The next big thing in chocolate: texture

August 29, 2018
4 min read

Chocolate confectionery brands have a seemingly never-ending challenge of creating “the next big thing.” This is validated by the fact that almost half of US chocolate consumers say they buy chocolate products based on familiarity and brand; while another third buy because of interesting flavors and the indulgence factor.

Today, we’re seeing leading chocolate brands in the US grow market share by enticing consumers with not only new and interesting flavors, but also textures that draw on the senses. Products that engage the sound, feel, and satisfaction that texture provides will become more important to companies and consumers alike in the future, according to Mintel’s 2018 Global Food and Drink Trend ‘New Sensations.’

Using Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), we’re spotlighting seven recently launched innovative chocolate products from around the world that use ‘texture attitude’ to entice and delight consumers.

Kaiser BoBa Chocolate (Taiwan)
Kaiser BoBa Chocolate is described as a Taiwanese BoBa milk tea flavouring chocolate ball with gummy BoBa inside. Milk tea is an unusual flavor, and not typically seen in chocolate confectionery. The gummy BoBa is a candy with a texture that replicates the tapioca pearls in bubble tea. So, the product combines gummy candy (which copies bubble tea) in chocolate! Texturally, and from a flavor standpoint, it is a fascinating product!

Sugarpova Milk Chocolate Covered Gummy Lips (US)
It is not just in Asia where gummies and chocolate have been united into one product. In the US, Sugarpova Milk Chocolate Covered Gummy Lips are described as chic outside, goofy inside with orange, lemon, strawberry and lime flavors dipped in creamy milk chocolate.

According to Mintel Purchase Intelligence, 59% of US respondents say they likely or definitely would buy Reese’s Outrageous! Pieces, significantly outperforming the subcategory.

REESE’S Outrageous! Pieces (US)
To say Reese’s Outrageous Bars are bursting with texture and flavor would be an understatement. The newly launched product features caramel and crunchy Reese’s Pieces candy surrounding creamy peanut butter and is covered in smooth milk chocolate.

Dia Delicious Trufas Flakes (Spain)
Flaked chocolate is especially popular in the UK and Europe, even though it has not had huge success in the US. Dia Delicious Trufas Flakes (Flaked Truffle Assortment) takes the flaked chocolate to a new, premium level, by putting it in truffle form, instead of bar form, and presenting it in a premium-looking box.

Cru Sauvage Chocolat Cru Fondant (France)
In a textural departure, most consumers don’t want chocolate to melt… unless it is supposed to be “melty,” as is the case with Cru Sauvage Chocolat Cru Fondant (Melting Raw Chocolate), which is described as “delicately melting” in texture.

Lindt Macarons Mischung Vollmich-Schokolade mit Gebäck- und Gerösteten Mandelstückchen (Germany) Taking a popular dessert, known for its distinct texture, and putting it in a chocolate, Lindt recently launched it’s Macarons Mischung Vollmich-Schokolade mit Gebäck- und Gerösteten Mandelstückchen (Chocolate Eggs with Macaron Filling Assortment). This product adds pieces of macaron to chocolate confectionery. The unmistakable texture of the biscuits combines with the smooth texture of the chocolate.

M&S Milk Chocolate Chewy Caramel Biscuit Bites (Ireland)
M&S Milk Chocolate Chewy Caramel Biscuit Bites offer up triple texture. They feature milk chocolate pieces filled with a layer of caramel, biscuit pieces, puffed cereal and cocoa biscuit pieces.

What brands should know

More products can be developed featuring combinations of textures that surprise and captivate consumers. Food and drink products designed with new or additional textures have the potential to engage younger consumers who we know are after experiences over things.

“As consumer taste profiles change and new consumers enter the confection market, we know opportunity exists to develop new combinations of chocolate and peanut butter with texture and complexity,” said Eric Bowers, Brand Manager of Reese’s at The Hershey Company.

Today, teens and young adults are using social media to interact with and document everyday life, providing opportunities for brands to incorporate multisensory food and drink that uses unexpected textures. Bowers has seen significant growth over the last three years, driven by textured innovation with products such as REESE’S Pieces Cup, REESE’S Crunchy Cookie Cup and REESE’S Outrageous bars. “Consumer research inside and outside of the confection category led us to innovating against textural complexity. Consumers are looking for more complex eats, slowing down the eating experience, and new innovations from the brands they love.”

Marcia Mogelonsky
Marcia Mogelonsky

Marcia Mogelonsky, Ph. D. is the Director of Insight, Food & Drink, at Mintel. Her expertise focuses on consumer behavior across a range of categories.

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