Coming off of the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago last month, we didn’t expect to be wowed with chocolates at the Summer Fancy Food Show. But with more than 400 vendors showcasing chocolate-related products, our sweet teeth were once again satisfied. The specialty chocolates industry has grown massively over the past few years, especially with the increased awareness of the health benefits of darker chocolates in moderation. Chocolate marketing is also working toward reaching more millennials, as many of them place importance on where their food comes from and a brand’s social responsibility. Visible trends included more fat free, sugar free and reduced calorie options in chocolate products; protein-packed items; and various fruit infusions. Three brands that caught our eye were:
Cocoa Planet: Inspired by her French, diabetic mother, Cocoa Planet founder Anne McKibben created low-sugar, portion-controlled chocolates without compromising taste or satisfaction. Her firm belief that “good chocolate should be good for you” is catching on, and athletes especially enjoy this product because of its low sugar content.
Droga Chocolate: This chocolate company focuses on high-quality ingredients and axes the use of corn syrup. They’ve been featured everywhere, from Good Morning America to Buzzfeed, and there’s no question as to why. You could also tell this show wasn’t their first rodeo, as their booth was quite impressive.
Olive & Sinclair: This fellow Nashville-based company is the maker of Southern Artisan Chocolate™. Each batch is small, handcrafted, fine roasted and stone ground. Their Duck Fat Caramels were delicious, not to mention their tasty branding and design.