A 7-ft. chocolate sculpture. Photo provided. 

Even as consumers are becoming more aware of how their food is processed, they still seek adventure and excitement in food. Consider this: white chocolate sushi could be the next big thing, at least according to Puratos.

More than 200 industry players from the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors met in Chicago last week for a “Taste Tomorrow” event hosted by Puratos. The two-day event, which is one of many being held around the world, highlighted the latest trends, and insights into consumer attitudes, behavior and choices.

One of the highlights was the 'Chocolate' room in the Puratos Marketplace, which showcased chocolate created to reflect today's tastes and possibilities for tomorrow.

Old favorites, such as turtles, panned almonds and peppermint bark were displayed along with more futuristic flavors, such as pink peppercorn bark, caramel bacon chocolate, and a white chocolate sushi. And, the Oxanti chocolate, a natural source of antioxidants, was paired with blueberry — also known for its antioxidant content — in a praline and a hot chocolate beverage.

The room also featured a 7-ft. chocolate sculpture that took four months to construct.

Meanwhile, during the Food Barometer session, Puratos shared comprehensive qualitative and quantitative research of 6,4000 consumers from 14 countries.  

The research found that consumers around the world are becoming more aware of how their food is processed, which means manufacturers have to be more transparent about their sourcing, development and production process.

The study also found that  the current economic state of a country usually defines its view of the future — but not in the way most people might think. People who live in emerging markets actually tend to be optimistic and forward thinking, while those in mature markets have doubts and are more skeptical.

Taste Tomorrow events already have been held in Guangzhou and Europe, and others will follow in Russia and elsewhere around the world.