Chocolate Candy: Balancing Nostalgia and Innovation

chocolate candy in chocolate

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.

Image: Shutterstock



ChocXO is launching two chocolate cup products: Coconut Almond Butter Cups, made with organic 70% cacao with shredded coconut and a touch of shredded coconut sprinkled on top; and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, made with certified organic chocolate and organic peanut butter. Both contain 3 grams of carbs and 3 grams of sugar per serving. ChocXO Butter Cups have an SRP range of $4.99 to $6.99.

Photograph courtesy of ChocXO

Mars Wrigley

M&M’s White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs

Launched in September for a limited time, Mars Wrigley’s M&M’s and Dove Chocolate debuted holiday flavors in M&M’s White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs and Dove Milk Chocolate Toffee Almond Crunch Promises. M&M’s White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs combine a rich, white chocolate shell with a crunchy pretzel-filled center. Pretzel Snowballs are available in single (1.14-ounce), share size (2.83-ounce) and laydown bags (7.44-ounce). Dove Milk Chocolate Toffee Almond Crunch Promises feature crunchy almond toffee covered in milk chocolate. Promises come in festive wrapping, each with a message inside. Promises are available in a 7.94-ounce laydown bag.

Photograph courtesy of Mars Wrigley


Manuka Honey Dark Chocolate Patties

PRI (Pacific Resources International Inc.) launched new Manuka Honey Dark Chocolate Patties. The chocolate candies are available in new sizes and flavors, including Salted Caramel, Raspberry, Mint, Ginger and Coffee. Made from New Zealand Manuka honey, the variety consists of three ingredients: Manuka honey, dark chocolate and cocoa. The items are all-natural, gluten- and dairy-free and Kosher. Available for an SRP of $9.99 per 5-ounce bag.

Photograph courtesy of PRI

Yowie Group

Yowie Group

Yowie Group launched a Surprise-Inside nostalgia campaign, “Blast from the Past,” in which it offers original Surprise-Inside animal toys from its earliest edition series in its chocolate eggs. Yowie Surprise-Inside is made with 100% milk chocolate that is sustainably sourced and Rainforest Alliance Certified, as well as non-GMO, nut- and gluten-free and both certified kosher and halal. 

Photograph courtesy of Yowie Group

The Hershey Co.


A recent addition to Hershey’s Thins line, Kit Kat Thins offer two light and crispy wafers compared to a standard Kit Kat bar of three wafers. Kit Kat Thin bars come individually wrapped in 3.4- or 7.2-ounce size bags for an SRP of $2.39 and $3.89, respectively.

Photograph courtesy of The Hershey Co.


Christmas CandyRiffic

CandyRific is rolling out new items for Christmas 2021, plus returning several candy novelties. Available this holiday are Elf on the Shelf Gift Hunt, which includes 12 plastic presents filled with assorted fruit-flavored dextrose candies (SRP $7.99); Elf on the Shelf Candy Dish (SRP $5.99), Snow Globe (SRP $9.99) and Character Fan (SRP $5.99); M&M’s Brand Twist Dispensers (SRP $9.99), Tube Fans (SRP $5.99) and Magic Tube Dispensers (SRP $2.99); Melting Snowman Marshmallows Set (SRP $4.99); Polar Bear Christmas Tree Light & Sound Wand (SRP $5.99); and Light Up Santa Fan ($5.99).

Photograph courtesy of Candyrific