|Refreshed and republished on January 19th, 2024
|This post was originally published on June 7th, 2023, and has been enhanced and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Curious about the current flavor trends in confectionery and snacking?
Our team has been busy finding out. Get a sneak peek of the current trends in chocolate confectionery flavors.
- Chocolate flavors that will dominate the market in 2024.
- New flavors to consider.
- A growing range of opportunities for brands.
- Trends-driven innovations.
Join us as we explore the exciting world of chocolate flavors! Our team has gathered valuable information. We are also thrilled to share the latest innovations from our research and development department. Get ready to indulge in all things chocolate with us!
Chocolate flavors that dominate the market in 2024
This year, the chocolate market is brimming with captivating flavors that tantalize the taste buds. From luscious salted caramel to indulgent dark chocolate infused with exotic spices, 2024 embraces unique and innovative flavor profiles. Expect to encounter bursts of tangy fruit, velvety smooth nutty notes, and the enchanting harmony of floral and chocolate undertones.
Classic flavors like hazelnut, almond, and caramel will remain popular this year, particularly among brands and creators looking to expand their product portfolio.
Caramelo is a beloved classic flavor in the world of chocolate confectionery. Designed for those seeking moments of relaxation and self-indulgence, our new chocolate couverture, Caramelo 33%, offers a delightful caramel experience. Crafted with caramelized milk, it strikes a perfect harmony between the familiar and the sweet, leaving you with a luxuriously smooth sensation. This couverture opens a world of culinary possibilities, inviting to unleash creativity and delight discerning taste buds. What is interesting is the seasonal use of these flavors.
The milk chocolate segment is also anticipated to expand significantly regarding CAGR. Creativity drives milk chocolate consumption as brands’ innovative efforts have promoted a wider range of consumer products. Regarding flavor, producers have started fusing milk chocolate with other foods, including caramel, biscuits, orange, and nuts. Regarding format, innovation is present in various sizes and forms, such as bars, wafers, chips, and cubes.
The flavor of milk chocolate is also being used more frequently in creating several drinks and confectionery items, such as cakes, milkshakes, croissants, and hot chocolate, which is helping to drive demand for milk chocolate globally.
Preference for bitter flavors will continue increasing as consumers relate bitter to healthy habits
Dark chocolate usually presents bitter notes due to its higher cocoa concentration. These are some key factors that have and will keep bringing consumers towards bitter flavors:
- Intense Flavor: The bold and rich taste of bitter chocolate coming from having a higher amount of cacao solids is becoming more attractive for consumers!
- Health Benefits: Dark chocolate is widely known for its health benefits. It has a high content of antioxidants, which help fight off harmful free radicals. Also, it’s known to lower the risk of heart disease and reduce blood pressure. This means consumers will feel less guilty when buying dark chocolate treats.
- Natural Goodness: As people seek healthier and more natural food options, dark chocolate shines. It typically has simpler ingredients with fewer additives and preservatives, aligning perfectly with the trend toward conscious eating.
- Luxury Appeal: Bitter chocolate is the ultimate luxury treat. With rising incomes and changing diets in emerging economies, more and more people are splurging on this flavor profile.
The growing popularity of bitter chocolate boils down to its intense flavor, health benefits, natural ingredients, and luxurious appeal.
Innovative Flavors Shaping the Future of the Confectionery Industry
Floral flavors, including chamomile, honeysuckle, and rose, are in the lead as the fastest-growing botanical flavor trends in packaged foods, followed by herbs and then spices and seeds. (Innova Market Insights 2023) This helps products stand out amongst competitors.
This happens as consumers wish to experiment more through flavor combinations. Botanical, spicy, and indulgent flavor combinations open the door to multiple ways to experience tastes of the world without going far or compromising the comfort of indulgence found in chocolate.
Exotic fruits such as guava, melon, passion fruit, and pomegranate are also trending for limited edition products, providing a unique flavor experience for customers. In the US in particular, these flavors are noted as a top trend for 2024 by the Future Market Insights report, noting not only the use of exotic flavors but their personalized approach for each customer base.
With each delectable bite, consumers will experience a symphony of flavors that redefine chocolate indulgence and cater to the ever-evolving palates of chocolate enthusiasts.
However, the flavor isn’t just the taste of something but an avenue to health, comfort, and luxury. There is still a demand for nostalgic flavors due to the pandemic, such as s’mores and childhood candy favorites. These flavors can evoke feelings of comfort and nostalgia, making them a great option for brands to appeal to a wide range of clients.
A growing range of opportunities for brands in confectionery
Plant-based is a growing segment in chocolate confectionery, especially in the US. The Vegan chocolate market industry is projected to grow from USD 1,4 Billion in 2023 to USD 4,33 Billion by 2032, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14,30% during the forecast period (2023 – 2032) (Market Research Report 2024). With rising concerns about the planet and our health, younger generations especially are becoming more aware of the impact of their food choices, contributing to this growth.
Flavors that dominate the plant-based confectionery segment are oats, almonds, and peas – most commonly through the use of alternative milk. The use of dairy alternatives changes the flavor of the overall product, adding nut or oat flavors to the final taste. Products in this category need to be as flavorsome as any other, with consumers looking for plant-based products that are still indulgent.
To cater to this trend, brands use milk alternatives such as oat milk and coconut milk to create indulgent treats while reducing the environmental footprint of their products. As a result, consumers can enjoy their favorite chocolate confectionery guilt-free, knowing that they are contributing to a more sustainable future.
Trends driven innovations
At Luker, we are committed to addressing consumer insights and developing innovative solutions that respond to sustainability concerns. As part of this commitment, we continuously expand our portfolio with new plant-based and reduced-sugar products that meet these changing needs.
We work closely with our customers, co-creating unique solutions that meet their specific needs and preferences. This collaborative approach drives innovation in our products and delivers top-quality products at the cutting edge of flavor trends. The research and development teams host multiple sessions to fully understand the needs of our clients’ consumer base, tackling their challenges and creating bespoke solutions. Flavor profiling is one way the team is driving this.
Any brand looking to capitalize on flavor trends this 2024 can talk to our team, who will consult on application and chocolate product production, marketing, packaging, and sustainability.
Unleash your chocolate curiosity by connecting with our team for flavorful innovations here!