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Apr 8, 2024 7:15:00 PM7 min read

2024 Chocolate Trends: A Look at the Hottest Flavours in Chocolate Confectionery

Refreshed and republished on April 8th, 2024
This post was originally published on June 7th, 2023, and has been enhanced and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Are you curious about the current flavour trends in confectionery production?

Our team has been busy finding out. Get a sneak peek at the current chocolate trends in chocolate confectionery flavours for global consumers. Chocolate consumers globally are increasingly curious about global culinary traditions and unique flavours that offer a taste of different cultures. The transformative trends and consumer attitudes shaping the chocolate industry in 2024 are pivotal, focusing on healthier, more sustainable, and ethical practices.

Join us as we explore the exciting world of chocolate flavours! Understanding the chocolate confectionery market, including consumer demands and preferences, is crucial. 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!

Which top chocolate trends will dominate the chocolate confectionery market in 2024?

This year, the chocolate market is brimming with captivating flavours that tantalize the taste buds. From luscious salted caramel to indulgent dark chocolate infused with exotic spices, 2024 embraces unique and innovative flavour profiles. Expect to encounter bursts of tangy fruit, velvety smooth nutty notes, and the enchanting harmony of floral and chocolate undertones. Consumers are increasingly demanding exciting chocolate with multiple textures and flavours, and they prefer chocolate brands that focus on natural and authentic ingredients, sustainable and ethical production, transparency, and traceability.

There is a rising demand for classic flavours like hazelnut, almond, and caramel, particularly among private-label brands and creators looking to expand their global retail sales with high-quality chocolate.

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Caramelo is a beloved classic flavour in the exciting chocolate world. 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 the unleashing of creativity and delighting discerning taste buds. Consumers prefer pure chocolate without artificial flavours and colours.

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 flavour, producers have started fusing milk chocolate with other foods, including caramel, biscuits, oranges, and nuts. Regarding format, innovation is present in various sizes and forms, such as bars, wafers, chips, and cubes.

The flavour 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.

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Classic flavours like hazelnut, almond, and caramel will remain popular this year, particularly among brands and creators looking to expand their product portfolio.

Preference for bitter flavours 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 flavours:

  1. Intense Flavour: The bold and rich taste of bitter chocolate coming from having a higher amount of cacao solids is becoming more attractive to consumers!
  2. 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, as this allows for healthy indulgence.
  3. Natural Goodness: Dark chocolate shines as people seek healthier, more natural food options. It typically has simpler ingredients with fewer additives and preservatives, aligning perfectly with the trend toward conscious eating.
  4. Luxury Appeal: Bitter chocolate is the ultimate luxury treat. With rising incomes and changing diets in emerging economies, more and more people want to purchase premium flavour profiles.

Global consumers agree that bitter chocolate boils down to its intense flavour, health benefits, natural ingredients, and luxurious appeal. This is why semi-sweet chocolate bars or dark chocolate with natural sugars, such as coconut-sugar dark chocolate chips, present a great opportunity to introduce dark chocolate to your portfolio.

Innovative Flavours Shaping the Future of the Confectionery Industry

Floral flavours, including chamomile, honeysuckle, and rose, are in the lead as the fastest-growing botanical flavour trends in packaged foods, followed by herbs and then spices and seeds. (Innova Market Insights 2023) This helps products stand out amongst competitors. The importance of natural and authentic ingredients in chocolate confectionery cannot be overstated, as consumers increasingly seek products free from artificial additives and with simple ingredient lists.

Research suggests that consumers wish to experiment more with flavour combinations. Botanical, spicy, and indulgent flavour 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.

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Consumers choose chocolates that offer unique and indulgent flavour combinations. Exotic fruits such as guava, melon, passion fruit, and pomegranate are also trending for limited edition products, providing a unique flavour experience for customers in the food industry.

Particularly in the US, these flavours are noted as a top trend for 2024 by the Future  Market Insights report, noting not only the use of exotic flavours but also their personalized approach for each customer base. Fruity flavours can be infused in chocolate, ganaches, or in fillings and inclusions.

Banana ganache is another popular flavour to look out for this year, it can be a perfect match with dark, intense chocolate. Seasonal chocolate confectionery is becoming increasingly popular as consumers seek unique, rare, and premium chocolate experiences, especially limited editions.

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With each delectable bite, consumers will have exciting chocolate experiences—a symphony of flavours that redefine chocolate indulgence and cater to the ever-evolving palates of chocolate enthusiasts. Flavours that dominate the plant-based confectionery segment are oats, almonds, and peas, most commonly through the use of alternative milk. Besides, consumers seek vegan or plant-based chocolate options.

However, the flavour isn’t just the taste of something but an avenue to health, comfort, and luxury. There is still a demand for nostalgic flavours due to post-pandemic reminiscences,  such as s’mores, childhood candy favourites, or maple ganache. These flavours 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.

Flavours 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 flavour of the overall product, adding nut or oat flavours to the final taste. Products in this category need to be as flavoursome 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. Chocolate brands are also catering to consumer preferences for premium, high-quality chocolate by offering single-serve packages and small gift boxes, focusing on natural and authentic ingredients.

As a result, consumers can enjoy their favourite chocolate confectionery guilt-free, knowing that they are contributing to a more sustainable future. Understanding the purchasing behaviour and preferences of global consumers is crucial for brands to meet the demands for better value, environmentally conscious choices, and the desire for indulgence combined with health and wellness.

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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. Consumers perceive chocolates in terms of their preferences for premium, high-quality chocolate and natural ingredients.

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 flavour trends.

The research and development teams host multiple sessions to fully understand the needs of our clients’ consumer base, tackle their challenges and create bespoke solutions. Sugar reduction is a key focus in developing innovative solutions that respond to consumer insights. Flavour profiling is one way the team is driving this. Top chocolate trends and consumer behaviours include preferences for premium, high-quality chocolate and sustainability.

Any brand looking to capitalize on flavour trends in 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 flavourful innovations here!

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