What to expect in chocolate in 2024 - and beyond


What to expect in chocolate in 2024 - and beyond

For the fourth consecutive year, Barry Callebaut has researched the top chocolate trends and deep-dived into what consumer preferences will shape the global and regional chocolate markets in 2024 and beyond. We also involved consulting with leading chefs worldwide.

Chocolate confectionery is a significant market, expected to be worth over 128 billion US$ (130 billion Euro) in global retail sales by the end of 2024. With a volume growth of +2% over the next 5 years to 20271, it is also a dynamic market. 

With the recently seen price increases, we see consumers respond in two ways:

  • Research2 suggests that half (54%) prefer to purchase premium, high-quality chocolate. This means consumers continue to treat themselves by celebrating and escaping the ordinary experience by purchasing small luxury items, such as premium and high-quality chocolate.  
  • Conversely, nearly 7 out of 10 consumers (66%) are looking for better value for their money. This group is also looking for ways to get more for their money, such as buying in bulk, taking advantage of economies of scale, or switching to private-label brands.

In both cases, consumer preferences depend on their mood or mindset and their specific attitude towards life. Driven by changing consumer attitudes, how do the different types of indulgences change the landscape in the chocolate confectionery market?

1Euromonitor 2023; Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
2Innova 2023

Top Chocolate Trends 2024_Barry Callebaut

Celebrating life with intense chocolate experiences

Consumers look for Intense Indulgence when they want to enjoy life to the fullest. They want immersive experiences.

Based on our proprietary research among 11,974 participants, in August 2023:

  • 3 out of 4 consumers (74%) want to try new and exciting chocolate experiences
  • two-thirds (65%) of consumers prefer chocolate confectionery that has multiple textures

Consumers want unique, rare, seasonal, and premium chocolate, especially limited editions. 50% will buy limited editions on impulse, and 64% seek out premium chocolate.

Intense Indulgence chocolate
When I am creating an innovation, I always start from a shape that I find attractive. This way, I build up my concept & story. It is key to create simple concepts, but unique products with nice exclusive esthetics, unusual shapes and good taste.
Miquel Guarro, Pastry Chef from Barcelona

Consumers perceive chocolates with a unique story about their origin or production as being of higher quality. According to our research, 61% of people appreciate brand storytelling, and the same percentage actively seeks out seasonal chocolate confectionery.

About 70% of consumers want unique, exciting chocolate with multiple textures and flavors. There are three ways to deliver multi-sensoriality: offer new tastes, appeal to the eyes, or surprise with textures.

Indulge with health of planet and people in mind

The Mindful Indulgence trend is for consumers who want to indulge without compromising their - physical and mental - well-being, the health of others, or the planet.

Our research shows that 3 out of 4 (75%) of global consumers agree that chocolate needs to be tasty, ‘good for me,’ and good for the planet, the Triple Play, as we call it.

Most consumers (77%) want chocolate with less sugar. 41% are trying to limit their sugar intake, and 10% are avoiding it altogether. Meanwhile, sugar reduction is an established proposition. Chocolates making most of the cacaofruit are emerging.

Mindful Indulgence chocolate_Barry Callebaut
People will always want to treat themselves. Also people with specific dietary preferences still want to enjoy their chocolates. Especially in cities, there is a rising demand for chocolate that fits dietary preferences, such as celiac-friendly, dairy-free and sugar-free.
Lauren V. Haas, Chef Chocolatier from Las Vegas, United States

At the same time, consumers are increasingly interested in natural and authentic ingredients, as well as products that are free from artificial additives and have simple ingredient lists. More than half (54%) of consumers prefer pure chocolate without e-numbers or artificial flavors and colors, while 66% are interested in chocolate confectionery that contain what they consider unhealthy ingredients. 4 in 10 (41%) of the consumers seek vegan or plant-based chocolate confectionery options.

Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and are looking for chocolate produced in a way that is sustainable and ethical. According to our this year's research, 65% of consumers choose chocolates that minimize waste and use upcycled ingredients, nearly two-thirds are actively looking for chocolates that are produced sustainably, and almost 7 out of 10 (68%) prefer chocolate brands and products that enable them to do good for people and the planet.

Package (52%), human (35%), and environment (24%) are the top 3 claims of all product launches. Transparency and traceability are essential for building trust with consumers.

Indulgence with health benefits

Healthy Indulgence_Chocolate Barry Callebaut

Consumers looking for Healthy Indulgence actively and intentionally make choices that have a positive impact on their health. The majority of consumers (69%) are interested in chocolate with healthy or good ingredients, 74% want snacks that are both nutritious and energizing, and 71% would like to have chocolate that supports their mental health.

Our research shows that 71% of consumers globally would love a healthy-boosted chocolate with e.g. macro/micronutrients, that is +5% compared to 2022.

Six out of ten people find claims like 'high in protein' appealing when it comes to chocolate. In addition to protein, they also look for nutritional products that include ingredients like vitamins, minerals, fibers, flavonols, and omega-3.

The Healthy Indulgence trend is one to watch within the confectionery segment in the years to come.

At Barry Callebaut, we are in sync with the latest consumer trends, innovating to enrich our portfolio with options that perfectly cater to the rising demand for Mindful and Healthy Indulgence chocolate experiences. Our second generation chocolate is a testament to this, offering perfect value-adding solutions in these evolving spaces.
Monika Baumberger, Global Head of Marketing Barry Callebaut Group

Chocolate preferences by regions

Although there are more similarities between the regions, there are some divergent points, such as: 

  • Chocolate origin and ingredients: 80% of consumers in Latin America and the Middle East & Africa want to learn more about the chocolate's origin and ingredients, while only 55% of consumers in North America do.
  • Premium chocolate: Nearly 8 out of 10 consumers in Latin America and Middle East & Africa prefer premium chocolate, compared to 6 in 10 consumers in Western Europe.
  • Tasty, good for me, and good for the planet: The majority of consumers in Latin America, Middle East & Africa, and Eastern Europe are looking for chocolate that is tasty, good for them, and good for the planet.
  • Healthy boosting chocolate: Nearly 8 out of 10 consumers in Latin America, Middle East & Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Eastern Europe are interested in a healthy boosting chocolate, compared to 6 in 10 consumers in Western Europe and North America.

About the research

We conducted proprietary research across the globe for the fourth time in a row to understand consumers' needs and desires in chocolate confectionery. This year, we created seven reports (+3 vs 2022), including regional reports from:

  • Global
  • Eastern Europe
  • Western Europe 
  • North America 
  • Latin America 
  • Asia-Pacific 
  • Middle East & Africa

Each report includes local consumer insights, innovation highlights from the marketplace, and product solutions.

Katelijn Vanrespaille - Barry Callebaut

Katelijn Vanrespaille

Heading the Consumer & Market Insights team of Barry Callebaut. Native Belgian with an eye on consumers globally, curious about their behavior. Shaping the next generation: two teenage sons. Passionate about sustainability, hiking, food and dancing.

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