Food & Beverage Asia Aug/Sep 2018

INGREDIENTS 32 FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2018 A lthough chocolate means di ̫ erent things to di ̫ erent people, there are – according to recent surveys conducted by Euromonitor and AAK – some points that chocolate lovers tend to agree on. Three of them stand out. First of all, chocolate is moving out of the snack category and becoming more of a premium luxury. Secondly, exciting creative tastes and texture are a must – perhaps with the addition of a few nuts and a healthier, more natural pro̬le. And ̬nally, trans fats are a no-go – with almost a third of consumers often checking the ingredient labels before they buy. Another indication is that consumers have moved beyond the solid chocolate bar that was popular a decade or two ago. Today, ̬lled chocolate and confectionery products are preferred. While this gives manufacturers a fantastic playground for developing new sensory experiences, it also raises a set of technical challenges that must be solved before a new product can become a true consumer favorite. Very often, the solution to such challenges lies in the ̬lling fats. An Everyday A ̫ ordable Luxury In an AAK survey of European and US consumers conducted earlier this year, more than 65% of the respondents described chocolate as a permissible indulgence. Some see it as their daily a ̫ ordable luxury. In other words, they have high expectations of the chocolate they buy – and their expectations must be met each time. Great Fillings Create Special Chocolate Moments Consumer tastes may differ, but indulgence and excitement are always at the heart of confectionery favorites – preferably with a healthier, more natural profile. By Mr. Marco Oomen , AAK’s Global Business Director for Chocolate & Confectionery Fats