These trends include healthy living, premiumization, plant-based and origin foods, shopper experience, modern grocery, emerging regional flavors, affordable quality, food technology and disruptive brands, said the market research firm. “Healthy living is at the top of the food pyramid, impacting almost all categories and geographies in food and premiumization is paramount across all regions, primarily impacting snacks,” said Pinar Hosafci, head of packaged food research at Euromonitor. ConfectioneryNews has picked some trends relevant to the chocolate candy category.
The number one trend is “back to nature and no to sugar,” according to Euromonitor. “The healthy living trend can be described in two sub trends: back to nature and naturally functional,” Hosafci explained. “The food industry continues to shift its focus from weight management to nutrition and natural wellbeing,” she added. “The industry has seen a rise in ‘raw foods’ – uncooked or unprocessed without being heated above 48˚C to preserve most of the natural vitamins and minerals.” One of the products Euromonitor listed as related to the trend was Mulu’s raw chocolate from the UK.
“Meanwhile, the ‘naturally functional’ centers around the big trend of gut health, which has links with mental health and performance,” said Hosafci. “The rise in this trend concentrates on fermented food, ancient grains and probiotics, and healthy fats.” Redefining indulgence Euromonitor noted that indulgence would always be a core driver in foods.
However,“it is changing shape and form, as consumers crave different products for different occasions and in different geographies,” it said. “Indulgence has been redefined through ingredients, health, ethics and flavor.” Experience instead of possession “From buying to creating, consumers’ emphasis is shifting from possession to experience,” said Euromonitor.
Disruption has been a favorite buzzword for 2018 especially in the confectionery and snacks category, said Euromonitor. “Disruption has prompted multinational companies and legacy brands to acquire startups or launch their own innovation labs,” it said. “These disruptive brands tend to simultaneously tap into several megatrends and are agile and responsive to consumers’ changing needs; as such, they innovate rapidly,” added Euromonitor. In December 2017, US chocolate giant acquired Amplify Snack Brands for around $1.6bn, according to ConfectioneryNews. Nestlé also moved its chocolate research center from Switzerland to the UK to better focus on “breakthrough innovation”in the confectionery category earlier this year. Additionally, Sweden-headquartered specialty vegetable fats and oils producer AAK also opened an innovation center in Edison, New Jersey, hoping to partner with Hershey and Barry Callebaut. Through these innovation efforts, these large companies “might create their own niche category, topple a legacy brand in an existing category, adopt a new technology, or disrupt through a novel marketing or channel strategy,” said Euromonitor.