When it comes to chocolate, reducing sugar is essential, but reducing calories is also essential.
Cadbury, a brand of Mondelez International, has launched a series of low-calorie nougat bars coated with Cadbury chocolate. This product contains only 91 calories and allows consumers to not compromise on taste or satisfaction.
Technology helps reduce sugar and fat.
Mondelez has developed sugar and fat reduction technology for chocolate bars. It is reported that Mondelez’s technology can help chocolate and biscuit products remove up to 75% of sugar and fat without affecting the taste and texture of the product. It is believed that the emergence of this technology will allow more and healthier chocolate products to appear in front of consumers.
As consumers’ health requirements and sustainability awareness increase, plant-based chocolate is also growing, and many products are attracting consumers through the selling point of vegetarianism.
According to Innova Market Insight data, global plant-based chocolate will account for 20.7% of all new chocolate products in 2022, an increase of 7% compared to 2017.
Some giant players entered the game first. Among them, Mars launched a vegan line of its popular Galaxy chocolate back in 2019. This product uses plant-based milk instead of milk in chocolate and adds hazelnut paste to ensure the smooth taste of chocolate.
Cargill has launched ExtraVeganZa, a vegan chocolate made with sunflower powder, rice syrup, and other ingredients that stand out in terms of flavor, texture, and color.
Swiss luxury chocolatier Läderach is launching a range of cashew milk products in 2022 as it expands its vegan chocolate offering following the launch of plant-based chocolate. This new dairy-free chocolate contains no preservatives and uses coconut flower sugar instead of refined sugar.
This year, vegan chocolate brand H!P launched three flavors of oatmeal milk chocolate. Not only are their products vegan-friendly, but they also have a 50% lower carbon footprint than milk chocolate, and the packaging is recyclable.
As chocolate continues to run wildly on the health track, innovation by reducing sugar is only part of it. Many chocolate brands have fancied adding functional ingredients to provide chocolate with a healthy halo blessing. From the most basic chocolate with added vitamins and minerals to adding some functional ingredients to focus on subdividing the direction of health, chocolate has entered the “fancy health care era.”
Health Trend Of Chocolate + Functional Ingredients
Chocolate + Kale
Not long ago, AUOK, a Chinese health and leisure food brand, launched an “MCT Raw Chocolate with Kale.” AUOK and professors jointly developed the new product from the South China University of Technology. It focuses on “delicious and not fat.” The product uses MCT chocolate; the outer layer is wrapped with ultra-fine kale powder and has no sucrose, additives, or preservatives.
Chocolate + Ginseng
Regarding chocolate + functional ingredients, the popular ingredient ginseng has also become a good partner. Gongxiaoshan, a new consumer brand, has launched chocolates with Changbaishan ginseng without adding coloring, white sugar, or essence. Consumers can enjoy the health benefits of ginseng while eating chocolate.
Chocolate + Mushrooms
In addition, mushrooms, as an increasingly popular supplement raw material in recent years, are also popular in chocolate. The chocolate products launched by fx-chocolate mentioned above add Ganoderma Lucidum. The functional chocolate series launched by EARTH&STAR also uses mushrooms as the main ingredients. Ganoderma Lucidum, Hericium Erinaceus, Chaga, etc., appear in its ingredient list.
Chocolate + Biotin
American health food brand Sourse has launched Beauty Bites, a chocolate product. Adding biotin to dark chocolate can make hair and nails stronger. Friends with hair loss can learn about it. In addition, the brand has also launched chocolate products with various functional ingredients, such as collagen and L-theanine, with more choices.
Chocolate + Collagen
Like Sourse, which adds collagen to chocolate products, there is also Further food, which launches collagen-added chocolate powder, which is good for skin health.
The combination of chocolate and various functional ingredients is constantly being explored. With the help of these functional ingredients, it is believed that chocolate can play its own advantages in subdivided health fields such as immunity, beauty, sleep, and emotions. While getting rid of the sweet and greasy label, it becomes a choice for consumers to obtain specific health.
If you, as a chocolate brand business, are interested in developing creative healthy chocolate after reading this article, Nutri Avenue can help you obtain various nutritional ingredients and functional ingredients. Welcome to get a free quote!