How confectionery embraced ‘healthy indulgence’

In the confectionery space, indulgence no longer means consuming decadent or calorific treats; healthy indulgence can be found in enjoying a diverse selection of free-from chocolates or candies with fresh flavors and healthy ingredients that appeal to all the senses in a single bite.

According to the Innova Database, three in five global consumers want to try new sensory experiences such as aromas, tastes, textures, and colors. Moreover, consumers are also increasingly looking for sustainable and healthy products.

Wanlin Koh, Regional Technical Manager at ingredients group IMCD, said: “Indulgence claims around texture and flavor are gaining popularity. Indulgence has expanded beyond merely stronger flavors. Bolder and more exciting flavor choices are now available. For example, ingredients with botanical flavors, such as spices, herbs, and seeds, are combined with conventional fruit flavors and tea elements in the beverage area. The texture is also being emphasized in premium product positioning. Brands know how words and descriptions can reinforce new textural experiences.”

Consumption behaviors

The chocolate, confectionery, and bakery industry has adapted to demands for more healthy sweet treats, but the cost-of-living crisis is also altering consumers’ purchasing and consumption behaviors.

Regulatory changes in Europe over the past few years – such as HFSS (high in fat, sugar, and sodium), Nutri-Score, Natasha’s Law, acrylamide restrictions, and mandatory fortification of flour, for example – have also changed the bakery landscape.