What are some currently trending ingredients, and what do you think will continue to be popular?
The trend for ingredients of confectionery products used by manufacturers and demanded for by the consumers depends, of course, on the market itself.
In general, healthy products like protein and energy bars are still an increasing product range as well as fruit products. All these products convey a healthy and positive feeling. In general, the trend is to going to higher quality products.
Healthy, nutritional as well as sugar-free ingredients will always be highlighted to give the consumer a good reason to buy these products. Of course, these products will remain a smaller part of the complete production capacity.
What are some ingredients you expect will gain more attention this year?
I expect that real chocolate will replace the compound chocolate with vegetable fat in many areas of the world. Cocoa butter is a high quality fat that increases the taste and mouth-feel for the products.
Temperature-sensitive products with real chocolate need a better distribution system with temperature-controlled trucks and shops in hot regions. As this is increasingly becoming the standard also in developing countries, I see this as a big potential for growth of products with real chocolate.
Health and wellness are the priority of many consumers today. Do you think that is something that will continue?
Health and wellness products will continue to grow, and the challenge for manufacturers is the development of products which are healthy and have additionally a nice appearance as well as good taste.
The consumer will then get a positive feeling buying this product and good quality and taste ensures that the consumer will continue to buy this product not only for health reasons.
What can manufacturers do to take advantage of this opportunity? Or, what are other opportunities can they capitalise on this year?
Following the current consumer trends, manufacturers have to develop healthy products, that have a good taste and quality appearance, on top of being well-packaged.
I believe there will be a trend of lower prices, especially for products which are expensive now, as these ‘premium’ products become more common; I foresee the price of these coming closer to that of conventional confectionery products.
The company which finds the right way to produce such a product—affordable, healthy, functional, tasty, visually appealing—in an efficient way will be successful in the years to come.