Health and Chocolate
Chocolate is a common dessert in many homes. During the pandemic, consumers consumed more chocolate in 2021 (24%) than in 2019 (13%), and 66% reported seeking out treats that provided moments of solace. This demonstrates that the pandemic had a significant impact on snacking patterns and that during times of uncertainty and anguish, many turned to regular snacking as a coping technique. As a result of their bad dietary habits and lack of physical exercise during the pandemic, consumers grew increasingly anxious about their health and believed they had gained weight. After the pandemic, consumer behavior has necessitated a more proactive approach to health and a greater emphasis on fitness and better nutrition. This strategy illustrates a shift in consumer views and snacking habits regarding chocolate. Consequently, this indicates a change in customer demands and needs.
Consumer Attitudes and Conduct
90% of the people who answered said that they or someone in their household had bought chocolate pills in the past year. This demonstrates that chocolate tablets are the most popular type of chocolate and a great snack for health-conscious consumers. Because the bars are broken up into pieces and strips, people can measure how much they eat so they don’t eat too much, which was a worry during the pandemic.
Forty percent of individuals who purchased chocolate pills reported doing so weekly. In contrast, 37% reported reducing their consumption of chocolate tablets over the past year. This demonstrates that consumers consider chocolate snacks unhealthy, despite the existence of preventative measures. This may be because customers believe they are unable to adhere to treatment discipline and would rather choose healthier options to eliminate any potential guilt linked with chocolate intake, as chocolate is widely identified as being a “guilty pleasure.”
In the past two years, 39% of consumers reported substituting chocolate bars for protein bars in order to have healthier snacks. This supports the notion that customers are avoiding chocolate in an effort to improve their health and are instead favoring health-promoting items, such as protein. 56% of customers who were explicitly asked if they had switched from nibbling on chocolate and sweets to munching on healthier choices in the last twelve months responded affirmatively.
This is significant for the business to recognize, as more individuals select health-enhancing items over traditional delights like chocolate, indicating that snacking has become a way of nutrition for many consumers. As customers begin to alter their nutritional needs, it is essential to understand that people still require escapism to relax and enjoy themselves. Consequently, people are willing to trade up for things that satisfy their needs.
Consumer Requirements, Claims, and Purchasing Practices
During the current economic turmoil, people are seeking the best possible value for their money and have become much more price-conscious when buying. With this, we can anticipate that brand loyalty will continue to erode as people hunt for the greatest value for their money. So, when making snacks, it’s important to help customers find the best balance between price and value. If these functional snacks can offer both taste and nutrition without giving up one for the other, consumers will feel like they are getting more for their money.
Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that consumers desire multifunctional claims that give efficacy, convenience, and value. When advertising product claims, it must be ensured that evidence is provided to substantiate their authenticity, as customers have become more cautious as a result of fraudulent claims. Since the pandemic, 70% of customers have sought out more trustworthy brands, asking for certified claims and studies to support products and earn consumer trust. 69% of consumers stated that they conduct research on chocolate and spread goods at least occasionally. 71% of consumers who were asked what type of information they investigate indicated nutritional information, followed by 66% who said price. 71% of respondents said that ethical and environmental facts influenced their purchasing decisions after conducting research.
Consumers are becoming more interested in what’s in a product, how it’s made, and how much it costs, as well as where the product comes from and if its claims can be checked. 47 percent of consumers said that their friends and family were the most influential source of information about chocolate products. This means that brands and manufacturers can also think of creative ways to get consumers to talk about their products to get them to recommend them more.