South Africans love their chocolate, so much so that the retail chocolate market is valued at more than R7 billion, with predicted annual growth expected to hit 10 per cent or more over the next five years.
The exploding middle class and a rise in disposable income have boosted the local manufacturing sector, and South Africans are turning their attention to small, local boutique chocolatiers for their preferred taste bud teasers.
Not too long ago, conventional chocolate bars and tablets by established brands, such as Cadburys, Nestle and Beacon, were the number one choice for local residents.
SA’s #1 Chocolate – Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar
The humble Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar, without any fillings or frills, has been ranked best brand in the Chocolate category of the Sunday Times Top Brands Awards for four consecutive years.
Other mainstays that have hogged the leaderboard since 2009 are Lunch Bar, Ferrero Rocher, Lindt, Bar-One, Kit-Kat and Peppermint Crisp.
Megabrands to Artisan Chocolatiers
More recently, there has been a concerted shift away from the tried and tested megabrands to exciting, new local chocolates, from manufacturers that source locally produced raw materials and opt for higher quality cocoa beans imported from West Africa.
Chocolate Trends in 2015
According to the chocoholics who monitor trends, 2015 is the year when frugality was replaced by sheer decadence and plain dark is no longer the defining choice.
Texture products are the sizzling new trend. This includes chocolates that can be described by evocative terms such as velvety, rich, crunchy and gooey. Some also believe that chocolate should offer a cross-sensory experience, as evidenced by the recently launched Scandinavian Sprinkle Salted Ice Cream Waffle Chocolate bar!
Consumers have accepted the message that not all fats are bad and are cherry picking brands such as Mars Bar that produce their chocolate with 100 per cent pure cocoa butter. A leaning towards 100 per cent cocoa butter is also clear in the artisan chocolate manufacturing sector in South Africa.
Natural grains, nuts and sugars are fast replacing artificial fillings and sweeteners. Although dark chocolate still enjoys an excellent reputation as an anti-oxidant, it doesn’t have quite the upper hand it enjoyed over the past five years, and milk chocolate is back in vogue.
Personalised Chocolate Products are Red Hot
Personalised chocolates are red hot, with businesses choosing to celebrate events, reward employees and customers and gain market exposure through custom-wrapped, high-quality chocolates.
Cape Town-based chocolatier Chocolate Time creates high-quality branded and personalised wrapped chocolates that are ideal for hotels, guesthouses and corporate events. Contact us for more information – we’re always happy to assist.