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03/02/2022

International growth of better for you chocolate soars

Luker Chocolate explores ‘better for you’ chocolate trends

  • Colombian business for business chocolate manufacturer, Luker Chocolate sees growth in natural sugar, reduced sugar and sugar-free alternative chocolate options amongst high-end confectioners
  • In 2021, alternative sugars accounted for 46% of global launches, including 41.7% in Western Europe (Innova Market Insights, 2022)

‘Better for you’ confectionery is experiencing substantial growth, as conscious consumers seek snacking options that prioritise health and natural, less processed foods.

Today’s confectionary markets are more specialised than ever before, with consumers demanding more choices in healthier or natural products that have less or even no sugar. A 2022 study found that 81% of consumers are looking for sugar reduction, over clean labels. Luker Chocolate launched their Balance range in 2021, which includes natural sugars, sugar-reduced options and sugar-free options too.

The demand for better for you chocolate

With growing success established in the US market, confectioners are now seeing demand growth in Europe. A recent study found that two-thirds of Europeans have started to lower their sugar intake due to increasing awareness of its effects, such as obesity and tooth decay. With a growing number of consumers monitoring their sugar intake, chocolate companies can start to look at how to reduce or replace sugar to entice a different kind of consumer.

In response to the demand for better for you options, Luker Chocolate launched its Balance portfolio, which includes Erythritol-Stevia sugar-reduced Milk 40% and sugar-free Dark 70%.

Additionally, Luker has developed formulations with allulose, an increasingly popular sugar substitute, which grew at an annual rate in the US by 52.75% from 2019-2021 (Innova Market Insights, 2022).  Also, this line offers Dark Chocolate Coconut Sugar 70% coverture, the second most popular alternative natural sugar for Luker in 2021.

This allows Luker to offer a sweet balance of Cacao Fino de Aroma plus added health benefits of sugar-free sweeteners and alternative sugars to confectioners worldwide.

The benefits of alternative sugars

Wellness needs depending on the consumer. Alternative sugars generally have less of an impact on blood sugar levels, as well as being less harmful to your teeth, but there are subsections that appeal to different categories.

There are three main categories of alternative sugars:

  • Natural sugar: sugar that is found naturally, and isn’t as processed, e.g. coconut sugar, which provides a cleaner label using natural ingredients
  • Sugar-reduced: options where less sugar is used, mainly milk chocolate as the milk includes natural sugars, which is better for you but still allows for indulgent milk chocolate
  • Sugar-free: dark chocolate that has zero sugar used, for example using allulose or stevia & erythritol, with a high cocoa content for antioxidants

Cristian Chu of Luker Chocolate comments, ‘at Luker, we pride ourselves on co-creating covertures with unique chocolatiers, that are both exquisite in taste and ethically sourced. Clients work with us to create bespoke new products, including a recent uptake in better for you chocolates this past year. ISM is a great opportunity to show off our alternative sugar offering and connect with all the innovative chocolatiers that want to develop in this space.

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