Tap into the market opportunities behind chocolate segments and find areas for differentiation.
Click below, review and get inspiration for plant-based chocolate differentiation:
- Veganism and the rise of plant-based foods in chocolate
- What’s next for plant-based snacks?
- Balancing better: Plant-based & low-sugar chocolate.
The world has changed, and so have consumer habits. As concerns for healthier lifestyles, environmentally friendly practices and animal welfare increase, customers are increasingly looking for plant-based foods that meet each of these demands. According to Innova Market Insights, 41% of consumers believe developing new food products should be driven by health and wellness (Innova, 2022).
The growing popularity of veganism among consumers worldwide -especially among millennials- is a significant factor in driving the growth of the plant-based food market. The global market for these products is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.5% over the next ten years (2022-2032) and reach a value of $4 billion, according to a recent report by Future Market Insights.
Veganism and the rise of plant-based foods in chocolate
Veganism has transcended and evolved over the last years to become more than just a fad. Consumers are experimenting with diets and nutrition, looking for healthy, balanced and affordable alternative foods.
Today’s transition is much more noticeable in the way of flexitarianism, a diet primarily based on vegetarianism but not entirely abandoning the consumption of fish and meat. 52% of consumers worldwide consider themselves flexitarians, including animal and vegetable proteins or other healthy alternatives into their diet (Datassential, 2022).
And with the arrival of the new year, January is the perfect month to raise awareness of the food quality we consume. More than 629,000 people worldwide participated in Veganuary 2022, and the activist movement is expected to generate more followers this 2023. According to Innova Market Insights, in 2022, launches of plant-based, vegan and vegetarian chocolates worldwide corresponded to 20.7% of all new chocolate products.
Consumers are also buying more products that have a reduced sugar content. “Factors like concerns regarding animals’ welfare in food production, the belief that vegan chocolates are healthier than boost healthy blood sugar, and the usage of alternative sweeteners like stevia in manufacturing processes are expected to boost the market at a faster pace” (Mordor Intelligence, 2022).
Also, what’s next for plant-based snacks?
Allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease and other health concerns have driven the search for new nutritious and healthy alternatives to animal-based milk and have boosted the market for oat milk, which has gained popularity because it is a good source of protein, low in cholesterol and gluten-free. According to Fairfield Market Research, by 2026, oat milk is expected to reach US$2.6 Bn at a CAGR of 11.5%.
While previously, oat milk snacks were the hype of the moment, by 2023, the challenge will be to offer new flavours and textures that will captivate customers’ taste buds. Fruit chunky additions, fun flavour combinations and limited editions will be the sensation to captivate consumers hungry for palate-pleasing adventures like millennials.
Balancing better: OatM!lk 43% No Added Sugar couverture.
Combining the needs of both plant-based and health-conscious consumers, Luker introduces its new Choco OatM!lk 43% No Added Sugar couverture. This new low-sugar plant-based chocolate couverture is the newest addition to our signature Balance portfolio, offering a vegan-friendly and gluten-free option for brands looking to experiment with ‘better-for-you’ alternatives.
This new chocolate couverture blends the creaminess and subtle cereal notes of OatM!lk balanced with Cacao Fino de Aroma notes (characteristic of our OatM!lk 43%) with the health benefits of a combination of Erythritol and Stevia as low-calorie sweeteners. Its use appeals to consumers wanting to reduce or eliminate their sugar intake for health reasons and reduce calories.
Furthermore, creating a better product for your health and the planet shouldn’t mean consumers must sacrifice taste. The couverture uses high-quality ingredients to maintain its cereal and nutty flavour with a smooth and creamy texture.
“We’re seeing various subcategories within the plant-based sector emerge as consumers seek out more options to suit different diets and health requirements. Last year, our product development research led to the development of 70% Dark and 40% milk no-added sugar couvertures using Erythritol and Stevia, incorporating Luker’s Cacao Fino de Aroma signature flavour. We were keen to combine this with our best-selling Oat M!lk 43% couverture to develop a perfect product for brands looking to appeal to a wider audience.”, says Daniela Quintero, Head of Product Development at Luker Chocolate.