People all around the world eat and love chocolate. Part of the appeal is that it comes in such a huge variety of flavours, so there’s bound to be a chocolate out there to satisfy any palate. Not only can you choose between dark, milk or white, but chocolates are paired with anything from fruit to coffee, and nuts to nougat.
Just what is it that drives chocolate makers to produce such an assortment of chocolates? My Chocolate Box delves into a few trends that are dictated by changing consumer tastes.
JUST ADD FRUIT
When you think of chocolate and fruit, it’s probably strawberry or orange that comes to mind. However, because consumers want to try new flavours, we are seeing unusual chocolate and fruit pairings. Think chocolate and lemon, or chocolate and spicy green mango. In addition, there’s the opinion that chocolate is healthier if it has chunks of fruit in it, leading to manufacturers adding in real fruit pieces.
People are naturally curious and want to try new things. This sense of adventure translates into the chocolate industry, with some rather unusual flavour combinations being produced. The biggest trends for the year being green tea, red wine, chai, basil, and marshmallow. But it’s not simply about adding these flavours to chocolate, it’s about pairing them with classics, such as peppermint chocolate with a subtle hint of basil.
Chocolate is one of the few products that is considered “recession proof”. People love chocolate and would rather cut back on other luxuries, than give up chocolate. But tastes are changing, and consumers are opting for high quality, artisanal chocolate that they eat less regularly but savour more, compared to buying lower quality chocolate that is eaten every day. Handcrafted chocolates are increasingly regarded as an affordable luxury.
A lot is written about the health benefits of eating chocolate – particularly good quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. It’s said to help prevent and delay some diseases, lower blood pressure, control blood sugar and boost brain functions. As it is rich in antioxidants, there are some doctors who recommend that we all eat dark chocolate more regularly, and this has helped to increase global chocolate sales.
We’re all self-confessed chocoholics at the My Chocolate Box team, and we’re passionate about bringing you the latest news and trends from around the world. From us to you, here’s some chocolate food for thought.