ZURICH, SWTZERLAND — Barry Callebaut dove into which consumer preferences will dictate the chocolate markets in 2024. Trends include three types of indulgence: intense, mindful and healthy.
Barry Callebaut sees consumers responding in two ways to the rise in the price of chocolate during the past few years. Fifty-four percent still prefer to purchase premium, high-quality chocolate. Even with higher prices, consumers are still choosing to treat themselves with small luxury items like chocolate. Among Barry Callebaut’s 11,974 survey participants in August 2023, 74% said they want to try new chocolate experiences, and 65% of consumers prefer chocolate confectionery that has multiple textures.
Unique, rare and seasonal chocolate, like limited editions, are all drivers of the types of chocolate consumers are seeking. Seventy percent of consumers want unique, exciting chocolate with multiple flavors and textures. Fifty percent will buy limited editions on impulse and 64% seek premium chocolate, according to the study.
The “healthy indulgence” trend includes consumers interested in the health of the planet and their own health. Seventy-five percent of global consumers agree chocolate needs to taste good, be “good for me,” and good for the planet, the study said. Seventy-seven percent of consumers want chocolate with less sugar, 41% are trying to limit their sugar intake and 10% are avoiding sugar all together.
Consumers also are seeking more natural and authentic ingredients, the study found. Approximately 54% of consumers prefer pure chocolate without artificial flavors or colors, while 66% are interested in chocolate confectionery that contains what they consider unhealthy ingredients, the study said.
Vegan or plant-based chocolate confectionery options are gaining interest among 41% of consumers. Sixty-nine percent of consumers are interested in chocolate with healthy ingredients, 74% want snacks that are nutritious and energizing, and 71% want chocolate that supports their mental health, the study said.