Alternative ingredients, superfoods and reducing waste are three of the top 10 food trends in the chocolate category, according to Innova Market Insights and Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. A waste not, want not attitude prevails in the industry and many manufacturers are turning to formerly discarded ingredients to reuse in other products as well as reducing packaging materials, said Lu Ann Williams, head of research at Innova. New superfoods, such as quinoa, raw cacao and cinnamon kale chips, are some new ingredients being combined with chocolate. Consumers also are looking for alternative ingredients, such as dairy or gluten replacers, as they try to avoid allergens.
Raw-food cafes are increasingly popular in New York City, particularly juice bars offering "green juices" packed with celery, cucumber, parsley or kale. Once a niche community, raw-food restaurateurs have seen their vegan menus and juice bars become popular with a more mainstream clientele.
Family-owned chocolate shops in Long Island, N.Y., such as Schwartz Candies and Lazar's Chocolate, offer old-fashioned treats such as vanilla marshmallows and nut patties. Azure Chocolat makes sweets that are kosher and gluten-free, and also offers vegan, sugar-free and dairy-free candies.