Health and wellness trend reveals promising opportunities in chocolate & confectionery

The health and wellness trend is flourishing, and for consumers, digestive wellness is a key topic in overall personal well-being. Within the confectionery sector, health and wellness is one the fastest developing categories. Lactose free is the leading trend in digestive well-being specifically.

People all over the world have digestive issues. It’s no wonder that digestive wellness is gaining interest in the market.

  • In the US, nearly half of consumers who seek health benefits from food are looking specifically for digestive health benefits.
  • 45% of Swedish consumers would like their diets to support their gut health.
  • In Finland, eight out of ten people either already use or would be willing to use functional food for their digestive wellness.
  • Half of German consumers are motivated to use functional food and drinks to improve their digestive health.
  • In Indonesia, two out of five people would like their diets to support gut health.
  • In the UK, seven out of ten agree that actively managing gut health is essential to overall health. *)

Lactose free products are an appealing option for many consumers who want to support their digestive wellness

A considerable proportion of the global population has problems tolerating and absorbing lactose, which may cause them digestive issues. In general, consumers are well aware that milk – and the lactose in milk in particular – is the possible culprit behind their gut issues. For this reason, milk-containing products that promote lactose-free attributes appeal to a broad swathe of the global market.

Lactose free products are a growing sector in the latest food and beverage product launches nowadays, and in the dairy sector, products promoting lactose free claims have been among the fastest growing. While the majority of lactose free launches are in white milks, other categories, such as ice cream, chocolate milks, snacking products, yogurts and puddings are also growing. Lactose free milk chocolates have also gained a presence in the market.

The confectionery industry has all the prerequisites needed to capture growth from the health and wellness trend

Confectionery products, and chocolate products in particular, stand apart as foodstuffs that straddle a variety of consumption occasions. Chocolate products may be perceived as indulgent treats as well as suitable options for snacking, or alternatively, as food items for special and festive occasions or family events. Furthermore, a range of complex of factors influence consumers’ desire for chocolate – from sensory and emotional to social and ethical, or relating to dietary preference.

Valio’s specialty ingredients and solutions give food and beverage producers the tools to tweak their offerings to better respond to the market’s demands. In addition to offering tasty, healthy, and nutritionally balanced food with customized functionalities, companies can develop their products to suit all consumers.

Ultimately, Valio’s specialty dairy milk powders can unlock opportunities for businesses by enabling them to offer delicious products that enhance digestive comfort for consumers, which in turn has a knock-on effect on their overall quality of life.

Increasing awareness of digestive comfort has triggered rapid growth for the lactose free market

Increasing awareness of digestive comfort has triggered rapid growth for the lactose free market across multiple food & beverage categories, resulting in a new mainstream.

Valio Eila® lactose free milk powders are unique, specialty milk powders that enable confectionery producers to create tastier and healthier milk and white chocolate, fillings, sweet spreads, toffee and fudges, cacao drinks, coating chocolate, and a host of other products.

The versatile range of properties offered by Valio Eila® powders makes them suitable for use in a broad range of applications and for delivering on multiple on-pack claims, such as lactose free, gluten-free, clean label and less sugar. The powders can also be used to create and modulate different sensory profiles.

*) Source: Lightspeed/Mintel: 2,000 internet users aged 18+,Taloustutkimus, Use and potential of functional food in Finland, N=1029 (May 2021) Mintel: Patent insights: innovation by dairy companies (August 2020), Lightspeed/Mintel: 1,003 internet users aged 16+ who used functional food/drink in the last six months (2018), Lightspeed/Mintel:1,985 internet users aged 16+ Lightspeed/Mintel; KuRunData/Mintel: 1,398 internet users aged 16+ who eat/drink and buy yogurt/yogurt drinks (May 2018)

Interested to know more about our solutions in chocolate & confectionery?

Contact Olga Halme for a discussion and unlock new business opportunities in chocolate and confectionery.

Olga Halme

Customer Development ManagerContact our specialist for additional information, technical support and co-creation projects.

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How to succeed in the growing wellness market

What does the ongoing wellness revolution mean for chocolate and confectionery producers? How can you capitalize on this trend?

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