Hop to it: 3 chocolate trends to this Easter and beyond

Hop to it: 3 chocolate trends to this Easter and beyond

April 6, 2023
3 min read

While Easter sees a big focus on chocolate, its consumption is not limited to this occasion and we have seen several innovations. In 2022, 57% of all Easter chocolate launches were ethical/environmental. Recent launch activity illustrates the efforts which chocolate confectionery brands are making to convey a more clean label image. This can be seen with the steady increase in the share of chocolate confectionery products featuring no additives/preservatives claims over the past four years. Meanwhile, unique flavors, textures and formats are also inspiring launch activity. Here are three key chocolate trends that are set to delight palates in 2023.

1. Ethical and environmental claims in chocolate

The confectionery industry continues to respond to a number of sustainability issues. Consumers, however, do not look for sustainable attributes in any of the three confectionary categories (chocolate, sugar or gum).Getting consumers on board is the next step for sustainability programs.

Source: Mintel GNPD, Loco Love Almond Caramel Crunch with Ashwagandha is made with Fairtrade cacao in a solar-powered factory. The palm-oil-free chocolate also contains probiotics (Australia).

2. A broader definition of health and wellness

Consumers have become more mindful of their health and wellness, especially since the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. Indeed, the definition of “wellness” has broadened to include mental, emotional and spiritual aspects. Confectionery’s strength will continue to lie more in its support of mental and emotional wellness than in the physical.

Source: Mintel GNPD, LiL’ Goodness 56% Cocoa Prebiotic Chocolate is said to improve gut health and the absorption of vitamins and minerals (India).
Source: Mintel GNPD, A Diabetic Chef Super Seeds Belgian White Chocolate is described as 100% healthy. The sugar-free chocolate is diabetic- and Polycystic ovary syndrome-friendly (India).

3. Flavours, textures and aromas continue to delight

Whether it is the preference for a nostalgic experience or an out-of-the-box sensation, consumers will continue to experiment with confectionery that offers a range of tastes, textures and aromas. They will also look for experiences that provide new ways of interacting with confectionery.

Source: Mintel GNPD, Cona’s Chocolate Thins with Strawberry Filling features a runny centre which will cause surprise in every bite (Taiwan, China).
Source: Mintel GNPD, Nestlé Kit Kat Mini Tokyo Island Lemon Chocolate Bars contain lemon juice powder from Ogasawara Islands. The chocolate bars provide a refreshing sweet taste (Japan).

What we think

Focus on “start-to-finish sustainability

There are myriad points on the confectionery production chain that require attention from both manufacturers and consumers, including ensuring fair labor practices for farmers and protecting the environment at the start and recycling or reusable packaging to the end.

Support all health and wellness pillars

As a treat category, confectionery is well positioned to support emotional and mental health. Find ways of introducing products that support physical wellness without compromise. In addition, explore the potential of products that support spiritual wellness. There will be developments in sustainability, from sourcing ingredients to the finished.

Look for elevated indulgence in chocolate

The opportunity for delivering memorable experiences is particularly being embraced in the chocolate confectionery market, where some innovative brands are embracing unique processing methods, eg freeze-drying techniques and novel fruit flavours. These features make for more memorable consumption experiences.

Amrin Walji
Amrin Walji

Amrin is a Senior Innovation Analyst who specialises in analysing trends driving product innovation and development across the food and drink industry.

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