The Taste Tomorrow survey shows that consumers tend to be conscious about the calorie count of products that they eat frequently. Products that they eat less frequently or in smaller portions are seen as a treat to self-indulge. This impacts the chocolate sector in different ways, posing new challenges but equally new opportunities. We discussed how this global market trend is impacting the chocolate sector with Puratos chocolate expert Francis D’Hoore, Business Unit Director Compound Chocolate and Fillings.
Chocolate is one of the most beloved “guilty pleasures” around the world. For instance patisserie, and perhaps even more so, chocolate is all about indulgence and taste. So it comes as no surprise that most consumers are not willing to give up on their chocolate fix. 'When it comes to chocolate, people don’t focus on the ingredient list; they simply want to focus on the taste, the pleasure of eating and discovering different types of chocolate. That is why, at Puratos, we want to provide the highest quality chocolate, offering the best tasting chocolates in the market,' explains Francis D’Hoore, Business Unit Director Compound Chocolate and Fillings.
'Chocolate contains an important amount of sugar and fat. However, this needs to be put into perspective. We make different chocolates with less sugar and higher cocoa content, but we also want to offer for example sugar-free chocolate in order to meet specific dietary demands. The fat in real chocolate is what we call “good fat”, and in compound chocolate, we produce increasingly more non-hydrogenated versions. Furthermore, cocoa – as a main ingredient of chocolate – naturally contains quite a few healthy elements, like anti-oxidants.'
When it comes to applications with chocolate, there is a greater demand for healthier products. Often these products are judged in the overall nutritional profile of the final goods, which are often patisserie or other sweet goods. Francis concludes: 'However, in my experience people don’t want to make compromises on taste for most applications with chocolate. Chocolate is indulgent and gives pleasure. People should simply enjoy it. It is all about portion size and quality. My advice: eat less quantity, but of higher quality.'
Ten years ago Francis D’Hoore entered Puratos as marketing manager SBU chocolate and has held different functions with the SBU Chocolate at HQ and the US. Today, he works as Business Unit Director Compound Chocolate and Fillings and leads of a team of marketers and product developers.