The confectionery industry has long been associated with indulgence – from the luscious golden crinkle of an undone wrapper to the decadent treat waiting inside, candy doesn’t exactly scream healthy and eco-friendly. In an edibles market crowded with kale and starving for sustainability talking points, where can confectionery find its new niche? Confectionery manufacturers are embracing the future by cutting down waste with efficient equipment, turning their production capabilities into more agile, versatile resources and dabbling in new innovations like 3D-printed candy and chocolate, which make a product to the exact specifications of an individual consumer. Candy and chocolate are not resting on their century-old recipe laurels, however; here are a few of the ways that their manufacturers are staying in step with eco-friendly trends while still catching their customers’ attention.
Chocolate Is Going Upscale
Buoyed by the public’s desire for the nuances of craft-everything, chocolate manufacturing has become a surprising black horse contender for picky palates. Companies such as Green And Black’s tout their organic roots and sustainable practices, while other luxury confectionery producers like Chuao are shrinking their complex creations into individually bite-sized bits, which Chuao dubs “Chocopods” and Green And Black’s simply calls their 1.2 oz bars.
While at first blush this may actually seem like a lot of extra packaging, the benefit of versatility it gives their products far outweighs the effort put into the wrapping’s creation. These smaller versions can be placed in cross-promoted gift baskets, any number of the wildly trendy monthly subscription boxes, and even sent out as samples to customers. The company gets to spread its products far and wide, less full-size bars are produced to sit in storage – it’s a win-win for both the company and the planet.
Innovative Earth-Loving Chocolate Packaging
According to a report by Jennifer Elks of Sustainable Brands, even this diminutive packaging may get a green makeover of the meta variety: a UK paper manufacturer is developing a process to make biodegradable food paper wrappers from recycled cocoa husk waste. UK designer Connor Davey took the idea one step further with the conceptual Bloom Everlasting Chocolates – special seed-infused chocolate bar wrappers that divide – half is planted to grow the specified plant, and the other half functions as a tidy plant marker.
Gluten-Free Is Here To Stay
While some confectionery manufacturing professionals were closely watching consumer’s treatment of gluten-free lifestyles with an eye towards marking a downward trend, it doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. The answer to this has been naturally gluten-free candies highlighting their “new” and unexpected bullet point on packaging and advertising materials, and non-gluten-free companies scrambling to R&D to concoct a different, alternative version of their classics. A spot on gluten-free candy lists on consumer blogs like GlutenAway has become a coveted spot for some confectionery manufacturers, amounting to a stamp of approval that helps increase consumer confidence.
Ultimately, the confectionery manufacturing names that will win the day are those that bend to the consumer’s will – at least a little – and listen to their needs. Less packaging, better sourcing and more wholesome, sustainable ingredients – the recipe for success in savory food corners is equally well-advised in the sugary pursuit of sweet tooth satisfaction.