Thanks to Valentine’s Day, February is synonymous with sweets. From decadent chocolates to the ubiquitous candy heart, there’s no better way to say, “I love you,” than with a sugary treat. But don’t be surprised if your palate is subjected to a few new flavor profiles this February 14th.  The confectionery world is constantly evolving, and as we enter 2020, there are three big trends to look out for.

Small Batch

Millennials are not only chocolate consumers, they’re chocolate connoisseurs. Unique flavors, textures, and premium ingredients are top of mind for younger generations looking to sate their sweet tooth. “We found that the fine chocolate consumer is generally younger, more socially conscious and more driven by experimentation and trial, even if they already have a favorite chocolatier,” said Bill Guyton, executive director of Fine Chocolate Industry Association.

Fruity & Floral

Opening a bag of candy or chocolates in 2020 may release a sensory experience comparable to walking into a budding botanical garden. FONA International, a flavor producer for many of the largest food and beverage companies in the world, pinpointed a few flavor profiles trending in their “Everyday” use category: Lavender, Hibiscus, Key Lime, Plum, and Rosé Wine. In FONA’s “Mainstream” category, they identified Matcha, Elderflower, Rose, White Peach, Jasmine, and Harissa as trending confectionery flavors.

Sustainable

Consumers are gaining a conscience and the confectionery category is supporting the movement. Healthy, eco-friendly products that invest in sustainability are becoming more important each year. “Global consumers who expect companies to invest in sustainability increased from 65% in 2018 to 87% in 2019. About half of consumers are willing to pay extra for products devoted to solving sustainability issues,” according to Innova Market Insights. Manufacturers and suppliers have taken note and are working to impact change. Olam Cocoa, a leading food and agri-business, recently launched the Cocoa Compass program, which supports an environmentally friendly focus on the cocoa supply chain.  

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