Customer Cravings: Adventurous Flavors and Premium Experiences

Customer Cravings: Adventurous Flavors and Premium Experiences

A caramel-filled tablet made with NXT dairy-free chocolate. Text: "69% of consumers view snacks as a moment of indulgence."  - FCMG Gurus

While everyone wants healthier snacks, customers are beginning to acknowledge the importance that their mental and emotional well-being plays in their overall health. In a proprietary study done for Barry Callebaut, nearly half of the consumers polled said they like “moments of indulgence where they pay no attention to nutritional intake.” More and more, customers are setting aside the stress of thinking about what they “should” eat, and opting for moments of pure pleasure when choosing snacks and treats. Ideally, we can offer our customers the best of both worlds: truly delicious, indulgent items that are better for their health and the planet. In fact, FMCG Gurus found that consumers are pretty evenly divided on what role their snacks should play, with 67% saying they view snacks as a nutritional boost and 69% describing snacks as a moment of indulgence.

Truffles in the 5 colors of chocolate. Text: "49% of Canadian consumers say chocolate must feel fun and adventurous, up 9% from 2 years ago." BC proprietary studies 2019, 2022

Adventurous Flavors

Global Flavors
A look at current food trends shows global flavors are continuing to gain in popularity. Customers are seeking new experiences and new tastes while sticking close to home. Ingredients like yuzu, gochujang (a fermented red chili paste), and ube are showing up on popular recipe sites, social media, and even the candy aisle.

Innovative Pairings
Chocolate lends itself well to pairing with new and exciting ingredients. Customers love to experience the different and unique flavors found in single-origin chocolate, especially when those flavor notes are complemented or enhanced by an exotic ingredient. 

Bright Colors
The “eyes” have it when it comes to getting your customers' attention. Indulgence today is all about fun and celebration, and one of the best ways to give your products visual flair is with stand-out colors and garnishes.

A Ruby Chocolate Tablet with textural inclusions. Text: "47% of consumers feel that confections with multiple flavors and textures are more premium" BC proprietary study 2022

Premium Experiences

62% of US consumers prefer chocolate that has multiple textures: crunchy nuts and cereal-like inclusions, chewy dried fruit, gooey caramel. In chocolate bars, baked goods, and even ice creams, texture enhances a product’s value and creates a uniquely indulgent experience for your customers. In fact, 47% of consumers feel that confections with multiple flavors and textures are more premium

Provenance, Storytelling, and Traceability
Your products have a story to tell, and your customers want to hear it! The origin of an ingredient or recipe offers a one-of-a-kind element to the snack someone is about to enjoy. Similarly, when you or one of your ingredient suppliers takes special care in the production of an item, this offers a unique opportunity to share that story with your customers.

Growing concern for the health of the planet, farmers, and workers, means that consumers want the assurance that the foods they enjoy were grown and produced in line with their values.

Text: "71% of global consumers agree that when they want to celebrate, they reach for chocolate" Barry-Callebaut proprietary study 2022

Exclusive and seasonal  flavors/limited editions

Any reason is a good reason to celebrate, and your customers love to celebrate with chocolate. 71% of global consumers agree that when they want to celebrate, they reach for chocolate. Offer your customers exclusive items or in-season-only specials, and they’ll show up for the party. The exclusiveness and unique qualities of limited-time and holiday items make them extra-desirable and are a great way to get people talking about your business.

Real and Sustainable Ingredients
A study released in January 2023, found that when it comes to premium-level indulgences, key phrases like “all-natural,” “no artificial ingredients,” and “traceable ingredients” were at the top of customers’ lists. Sustainable quality ingredients are seen as better for health and better for the planet, and increase the perceived value of a product exponentially.

Cover of the chocolate trends booklet

Tune in To Customer Cravings

Explore what's driving your customers' cravings in our 2023 Confectionery Trends booklet. Discover insights and ideas from our chefs that will help you navigate the most popular flavors, ingredients, and innovations