With the 20th edition of the Salon du Chocolat — the world’s biggest CHOCOLATE fair — set to open in Paris later this month, here’s a look at some emerging trends that chocoholics can look forward to finding on their grocery store shelves, according to global market research group Mintel.
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Lemon and chocolate
Though chocolate and orange have long been best friends in the confectionery world, another citrus fruit is getting some chocolate love: lemon. In fact, according to Mintel, the number of lemon-flavored chocolate products have doubled over the past year globally.
Dessert within a dessert
Confectionery makers are pimping out chocolate to make it even more decadent by creating dessert-flavored, well, desserts.
Think crème brulee, tiramisu, milkshake and ice cream-flavored chocolates.
In Asia, where the sweet tooth is much weaker than the Western world, vegetables are being used to cut cloyingly sweet taste chocolate flavors.
In 2013, there was wasabi-flavored chocolate. Now there’s chocolate-covered edamame and purple sweet potato chocolate, made with white chocolate and purple potato paste.
Raspberry-flavored chocolate is so 1990s
Strawberry, raspberry and cherry have all had solid turns in the chocolate spotlight. But in Poland, consumers are being treated to chocolate and peach-fruit filling, an overlooked but underestimated fruit pairing.
Hibiscus, the ingredient that’s become commonplace in teas, is also finding its way into chocolate. And as Mintel notes, while floral-scented chocolates aren’t common, it’s an avenue they anticipate will be explored.
Marou chocolate from Vietnam
Like coffee and wine, the notion of chocolate terroir is becoming increasingly popular. Serious chocolate lovers are learning that cacao from different countries — Venezuela, Ivory Coast, and relative newcomer Vietnam — have different taste profiles.
Here’s the traditional pecking order when it comes to nuts and chocolate: The top nut ingredient is hazelnuts, followed by almonds and peanuts.
But according to Mintel, consumers can expect to see a more diverse nutscape including pistachios, and a blend of seeds and nuts.
One interesting riff on chocolate-covered almonds comes from Canada, with the Rogers’ Chocolates Natural Dark Chocolate Chipotle Almonds.