Dive Brief:

  • Barry Callebaut’s new Accent line of chocolate for confectioners was specifically made for the tastes and needs of North American consumers. It combines the European process of making chocolate with the flavor North American consumers want, according to a release from the company.
  • The line features six varieties: Accent White, Accent Light Milk, Accent Milk, Accent High Cacao Milk, Accent Dark and Accent High Cacao Dark. These chocolates are sustainable and sourced from the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, which is affiliated with Barry Callebaut. They also were formulated for use in a variety of functions, including panning, enrobing and molding.
  • Barry Callebaut sells a range of chocolate ingredients to confectioners and manufacturers worldwide. Through its Forever Chocolate program, it is aiming to have 100% of its ingredients coming from sustainable sources by 2025. Barry Callebaut established the Cocoa Horizons Foundation to further that ambition. Last year, the company reached 51% of its sustainability goal.

Dive Insight:

Many consumers have turned to sweets as a way to make the pandemic more palatable, making this launch from Barry Callebaut well timed. According to data from the National Confectioners Association, candy sales are up 4.3% in the U.S. since mid-March.

Chocolate has been among the biggest beneficiaries. The trade group said in August that chocolate sales had increased 5.5%. Premium chocolate outpaced the rest of the category with sales spiking 12.5%. The surge in premium offerings is unlikely to end anytime soon.

The winter holidays are coming soon, and many consumers will be using chocolate for gifts and celebrations. New statistics from the NCA show 84% of Americans see candy as a fun part of seasonal celebrations. Almost eight in 10 say giving others candy is a great American tradition, and 82% think it’s OK to indulge for seasonal celebrations. Last year, 90% of consumers planned to give chocolate as a gift.

A new chocolate designed for both function and sustainability is likely to perform well among consumers. Cocoa sustainability is more complex and all-encompassing than just the environmental concerns. It also deals with ensuring farmers are paid a living wage and the eradication of child labor. Cocoa Horizons is focused on helping farmers live profitably, as well as working toward deforestation-free and carbon-neutral production. Confections using Accent as a base can include claims that the products are sustainably sourced or support farmers, the release from Barry Callebaut says.

Although consumers are in the midst of a pandemic, they do still care about product sustainability. A report from IRI and the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business found sustainable CPG products saw sales spike 56% as consumers started stockpiling groceries at the beginning of the pandemic. Sustainable CPG sales represented 54.7% of all CPG growth between 2015 and 2019, even though the products themselves only made up 16.1% of the total market.

As consumers start their holiday shopping — or look to treat themselves — Barry Callebaut’s Accent line checks all of the boxes they seek. For confectioners and manufacturers, this high-performance chocolate also meets what they have on their ingredient wish list.

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