A study commissioned by leading Swiss chocolate company Barry Callebaut has examined consumer attitudes to plant-based chocolate, confectionery, and desserts.
The research shows that 60% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 44 expect brands to offer a plant-based option, while almost three-quarters (74%) say they eat plant-based chocolate at least occasionally. In similar research carried out two years ago, this figure was just 25%, showing a rapid growth in interest.
Despite this, only 45% of respondents said they were satisfied with the plant-based milk chocolate currently available, with 61% saying they would prefer a wider variety of flavours and textures. The most common reasons cited for choosing plant-based chocolate were health concerns, liking the taste, wanting to try something new, and concerns about climate change and animal welfare.
Plant-based chocolate by Barry Callebaut
Barry Callebaut launched its first dairy-free range, Plant Craft, in 2020. At around the same time, the brand announced it would be opening Europe’s first dairy-free chocolate production facility, able to produce tens of thousands of tons per year.
Last year, Barry Callebaut introduced a range of dairy-free compounds to be used in plant-based confectionery, snacks, and bakery items. The range is made in segregated production facilities that do not handle dairy.
The brand has also opened an online pop-up shop for Veganuary, featuring a range of plant-based sweet treats.
“Various consumer researches show plant-based chocolate is getting more interest,” said Sofia Popova, Marketing Director EMEA at Barry Callebaut. “Consumers today simply expect every brand to offer a plant-based option and they welcome a variety of flavours and textures. For a lot of brands across food categories, the journey only starts now.”