Hames Chocolates predicts 2024 trends

In anticipation of the year ahead, private label manufacturer Hames Chocolates has released its 2024 chocolate trends which it expects to impact the confectionery market this year – among them, a rise in purchasing private and own label products which provides companies such as Hames the chance to tap into this trend.

“While it’s hard to predict what 2024 has in store for the wider food and drink industry, one thing we can be sure of, is that the popularity of chocolate, will not diminish,” stated Carol Oldbury, Managing Director at Hames Chocolates.

Under the identified trends indulgent treats, blonde chocolate, sharing packs, unusual flavours, sustainable ingredients and packaging and the rise of own label, the company has shared trends that will impact on the industry and that retailers and producers should be aware of.

Under indulgent treats, it predicts shoppers will be increasingly looking for indulgent treats such as premium chocolate – in line with consumer confidence rising. In 2023, the treating and snacking market in the UK was worth UK£13.3bn, with confectionery holding a 40% of this category (worth £5.5bn) highlighting a significant sales opportunity for confectioners.

White chocolate is regarded as a growing trend but Hames Chocolates have noted a real growth in blonde chocolate – white chocolate with a caramel colour and tasting notes. This is thanks to caramel being the taste one in three consumers choose when they seek comfort, according to insights from Innova in 2022.

Hames Chocolates have said they themselves plan on releasing a new range of blonde chocolate later this year.

Although inflation is expected to be on a downward curve this year, cost continues to remain a high priority for consumers – meaning occasion and confectionery sharing bags will be a significant opportunity for producers in 2024. This is supported by research, which found 2 in 5 (40%) consumers planned to go out less often according to the CGA New industry Report, 2023, and three fifths (61%) intended to spend more cautiously last year – according to Attest, Top Consumer Trends of 2023, Jan 2023.

Unusual flavours reflects consumers are becoming increasingly more adventurous with flavours. Unique and unfamiliar flavours are on-trend, while traditional and comforting tastes such as salted caramel, milk chocolate, white chocolate and others will continue to be popular among consumers in 2024.

Under sustainable ingredients and packaging, the company has said it anticipates consumers will continue to favour brands that manufacture confectionery in a sustainable way – including the cocoa sourced and packaging materials used to wrap the confectionery.

Finally, the rise of own label has emerged from the cost-of-living crisis; as consumers have implemented measures such as switching to own label and private products to save money.

As an expert in private label confectionery, we have seen an increasing number of shoppers turning to private/own label brands recently, not only due to it being good value, but also due to the quality, innovation, and choice,” explained Carol Oldbury. “Therefore, confidence in the balance of price and quality they provide is at an all-time high – with 41% of shoppers buying more private labels than before the pandemic and a further 77% planning to keep buying them in the future.

“This shift means many retailers are increasingly revaluating the value of private label items over their branded competitors, which represents a significant opportunity for manufacturers that can provide confectionery private label.”

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920
Email: editor@in-confectionery.com

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