When it comes to chocolate spend per head, the UK is top of the leaderboard. In 2016, the average Brit indulged in 8.61kg of chocolate; as a nation the total consumption was an impressive 555 thousand tonnes, estimates Mintel. Ahead of this year’s Chocolate Week (9-15 October) we take a look at this sweet delight that remains the go-to treat in spite of the burgeoning health market.
In recent years, the chocolate confectionery market has continued to see growth, though at a very slow rate, and in some established markets volume sales declined between 2015 and 2016.In the US, UK, Germany and France, sales were flat over the two-year period, while sales fell in Russia (-2%), Brazil (-6%) and China (-6%). The only markets among the top ten globally to see any growth were Poland (+2%) and India, which saw an impressive 13% growth increase between 2015 and 2016.
In spite of a stagnant UK retail market, chocolate is not suffering in the foodservice arena where people who eat out are often doing so as a treat and are consequently more likely to indulge. Statistically, people are more likely to order a dessert when chocolate is on the menu.
Creating plate envy
For those who want to make even more of the dessert opportunity, Callebaut recommends turning your dishes into wow factors.
“Encouraging consumers to save room for a sweet treat can sometimes be a challenge, but the latest findings show creating visually appealing desserts that incite plate envy between diners is one way of boosting sales,” comments Robert Harrison, Sales Director Gourmet-Northern Europe, Callebaut.
“Desserts with the wow factor will also drive bigger profit margins, with 83% of consumers willing to pay a higher price bracket for a dessert that is well decorated versus a simpler version of the same dish.
“Consumers take notice of what others are eating when choosing what to order and the latest findings show that this can lead to more sales – especially when it’s a beautifully decorated dessert. As the final course, it can sometimes be difficult to upsell to diners, but the findings show us that this is where a dish with the wow factor can make all the difference.”
As well as boosting sales, a skilfully created dessert can also help operators justify a higher price point, thanks to the perceived value of a hand-finished dish.
Harrison adds: “Chocolate curls – available from Callebaut – have the ability to make any dessert special. Roll them up to create mini roses for the tops of cupcakes or place curls together to make a large rose to adorn a chocolate cup. Using chocolate ganache, attach hand-crafted chocolate pencils to turn any cake into a showstopper.”
“A decadent hot chocolate with luxurious decorations will appeal to consumers looking for an opportunity to treat themselves this winter,” says Robert Harrison, Callebaut. “Not only can decorated drinks demand a premium price tag, but recent research shows that 60% of consumers would order a hot chocolate that was decorated over one that wasn’t.
The Chocolate Show 13-15 October 2017 at National Hall, Olympia, London For anything chocolate – fine chocolate that is, head over to London’s Olympia where chocolatiers, chocolate companies, pastry makers and artisans from across the globe will gather together for three days of cocoa festivities. Chocoholics will also be treated to celebrity chef demonstrations, masterclasses, tastings and sculptures. www.thechocolateshow.co.uk