Consumers seek new tastes from origin chocs, survey

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chocolate, Cocoa solids, Cocoa butter, Barry callebaut

More than a third of regular chocolate-eaters would relish more
choice in the kinds of products available, indicates a new survey
by Barry Callebaut that also shows growing interest in chocolate
from beans of different provenance.

The chocolate and cocoa manufacturer commissioned a consumer survey from IPSOS, which ran from January 7 to 28 this year. The research bureau quizzed consumers in Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, UK and USA. Of consumers in these countries, Germans were seen to be particularly experimental. Twenty-five per cent of chocolate-lovers quizzed said they regularly try different types and flavours of chocolate, compared to 12 per cent across the board. While this provides a spur or a justification for research and development on new chocolate products, innovation does not just have to be about interesting new chocolate flavours or ingredient combinations. One element of the survey sought to uncover consumer thoughts on premium chocolate, and particularly 'origin' chocolate - that is, chocolate made with beans harvested in only one country. This can mean the finished product has a taste that is quite distinctive, and unique to beans produced in that particular place. Barry Callebaut has direct sourcing operations in the main cocoa-growing countries, and says it has 40 different origins on offer, including some made from beans from very small scale plantations, specially-grown beans, and vintage beans. In addition, since it recently launched a raft of new country and regional origins chocolates and cocoa powders, the company has no doubt taken heart from the finding that 42 per cent of respondents in all the countries have discovered origin chocolate. This is up from just 16 per cent when a similar survey was conducted in 2006. "The most avid fans of origin chocolates are the Americans (53 per cent) and the Swiss (52 per cent),"​ said Barry Callebaut. "The Swiss are the most regular consumers of origin chocolate with 23 per cent enjoying it at least once a month".​ As well as having the potential to provide a different sensory experience, origins chocolates carry cache in the context of a trend towards more ethical consumption. Indeed, the ethical triumvirate - origin, organic and fair trade chocolate -are all gathered under the umbrella of the premium product trend. While premium products carry a few extra cents on the price tag, the survey indicated that there are limits to what consumers are prepared to spend on chocolate treats. Germans, again, can up tops when it came to being price-conscious (35 per cent), followed by Americans (31 per cent) and French (27 per cent). Americans also seemed especially sensitive to promotions, with 31 per cent saying they would buy a product on the spot following an in-store tasting.

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