Traditionally driven by indulgence, the chocolate confectionery category experienced a surge in better-for-you options for the past few years: less sugar, free-from... With the rise of flexitarian consumers, it was only a matter of time before plant-based chocolate became more than a niche.
Consumers’ expectations have changed: beyond dairy allergy or lactose intolerance, younger consumers look for plant-based chocolates that are tasty, yet “ethical” i.e. do not harm the planet nor the animals. It has been picked up by confectioners in Western Europe, where launches of vegan chocolate confectionery products grew by 83% between 2017 and 2022, reaching 743 in 2022 (Source: Innova, 2019). With the UK and Germany being the countries with the most NPD plant-based launches in the past year, 218 and 127 respectively.