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Confectionery trends create new 'sweetscapes'

By: Jenn Tekin, Packaged Facts
09 March, 2010

The sweet tooth has become more sophisticated and demanding as consumers seek comfort and delight in today's confections and desserts.

This love of sweets is steering consumers toward an exciting new sweetscape where flavour complexity, artisanship and nostalgia mingle to create increasingly grown-up, yet still satisfying, treats, according to Confections and Dessert: Culinary Trend Mapping Report from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and Packaged Facts.

"It's time for marketers to notice that consumers are demanding sweets that are as trend-forward, satisfying and as adventurous as the savoury foods they love. Butterscotch Toffee Whoopie Pies are more exciting than plain chocolate and vanilla ones," says CCD CEO Kimberly Egan.

New sweet drivers
Four overarching consumer trends are driving innovative shifts in the sweets market:

  • Nostalgia – Consumers seek comfort in the sweets of childhood, yet still want treats that reflect current interest in bold flavour profiles and higher quality ingredients.
  • Indulgence – Consumers need a break and are indulging in exciting - and affordable - new sweets to provide escape, reward and just plain delight.
  • Flavour Adventure – Plain old vanilla and chocolate aren't enough these days. Savvy consumers from
    Generation Y to Boomers are seeking excitement from sweets that reflect a global palate of exotic and varietal fruits, savoury-sweet flavour profiles, and other adventurous tastes. Aged organic Papua New Guinea vanilla ice cream, anyone?
  • Artisan Appeal – Sweet treats that are hand-made with well-chosen ingredients and reflect current values in local and sustainable production are winning over more and more fans - and now extend to sweets.

The new sweetscape
New and updated confections and desserts create a new sweet vista for consumers.

Olive Oil Desserts show off Mediterranean ingredients in more health-friendly forms while offering intriguing new savoury-sweet flavours.

Parisian Macaroons, pastel-coloured ground almond meringue sandwich cookies, bring classic French sophistication to the modern pastry counter.

Japanese Sweets transport savvy candy lovers to new frontiers of exotic flavour and texture.

American-crafted Micro-batch Chocolate epitomises the new range of artisan foods that also exhibit a taste of place.

Familiar favourites get a remodel
Many of the consumers who grew up on salty-sweet Cracker Jack are ready for something more 21st century. In updated Salty Sweets, bacon, sea salt and savoury herbs raise familiar sweets to new adventurous and satisfying heights.
Those who grew up on the stalwart chocolate cake and vanilla cream Whoopie Pie will find that today, the homey snack appears in alluring flavours and colours, giving cupcakes some competition.

The familiar warm, brown flavour of Caramel has gone glam in the form of homemade butterscotch used in puddings and sauces, Latin-inspired dulce de leche and a candy-box-full of retro confections, like honeycomb, toffee and brittle, that appear as candy bar and ice cream inclusions, dessert garnish and artisan sweets at farmers markets and boutique candy shops.

The report highlights strategic opportunities for both manufacturers and restaurant operators in this exciting new sweet landscape.

For more information, read the Confections and Dessert: Culinary Trend Mapping Report, on the Packaged Facts website.

Source: Packaged Facts

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