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Confectionery Industry Forecast Is Sweet: Globally Inspired Flavors, Eco-Friendly and Health Minded Trends Lead New Product Innovations
Date:6/24/2009

lthy lifestyles, health benefits will heavily influence manufacturers to focus largely on developing 'better for you' confections, especially new types of enhanced chocolate treats.

More than sweet and good to eat, manufacturers will take steps toward social responsibility. Sixty-five (65) percent of experts say eco-friendly manufacturing efforts, like recyclable packaging, will influence product development and consumer purchasing.

"For 125 years, the National Confectioners Association and its members have brought innovation and reinvention, always meeting the demand to fit consumers' lifestyles," Graham adds.

Choc-full-of-it

America's favorite flavor, chocolate, will emerge as one of the largest growth drivers for the industry in new, delicious and exciting ways. Experts predict consumers can expect to find chocolate and cocoa popping up more frequently as a key ingredient in main courses alongside salmon, chicken and steak, according to 73 percent of experts surveyed. Not just for dinner, 38 percent of insiders say to be on the lookout for cocoa and chocolate in appetizers.

"Chocolate is a classic indulgence," commented Susan Smith, senior vice president of NCA's Chocolate Council. "From its potential health benefits to its organic roots and inclusion as an ingredient in many types of sweet and savory foods, we have only begun to experience the versatility of chocolate."

Embracing versatility may mean more of an emphasis on global influences and flavor pairings, according to the survey. Forty-three percent of experts say consumers are going to become more open to chocolate and flavor infusions that include spices, salts, herbs and floral flavors. For example, exotic fruit pairings such as mango will become more prominent and we'll start to see ethnic flavors emerge in popularity with herbs being incorporated into chocolate dishes. Consumers can also expec
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SOURCE National Confectioners Association
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