The latest snack trends for chocolate shops and bakeries

The latest snack trends for chocolate shops and bakeries

Chocolate truffles with a nubby texture, rolled in nuts

Between meals, instead of meals, as a guilty pleasure or to add a healthy option to a busy day, snacks are a big part of people’s diets globally. While most consumers say they’d like to bring the focus back to regular meals, we all know that some days just don’t allow it. Almost half of all global consumers say they skip breakfast sometimes. And while they may not reach for a snack to bolster their morning, they are certainly reaching for a little extra something as the day goes on. In fact, more global consumers say they reach for a snack in the afternoon (78%) or evening (72%) than in the morning (54%).

Granola gars with cocoa nibs and dried fruit by Chef Russ Thayer

Dried Fruit and Cocoa Nib Granola Bars dipped in Dark Chocolate

What customers want from their snacks

Customers grabbing a muffin or granola bar in the morning are looking for an energy boost. In the afternoon and evening, they grab a snack to satisfy hunger. What are they reaching for most often? Chocolate. 83% of respondents said chocolate is their go-to when seeking a snack. Potato chips were next, followed by fruit, biscuits & cookies, and yogurt. 

While many customers are checking nutrition labels and seeking healthier options, indulgence wins out. In fact, while 65% of consumers who check nutrition labels say they look for low-sugar options, 64% of all consumers say they choose traditional chocolate and confectionery snacks over high-protein or low-sugar snacks! There’s definitely some overlap there, and many times the behavior consumers report turns out to be more aspirational in nature when it comes to healthy choices.

What does this mean for bakers, chefs, and confectioners? It means you’ve got the freedom to make tempting, incredible snack options for your customers, and finding ways to make them healthier will help win them a place on your customers’ must-have-snacks lists.

Molten Chocolate Cake made with NXT dairy-free chocolate

Molten Chocolate Cake made with NXT dairy-free chocolate

Healthier Snacks

Sugar is the “big bad” on ingredient labels these days, so finding ways to reduce sugar or switch to less-refined sugars when creating snacks will go a long way.

59% of global consumers said they like to see “natural” on the label when seeking out snacks. There isn’t a binding, official description of “natural” when it comes to food labeling, so let’s break that down a little. In essence, customers like to see that ingredients that they trust and recognize went into the product they are about to enjoy. That’s not a problem for most artisans, though confectioners may find it beneficial to educate their clients on the safety and purpose of less-familiar ingredients like sorbitol. Whole foods like fruit, nuts, grains like oats, and dark chocolate have a health halo that can add appeal to your snack offerings.

While labels like “vegan” or “plant-based” don’t rank as a #1 concern for some consumers, they are still high on the list, and the popularity of these items continues to grow. These products also benefit from a healthy reputation and can be a great way to offer a new twist on classic favorites.


* FMCG GURUS: How to Create Value in Snacks – Global Report, May 2023