More and more consumers are going to the dark side. In fact, dark chocolate has seen 20 percent global growth since 2016.
That’s according to FONA’s new report, “Flavor Insight: Dark Chocolate.”
Dark chocolate differs from milk chocolate in that it contains 50-90 percent cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar. Meanwhile milk chocolate contains anywhere from 10-50 percent cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk in some form, and sugar.
While it has taken many consumers a while to embrace the dark chocolate flavor profile — which has a stronger bitter taste than milk chocolate — they seem to be embracing it now.
FONA cited Datassential’s Flavor Tool, which shows that dark chocolate is in the 96th percentile among all food and flavors, meaning that consumers love dark chocolate more than 96 percent of all other items.
Specifically, when it comes to dark chocolate:
- 70 percent of consumer love or like it
- 97 percent know it
- 90 percent have tried it
And dark chocolate has equal popularity across all regions of the U.S.
Globally, Europe is the top global region for dark chocolate-flavored new product introductions.
And worldwide, from 2015-2020, there have been 5,275 dark chocolate-flavored new product introductions. Coconut is the top flavor paired with dark chocolate globally.
The top dark chocolate-flavored product categories globally include:
- 50 percent bakery
- 23 percent snacks
- 12 percent desserts and ice cream
- 6 percent breakfast cereals
- 3 percent hot beverages
Meanwhile, in North America alone there have been 917 new dark chocolate-flavored new products introductions from 2015-2020.
North America accounts for 17 percent of the dark chocolate-flavored new product introductions. Peanut butter is the top flavor paired with dark chocolate in North America.
The top dark chocolate-flavored product categories in North America include:
- 46 percent snacks
- 27 percent bakery
- 11 percent desserts and ice cream
- 5 percent breakfast cereals
- 3 percent hot beverages
- 3 percent dairy
FONA also found that Foodnetwork.com shows 1,417 total recipes when searching for dark chocolate. The recipes include mostly desserts from dark chocolate cheesecake, dark chocolate mousse to dark chocolate oatmeal and even dark chocolate martinis.
With so many delicious options, it’s easy to see why consumers are increasingly reaching for dark chocolate.
For the full report, which also includes specific new products featuring dark chocolate and more data regarding how it’s being used in restaurants, visit FONA’s website.