Today, consumers' flavor preferences are divided between 2 big streams, one based on comforting & nostalgic, more traditional flavors and the other on experimentation & intensity. These are not mutually exclusive, consumers will migrate between the two. Whichever is the case, caramel in its many forms remains a favorite.
Why caramel has been and will be a top flavor
Consumers are more and more demanding and are looking for a superior experience in their food and drinks. While they are bombarded with choices, caramel ticks a good number of boxes:
Did you know that the number of products launched with caramel flavor in EMEA doubled in the last 5 years?1
The caramel trend in 90 seconds
Discover why consumers love caramel and all the ways you can answer these needs and wants. From indulging alone to sharing with others, from classics to unique flavor combinations.
1. Brings indulgence
Caramel is all about indulgence and it satisfies everybody's sweet tooth. It can also help to add multi-sensoriality as consumers are looking for an intense sensorial delight. From soft to gooey and crunchy textures, different shades of golden and characteristic tastes, caramel has a lot to offer.
71% of Western Europe consumers want to try new and exciting Chocolate Confectionery or Chocolate Candy experiences2
46% of Western Europe Millennials consumers agree that Chocolate Confectionery or Chocolate Candy products that have multiple colors and are visually interesting are more premium2
2. Gives a premium feeling
Caramel gives every creation a premium appeal thanks to an upgraded taste profile, unique instagrammable golden color and multiple ingredient combinations possible.
From a filled praline with a gooey center, to more biscuity applications and even in drinks, caramel always finds its place! There is a wide array of ingredients that pair well with caramel, including all sorts of nuts, chocolate and cocoa nibs. Consumers love it!
"Caramel is an ingredient or flavor used in 8% of the new product launches in confectionery in EMEA since 2015, in 10% of the sports nutrition NPD, and 9% of NPD in desserts & Ice cream4"
Caramel is comforting and is a flavor that bonds multiple generations. It is perfect for family/friends gathering for a sharing moment. It enhances the togetherness with its appeal across ages.
70% of global Millennials love products that mix flavors like sweet with salt5. Adding a touch of salt will give it an appealing twist to most consumers. Think broad as there is not one way to play caramel. You might want to add texture to your chocolate using a caramel inclusion, add smoothness with a caramel filling or go for the very modern Caramel Chocolate, a luscious blond caramel, ideal paired with Nuts. The ultimate comfort food!
Galaxy Fusion Blonde chocolate with sea salt - premium bar that appeals to young adults, Mars (UK)
Crème brûlée cookie ice cream, also dairy free, Ben&Jerry’s (US)
5. Brings comfort through nostalgia
Who doesn’t like a sweet treat for comfort? Caramel is a favorite flavor for consumers who look to unwind during me-time. In times of uncertainties, consumers want to be reassured and hence look for flavors they are familiar with. Caramel is a time-tested flavor that brings a feeling of nostalgia. This flavor has been around for years and is going to stay; variations like smoky caramel or more unusual pairings can bring a modern twist to it.