Over the last year, many of us turned to a familiar friend — chocolate.

And even now, the pandemic finally starts to ease in the United States, chocolate remains the top snack. Nearly 90 percent of consumers purchased some form of chocolate candy within the last three months.

Flavorchem, a supplier of cocoa-based ingredients, recently revealed some of the most prominent chocolate confectionery trends currently driving demand within this innovative sector.

1. Comfort

As rising attention is placed on the importance of mental and emotional health, confectionery is already well-positioned as a “feel good” category that provides consumers with a sense of comfort.

Flavorchem said 72 percent of consumers agree that confections are an important part of their emotional well-being as many seek out indulgent chocolate moments. In fact, 80 percent of consumers are eating the same amount (56 percent) or more (24 percent) chocolate during the course of the pandemic.

2. Celebration

Limited edition and seasonal chocolates play a significant role in everyday celebrations, with 60 percent of U.S. consumers purchasing holiday-themed chocolate candy, according to Mintel.

3. Multi-Sensory Experience

Daring flavors, unique textures, and new formats excite consumers and elevate their chocolate experiences.

Launches of hot cocoa bombs, dippable snacks, Ruby chocolate, and cross-category confections are popular in the candy aisles.

Flavorchem’s team tapped into this trend with a red, white and berry hot cocoa bomb as a nod to the upcoming 4th of July holiday and unveiled a mocha macaron and honey graham cake pop utilizing our vast portfolio of natural chocolate flavors.

4. Vegan Claims

Wider consumer interest in plant-based diets and ethical standards is attributing to a rise in vegan claims, which have appeared in 7 percent of all chocolate confectionery launches in 2020.

5. Sustainable Cocoa

Chocolate launches with ethical claims continue to expand as more consumers expect brands to invest in sustainability with efforts prioritized in responsibly sourced ingredients and production, positive environmental impact and human rights.

For more information on how Flavorchem can customize liquid or powder-based cocoa extracts and chocolate flavorings for your product (or to request a sample), please contact them via email at contact@flavorchem.com.