With the growth of the premium category in the last year, indulgence has become a key driver in the market; consumers are looking for ways to celebrate, treat themselves, to lean into comfort or to take a break. To cater to today’s audience, Barry Callebaut Brand introduces a product solution along with the resources needed to win in indulgence.

The Barry Callebaut Brand reveals the innovative launch of the Indulgence Playbook, a guide for North American food manufacturers on competing within the indulgence market, and its latest chocolate innovation, Caramel Aura.

Indulgence is a premium experience of taste and comfort, and consumers want products with a clear added value which can come in the form of special ingredients, flavor, unique processing techniques, positioning, or certifications. To help brands tackle this challenge in the premium indulgence market and appeal to those consumers, the Barry Callebaut Brand created the Indulgence Playbook, a multi-asset tool designed to highlight market insights, product solutions, and application and concept ideas to win in the market. In addition, the Indulgence Playbook is comprised of strategies and concepts to innovate or renovate your line of products so that they stand out with premium positioning.

With caramel consistently being in the top five of premium categories and flavors, the Barry Callebaut Brand introduces its latest chocolate innovation: Caramel Aura, a caramelized white chocolate made with caramelized milk powder and sugar, with no color or flavor added.

This newest addition to Barry Callebaut’s caramel collection gains its premium and decadent flavor experience due to the craftsmanship of specialized ingredients in combination with the fine-tuned processing which delivers a creamy, warm, memorable, and flavor-forward caramel experience.

Aligned with the sustainability indulgence strategy, Caramel Aura is also a Cocoa Horizon product which supports farmers and protects the planet through the Cocoa Horizons Foundation. Available in Caramel Aura melting chocolate and chips, food manufacturers can elevate their brands and treats into a delectable and indulgent experience:

Caramel Aura Melting Chocolates are versatile and can be used in many applications, such as for molding, enrobing, drizzling, bottoming or even panning.

Caramel Aura Chips are ideal for baked goods such as cookies and are also a decadent addition to trail mixes or other snacks.

“We are so excited to reveal our latest caramel product, Carmel Aura, and our industry resource, the Indulgence Playbook,” said Laura Bergan, director Barry Callebaut Brand. “Through consumer research, we created the Indulgence Playbook with tactics and methods to help brands succeed in evolving consumer tastes and meet the needs of the premium indulgence market. To help brands meet those premium standards, Caramel Aura is the easy product solution that will elevate and capture consumer’s interests. We’re excited to see the industry expand their definition of indulgence and utilize our strategies to create products that provide indulgent experiences for everyone.”

Profitable Insights

Barry Callebaut’s new Indulgence Playbook is designed to highlight market insights and product solutions that will help your brand tackle the market and win in indulgence.

Trends come and go, but our search for comfort and indulgence as consumers stays. After years of steady growth, the premium chocolate category saw an acceleration reaching +15% dollar sales in 2020. From this, it is clear that the premium category is recession proof and will always be in demand. Premium products are products with a clear added value.

Added value can come in the form of special ingredients, flavor, unique processing techniques, positioning, or certifications. Identifying the strategies and concepts that appeal to these consumers seeking indulgence will allow you to win in the premium market.

Indulgence is an experience of taste, comfort and “premiumness.” As consumers, we look for indulgence as a way to celebrate, treat ourselves and others, for comfort, as a way to take a break or simply for a quick energy boost. Extra-indulgent flavors, exciting textures and colors are the key to creating memorable consumption moments (Mintel 2020).

In order to cater to an increasingly demanding audience, brands must upgrade their products to refl ect superior taste and quality. It’s not just about storytelling, but “story-doing” and it will be achieved by products with at least one of the following characteristics:

  • Superior quality
  • Specific origin
  • Specific processing
  • Combinations of multiple textures or flavors
  • Seasonal or limited time offerings

Limited edition, seasonal and over the top indulgent options are a sure way to catch customers attention and appeal to the need to treat themselves. While spending more time at home during the pandemic, consumers were looking for even more ways to treat themselves. Rich and indulgent treats, innovative and exciting flavors helped consumers satisfy their cravings, but also offer emotional benefits.

Further, wellness is no longer just about physical health. Customers are increasingly attentive to their emotional and psychological wellbeing, which has become of vital importance especially since the pandemic. This is reflected in their purchases, with shoppers seeking permissible indulgences that meet their needs of comfort, relaxation, adventure or energy boost.

In order to meet these needs, brands need to carefully select and call out the benefits of the ingredients in their products.

For instance, brands can call out the mood benefits of the antioxidants in dark chocolate. They can also reference the emotional and functional benefits of the product by indicating the best moment to enjoy the treat.