Chocolate-hazelnut spreads have earned their place as one of most popular breakfast items in German households, alongside jam and honey. With chocolate spread consumption being heavily skewed towards younger consumers and children, the challenge for brands is to extend their appeal to older age cohorts. A look at the recent launch activity within the German chocolate spread segment reveals that chocolate spread brands are currently doing this in three key ways: indulgent ingredients, natural credentials and ethical claims. New players, brands and private labels alike, are entering the space in attempt to carve their own niche with a new twist on the chocolate spread classic.

Potential exists to extend reach beyond younger audiences

A look at the recent launch activity within the German chocolate spread segment reveals a significant focus on natural credentials 4354013-6_dcddb75469band eco-awareness attributes, which showed the fastest growth in the past three years.

Developing more gourmet chocolate spread variations targeted at the adult palate, as well as a stronger emphasis on features such as premium ingredients, provenance or ethical attributes is a promising strategy to adopt, opening up a route to premiumisation. An example for this is Lindt’s Dark Cocoa Cream, which puts a premium spin on chocolate spreads that also features a sustainability reference.

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More specific natural and allergen-free statements, such as low/no/reduced allergen, gluten-free and vegan, are also widely featured in recent chocolate spreads launches, as manufacturers seek to reassure consumers of their natural credentials.

The rise of ethical claims in the German chocolate spread segment can be attributed to the growing concerns around palm oil sustainability. One of key ingredients in chocolate and hazelnut spreads, palm oil is being criticised for its association with deforestation in the growing regions of Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as with a host of labour-related problems, 3799339-0_dcddb75469bsuch as child labour, wage exploitation and unsafe working conditions.

Two products that have been developed with this in mind are Rapunzel Hazelnut Praline Cream and Brinkers It’s My Life. Rapunzel Hazelnut Praline Cream is vegan, made from fair organic palm oil and bears the EU Green Leaf logo. Brinkers It’s My Life bittersweet chocolate spread is an organic, fairtrade product suitable for vegans and features EU Green Leaf, Bio and FairTrade certifications.

Katya Witham is Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel with a dedicated field of focus on Germany. Katya draws on her comprehensive knowledge of the market to identify and explore the major trends across various FMCG categories, providing the insights needed to successfully navigate the German market.

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