Consumers’ changing attitudes to life are affecting the way they indulge, according to trend research from chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut.

The company’s survey on consumer attitudes was fielded digitally in August 2021 in Brazil, China, the UK, the US and France with 420 respondents per country. Barry Callebaut also analyzed data from other consumer surveys, especially from global trend agency ForesightFactory, and conducts yearly in-depth analysis in 27 markets into consumer needs, motivations, expectations and behaviors.

For many years, consumer research from Barry Callebaut showed two attitudes toward life: one of Celebrating Life and the other of Living Consciously. In the past, these two attitudes were typically experienced at separate moments. Recently however, the chocolate manufacturer saw these attitudes merging.

There’s a growing need for Living a Symbiotic Life. This results in three types of indulgence that coexist. Depending on their mood or mindset, consumers have a specific attitude towards life and that attitude will determine the type of indulgence they choose.

“While there will always be a need for Intense and Healthy indulgence, we expect consumers to live more with a soft health approach to life, increasing the Mindful indulgence space,” says Bas Smit, global vice president of marketing at Barry Callebaut. “How these changes affect the indulgence landscape for the decades to come is what Barry Callebaut is focusing on.”

Celebrate Life with Intense indulgences

After the pandemic, one third (32 percent) of consumers say that they have been indulging more compared to one year ago. Almost two thirds (64 percent) of global consumers say they need to find more excitement. This mindset leads consumers to seek products that are a feast for the eyes and taste buds. When they want to celebrate or indulge, 75 percent of consumers choose something with chocolate in it.

Live Consciously with Healthy indulgences

Half of consumers have been taking their health more seriously compared to one year ago. Forty-four percent of consumers have been eating healthier compared to one year ago, both according to Barry Callebaut’s survey. When consumers have this attitude, they seek out ‘healthy indulgences’, meaning food for health. In the same survey, 70 percent of consumers would love a healthy-boosted chocolate.

Live a Symbiotic Life with Mindful indulgences

This is the sweet spot between ‘celebrate life’ and ‘live consciously’. Consumers combine their soft health approach with care for the planet and its people. They want to have the ability to indulge without compromising their well-being, the health of others or the planet.

In 2022, 43 percent of consumers are influenced by general health concerns for choosing what to eat and drink. Almost three quarters (73 percent) are concerned about what they personally can do to help protect the environment.

This attitude leads consumers to seek out ‘mindful indulgences’, or products that are tasty, good for them and good for the planet. As Barry Callebaut’s survey also shows, as much as 81 percent of consumers agree that chocolate needs to be tasty and good for them. This evolution in consumer attitudes will become increasingly important in the coming years. By understanding this shift, the industry can unlock new opportunities in the world of indulgence.