Raw chocolate KitKats, Dark Milk, vegan bars with quinoa, and now “ruby” chocolate: The world’s biggest chocolate makers are looking for ways to keep increasingly health-conscious consumers coming back for more.
Sales of mainstream milk chocolate bars have stagnated as consumers worried about obesity and heart disease turn to snacks with less sugar and fat, or hold out for the occasional indulgent splurge on expensive, high-end chocolate.
The shift in attitudes is forcing global firms from Mars Inc. to Mondelez International to Nestle to rebrand or reformulate their mass-market chocolates to create a healthier image, or sell a more expensive premium experience.
Smoother dark chocolate bars, protein bars with chocolate, sugar-free chocolate, and single-origin chocolate are an answer to consumer demand for healthier and higher-quality bars, the companies say.
Critics of the confectionery industry say the new products are gimmicks to boost sales by giving a premium feel or a “healthy halo” to snacks still high in sugar and fat.
The companies want to find growth somewhere. The volume of confectionery products sold worldwide rose just 0.5 percent in 2016-17 after falling for two years, according to research company Euromonitor International.| | | Next → | Single Page