Consumers want their chocolate candy delivered to satisfy several need states. A recent report from artisanal chocolatier Barry Callebaut identified three major priorities consumers establish when shopping for chocolate: nostalgia, celebration and variety.
The report found that while consumers crave nostalgic flavors, they are also seeking new and exciting ones. More than half (55%) said rare and unique flavors make chocolate more exciting, and 71% want new and exciting chocolate experiences.
Andrew Lee, category manager, center store for Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc., said that the convenience-store chain “will continue to provide customers with what they want, when and where they want it. Chocolate sales [at 7-Eleven] have been increasing the past few years. Customers still want to treat themselves, and chocolate is increasingly their go-to treat.”
And since the pandemic?
“Customers are looking for value and focusing their purchases on their favorites,” Lee said. “We are seeing very strong growth in king-size and standard-size bars, which are valued priced at 7-Eleven every day.”
Still, managing the chocolate segment is a juggling act as the retailer seeks to satisfy the wide range of consumer wants. “Managing candy assortment has become more challenging over the years as millennial and Gen Z consumers look for unique flavor combinations,” says Lee.
Manufacturers are trying to do their part with new products, styles and flavors. Read on for a look at six recent chocolate-confection product releases.