Festive Holiday Chocolate Trends for 2023

Festive Holiday Chocolate Trends for 2023

Festive 3-D trees made with cookies and Mona Lisa Decor

If you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about creating seasonal specials and bringing back traditional favourites for the 2023 Festive Season. What’s on your customers’ lists this year?

  • Colour - bold and bright and, yes, social media-worthy
  • Over-the-Top Indulgence - treats that delight all the senses with multiple textures and layers of flavor.
  •  Something old, something new - explore new exotic flavours and put a fresh spin on classic favourites
Individual Mousse desserts colored bright yellow and green and topped with chocolate decor

Capture their Hearts with Colour

Customers are looking to spoil and indulge this holiday season, and they're seeking bright colours and bold garnishes. And what easier way to upgrade their year-round favourites than with luxe decor or a fun, seasonal colour palette? Food and Beverage Insider reports, “Customers are frequently attracted to the vibrancy, optimism and boldness of bright colors and corresponding flavors.”

According to Emerald Insight, people make up their minds about a product within 90 seconds, and most of a customer’s assessment of a product is based on colour alone. Food Manufacture states, “more than half of EMEA consumers consider colour to be an important driver for their purchasing decisions." Customers are looking for treats that excite all their senses - not just taste - and they are seeking premium experiences at a reasonable price point. 

53% of LATAM customers somewhat agree that they prefer chocolate products that have multiple colours and are visually interesting, according to FMCG Gurus

Bright, bold colours are undeniably eye-catching and look fantastic on social media platforms. While the core of your business may come from in-person sales, social media is a great place to introduce your business to a new audience. Moreover, Foresight Factory predicts that “by 2030, 50% of the global population will have bought directly from social media, and a further 20% will be interested in doing so."

Brand discovery on social media has seen growth across all demographics, but especially among younger generations. Gen Z’s are now turning to social media as their go-to source for answers, surpassing search engines.

GWI Social Media Trends, 6/2023
3-D Chocolate Trees made with texture sheets and luster dust

Delight is in the Details

A hint of sparkle here, a dramatic chocolate curl there - getting customers’ attention is all about attention to detail. Whether looking for a gift, a snack to share at a party, or a treat for one to celebrate the end of the work week, customers seek products that stand out and have an upscale style.

And don’t neglect texture when crafting your holiday offer. 47% of consumers feel that multiple flavours and textures make products feel “more premium” (Barry-Callebaut proprietary study, 2022). Gooey caramel, “pops” of coarse salt, and layers of crunch contribute to the overall experience of eating a chocolate dessert or snack. A variety of textures tells your customers the item they're enjoying or considering as a gift is luxurious, indulgent and worth every calorie.

Choux buns topped with a round chocolate plaque

Upgrade Your Classics

 A 2022 study by Barry-Callebaut showed that 69% of European customers are looking for new & exciting chocolate experiences. At the same time, Symrise reports that 76% of people ages 22-55 love things that remind them of their past. Our customers contain multitudes, it seems. While consumers are interested in trying new flavours and new dining experiences, the appeal of childhood favourites and classic items is undeniably strong. Why not offer both? Introduce new flavours by incorporating them into tried and true items, or experiment with new formats and garnishes for classic favourites. Consider a glaze instead of a buttercream coating; add elegant chocolate curls or a dusting of shimmery powder to take an everyday favourite into the realm of luxury -  perfect for the holidays.

A chef puts a finishing touch on a chocolate christmas tree sculpture

Find Inspiration

Mona Lisa Studios Winter Wonderland catalogue has plenty of ideas for chefs looking to upgrade their holiday selection.