People love chocolate. Around the world, chocolate is a top seller in supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants because of its luscious taste, desirable texture and feel good benefits. It’s no wonder then that the top flavor for new chocolate products launched globally in the past year was … chocolate. Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) shows that, in the past 12 months, nearly four in 10 new chocolate products were “plain” or “unflavored.”
But beyond that, leading flavors for chocolates vary greatly around the world. Mintel GNPD takes a look at the second most popular flavors for new chocolate launched globally in the past year.
Asia: Strawberry, with almond a close third
In Asia, strawberry was the second leading flavor for chocolate products introduced in the past 12 months. It appeared in one of two primary ways: as a filling surrounded by milk or dark chocolate or as a flavoring embedded into white chocolate.
Cadbury Time Out Chocettes in Hong Kong feature the first composition. The strawberry-flavored, bite-sized wafers come encased in a layer of chocolate. In Japan though, Crunky Chocolates feature strawberry flavor immersed into pink-colored white chocolate. The crispy malt puffs are made from faintly acidic and deeply sweet Tochiotome cultivar strawberries for an authentic taste.
Almond followed just behind strawberry as the third leading flavor for new chocolate products launched in Asian countries in the past year. Whittaker’s Gold Almond Milk Chocolate Bar in Singapore claims to contain fresh roasted almonds for maximum flavor.
In Europe, hazelnuts filled new chocolate products, dominating as the second top flavor for the region. Hazelnuts were featured in the most ordinary chocolate bars, such as Sölen Chocolove in Turkey. The chocolate-covered wafers come filled with hazelnut cream.
Pairing beautifully with rich European chocolate, hazelnut-flavored fillings also feature prominently in specialty and seasonal chocolates. In Finland, Fazer’s Geisha Milk Chocolates with Hazelnut Filling are available only for Valentine's Day 2008.
Latin America: Almond
Almond led the non-“plain” flavor pack for new Latin American chocolate products launched in the past year. However, in this region more than others, “plain” and “unflavored” dominated new product development. More than 40% (405 of 964) new Latin American chocolate products embraced the simple flavor of chocolate. In Guatamala, Shaw's Barra de Chococlate con Leche (Milk Chocolate Tablet) is a perfect example. The premium chocolate bar contains no preservatives so as to enhance its rich chocolate flavor.
Not all chocolate was plain in Latin America though, and almond made the finest showing for new products launched in the past year. Lacasa Divinos Almendras con Chocolate Bitter (Bitter Chocolate Almonds) in Argentina pairs antioxidant-rich dark chocolate with almonds for a luxurious taste and a great health profile.
North America: Caramel, followed closely by peanut butter
In Canada and the United States, caramel filled, flavored and swirled in new chocolate products as the second most popular flavor from the past 12 months. Whole Foods Market, a natural and organic food store, sells Caramel Truffles under its 365 Organic store brand in Canada. Made from full-flavored organic cocoa, the truffles capitalize on a popular flavor (caramel) along with a popular food trend (organic).
Though caramel led as the second most popular flavor, peanut butter fell not far behind in North America. One of Hershey’s most popular brands—Reese’s—has fostered a deep love of peanut butter and chocolate in the United States. Reese's Peanut Butter Mix, an assorted bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Crispy Crunchy Bars and Reese's Pieces, could satisfy even the strongest craving for peanut butter and chocolate.
The Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) tracks new product launches, trends and innovations internationally. For additional information regarding GNPD, visit www.gnpd.com or call Mintel International at 1-312-932-0600.