Chocolate is consumed daily by many of us but according to a recent survey by Dawn Foods most consumers are looking for fruit and nut pairings with their chocolate treats possibly because these additions minimise feelings of guilt and are perceived as ‘healthier’ but primarily because ‘it tastes good’.
When asked what chocolate flavour combinations they would like to see, respondents included more fruit flavours like fig, raspberry and tropical fruits. The pairing of fruit and chocolate as an inclusion or topping for bakery items, often produces products that taste bolder and fresher than their chocolate only counterparts; some combinations are even perceived as healthier. Dawn recently introduced a Williams Pear and Chocolate finished frozen muffin featuring origin fruit pieces, as well as a Williams Pear jam filling in response to demand for chocolate and fruit flavour combinations. Our new Banana and Dark Chocolate Cookie Puck combines sweet banana puree with dark chocolate for a grown-up taste profile.
Other chocolate flavour combination suggestions included matcha, marshmallow, mint and red wine. Milk chocolate was the favourite variation of 45% of those surveyed, followed by a combination of milk, dark and white at 30%, dark at 17% and white chocolate falling into last place.
Nuts led the inclusions race, accounting for 26% of responses to favourite additions to chocolate and corroborate the survey finding that different chocolate textures - soft, crunchy and chunky - are something that consumers are looking for. Dawn’s new easy to use Dry Filling Mixes featuring hazelnuts and almonds flavours and a flexible textured neutral base can be easily incorporated into pastries and cakes with chocolate to deliver both the flavour and texture consumers seek.
When purchasing chocolate products quality was ranked the highest influencing factor at 33%, flavour combinations at 22%, price at 17% and then a drop to 7% and under for branding versus own label, promotions and pack size. Cocoa percentage and health benefits tied for bottom place at just 3% each.
The overwhelming majority of respondents, 54%, buy their chocolate bakery products from supermarkets as branded products. Cafes was the second most popular answer but at 11% was some significant way behind branded products from supermarkets. Of the 30% of people that preferred chocolate bakery products over chocolate itself, the majority replied that they liked the variety of such products and believed them to be more indulgent.
Jacqui Passmore Marketing Manager UK and Ireland at Dawn Foods comments:
“Milk chocolate continues to be one of the most popular chocolate flavours as evidenced by our survey. The combinations of chocolate with fruit, nuts, peanut butter and marshmallow are established, tried and tested flavour combinations that are popular in sweet bakery products. Many of the new flavour and inclusion suggestions in our survey are certainly interesting and although some like matcha can already be seen on the high street, many of the others are definitely worth further consideration.”
For more information and recipe ideas go to www.dawnfoods.com or call 01386 760843 or Email info.UK@dawnfoods.com.