Consumers are turning to healthier lifestyles and cleaner labels for their and the planet’s health. Concerns around sugar, fat, and unnatural additives impact several categories, including chocolate. More stringent regulations and legislation, too, have put increased pressure on these segments.
At the same time, the demand for chocolate shows no sign of slowing down. Even during the recent pandemic, demand increased, with sales rising by 4.2% in 20201. Estimated at USD 113 billion in 2021, the global chocolate market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.7% into 20302.
What’s Driving This Growth?
Beyond an enduring love of the product, chocolate’s supposed health benefits, including improved mood, enhanced brain function, and heart health support, underpin this success. High-quality chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, contains serotonin, protective antioxidants, and minerals such as copper and magnesium. Chocolate also contributes to other growing consumer needs, including sugar and gluten-free, plant-based, organic, and more ethically sourced and sustainably produced options.
Chocolate lovers worldwide still want this delectable confectionery, but it is more natural, pure, and responsibly made. They also need the enticement and excitement of novel flavors, pairings, textures, techniques, and colors.
Manufacturers and artisans have responded with cleaner, greener ingredients, innovation, and diversification. Part of this chocolate evolution is developing new technology, with the Scandinavian and Nordic markets leading the way.
New Technologies and Innovations
Being sweet and melt-in-the-mouth is no longer enough. Makers are creating deliciousness from plant-based milk, high-cacao, and low sugar content, and using only natural sweeteners. Research is expanding to embrace science and technology to delight and satisfy consumers in fresh, fun, sensual, and even “sci-fi” ways. For example, chocolate lovers can 3D print chocolate selfies, enjoy a Bulgarian dark chocolate pizza, or inhale their favorite cocoa snack.
Innovations also offer functional ingredients such as CBD, vitamins, probiotics, and protein, and in time, eco-friendly edible sugar film or rice paper packaging. Unique and creative textures and flavors include sweet and salty, spicy, floral, dried fruit, and bacon, with pairings with coffees, teas, whiskey, and wine.
What About Colors?
According to Ad Vergauwen of Dutch brand Visser Chocolade, “In the last five years, you see a lot of colors in chocolate.” Chocolate colors are bright and bold, including purple and brilliant out-of-this-world shades to appeal to Gen Z online gamers.
Colorful chocolate is also not brand new. As long ago as 2017, a Belgian chocolatier developed a naturally colored and flavored fruity, pink chocolate, introducing a new category – ruby, alongside milk, white, and dark.
Colors can also signal how manufacturers are embracing healthier and more natural ingredients. For example, global food coloring company – EXBERRY® – recently showcased its “Healthy Hedonism” palette. This reveal paired pastel, bright, and psychedelic hues with traditional earthier tones to reference naturalness and eco-consciousness to resonate among the youth. White is also gaining popularity, with Cargill launching a “whiter than white” “bright white” chocolate.
Yet, how healthy is adding color to chocolate? How is it done?
What Is the Chocolate Coloring Process?
A blank white base of high-quality cocoa butter is the best starting point for a strikingly colorful and natural top layer. In response, ofi – a leading supplier of cocoa ingredients – offers Moonlight cocoa butter, an “extra white” canvas to paint beautifully soft or viscerally vibrant colors. The butter is also 100% natural and pure.
Another business at the forefront of colorful chocolate is Capol, delivering natural pigments for brighter hues with its Vivapigments brand. This innovation relies on microencapsulation technology using rice protein – yielding a more opaque result ideal for darker surfaces.
Finally, ensure your colorful chocolate tastes as unique as it looks and is as natural and toxin-free as it is alluring. Explore Advanced Biotech’s range of pure, responsibly sourced, and produced plant-based flavor and aroma ingredients.
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