There are many surprising ways chocolate can be used to promote a product's health and wellness benefits.
 
Antioxidants, protein and fiber may be the latest in a long line of health trends, but anything with health-and-wellness appeal is gaining consumers’ attention these days. “Any way things can be made healthier, we’re seeing trend up,” said Laura Bergan, director of innovation and market development, Barry Callebaut. This includes old standbys like reduced sugar, fat and calories as well as zero trans fat.

Chocolate also cannot escape the trend toward clean ingredients and has a leg up on that matter. “Our global consumer research, Taste Tomorrow, has shown that consumers pay more and more attention to the labels on finished goods and are looking for clean and clear ingredients,” said Jessica Blondeel, product manager for chocolate, Puratos Corp.

Puratos has answered this trend with preservative- and trans fat-free compound coatings. The company is also exclusively using non-hydrogenated fats.

These trends will continue to guide innovation in the chocolate sector for the coming years. “We are always looking forward,” Ms. Bergan said of Barry Callebaut’s R&D division. “We’re going to continue to have new types of products that fit with health-and-wellness.”