International sales of sugared sweets and chocolate continue to rise at a steady pace as the demand for confectionery in developing regions such as the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East rises. Some sectors within established markets such as the US and Western Europe are in decline and here new technologies and sweet concepts are maintaining growth as requests for healthy alternatives drive innovation.
Consumers are increasingly aware of healthy nutrition due to a desire for good health and well-being or prevention of civil diseases such as obesity or diabetes. However, while looking for healthy options, consumers don’t want to sacrifice taste, indulgence and pleasure. This is especially important when talking about chocolate.
Research conducted by Beneo at the end of 2011 confirms that consumers are hankering after a healthier alternative to sugar coated chocolate sweets and are willing to pay a ten per cent higher price for toothfriendly variations if they came to market.
This positive reaction from consumers will lead to toothfriendly sugar-coated chocolates being brought to market: “The popularity of sweets like M&Ms and Smarties show that the market is strong for these varieties of candy, and the results of our survey prove that consumers are ready for new and healthy alternatives,” explains Dr Christian Niederauer, market research manager at Beneo..
Compared to the overall chocolate market, fortified chocolate (eg rich in fibre) is still a very small market. Nevertheless, it’s predicted it will outperform the overall chocolate category, especially in terms of annual volume growth (5.7 per cent compared to 2.2 per cent) from 2010 to 2015. Also, when looking at the number of new chocolate product launches with added-value claims, we’re seeing strong growth in Europe and North America.
Lactose free chocolate
Lactose free chocolate is an emerging niche market but benefits from high growth potential for the future as more and more people are suffering from food intolerances (approximately 75 per cent of the world’s population show some decreases in lactose activity in adulthood) but don’t want to miss out on their chocolate treat.
By Jens Böhm, marketing manager of Beneo