Earlier this year Nestle announced that for the first time it would start selling Cailler chocolate outside of Switzerland. Cailler is a more premium offering than Nestle’s other brands, and is the oldest Swiss chocolate still sold today. Premium chocolate now accounts for almost 8% of total sales in the U.S. (according to Candy Industry) and has seen significant growth in the last few years. With Cailler, Nestle can fill the gap in sales where existing brands weren’t reaching consumers.
Even the ordinary Hershey’s kisses, which hasn’t changed since 1921 is getting an upgrade. Hershey’s recently announced Hershey’s Kisses Deluxe. This new chocolate is twice the size of a regular Hershey’s kiss, and is a chocolate with a roasted hazelnut center and enrobed in milk chocolate with rice crisps. Reminds me of Ferrero Rocher.
While neither of these products are super premium chocolate that fit within our lineup of chocolate offerings, industry trends and news show that both consumers are no longer satiated with grocery store variety chocolate candy. There is a growing demand for premium and super premium chocolate, and within these categories, dark chocolate. It would not surprise me if some of the larger retailers snap up and buy some craft chocolate brands in the next decade.
However chocolate evolves in the coming years, it is clear that our taste for real chocolate can only grow, as it did for premium coffee in the last 20 years. As consumers become more aware, terms like “bean to bar” and questions about cacao content will become the norm. This is also reflected in the packaging of craft chocolate. Whereas non premium chocolate does not place much important on the percentage of cacao, this number is clearly visible and often rather large on premium chocolate.
We’re looking forward to chocolate reaching “Starbucks like status.” After all, life is too short to eat bad chocolate.