As a member of Gen Z, I've grown up in a world where chocolate is a ubiquitous and beloved treat. But as I look towards the future, I can't help but wonder: how will chocolate processing change in the next 10 years to meet the evolving needs and preferences of my generation?
From sustainability to new and innovative chocolate gifts by post, there are so many exciting possibilities on the horizon. In this article, I'll be exploring some of the ways I think chocolate processing is expected to change in the next decade from a Gen Z perspective.
1. Digital Natives
Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up with access to the internet as know it today. In fact, members of Gen Z don’t remember a time before laptops, desktops and mobile devices provided instant access to the world. Inevitably, this has changed the way we communicate, shop and work, so it’s no surprise that Gen Z expects chocolate to be available at the click of a button.
From chocolate box gifts to truffle boxes, chocolate gifts by post will continue to increase in popularity as Gen Z becomes a driving force in the consumer market. With online ordering, same day dispatch and worldwide delivery, today’s tech-savvy generation will continue to thrive online and, as a result, we’ll see a growing number of chocolate deliveries (which can only be a good thing!).
2. Fair Trade
Economic security is important to Gen Z but concerns about economic equality extend far beyond our own doorstep. When it comes to chocolate, rising awareness of unfair practices have made Gen Z mindful of where their chocolate comes from and who benefits from their consumer behaviour.
As a result, demand for fairtrade chocolate is increasing and Gen Z consumers will continue to demand more transparency in chocolate supply chains. Ensuring their chocolate is produced from ethically sourced beans will be one way that Gen Z make a mark on the industry, for example. Similarly, choosing brands that support cocoa farmers will be a high priority for Gen Z as they decide which chocolate manufacturers to support.
3. Health Benefits
While all generations want improved access to healthcare, Gen Z are particularly engaged when it comes to enhancing our own well-being. As well as campaigning for better healthcare for all, Gen Z are also far more open when it comes to talking about mental health and self-care. As food and nutrition has such a major impact on our well-being, we’ll see this reflected in the eating habits of Gen Z.
Choosing chocolate that’s low in sugar and made from unrefined ingredients will be one way that Gen Z capitalise on the health benefits that chocolate can offer, for example. Whether it’s organic chocolate gifts or healthy chocolate hampers, Gen Z won’t necessarily be searching for the instant sugar-hit that’s commonly associated with mass-produced chocolate. Instead, Gen Z are eager to realise the potential of natural ingredients and organic cocoa beans.
4. Artisan Chocolate
We may have been enjoying mass-produced chocolate since the 19th century, but artisan alternatives are becoming increasingly popular – and they will continue to be the chocolate of choice if us Gen Zers have anything to do with it.
Bean to bar chocolate and other artisan varieties allow consumers more choice over what they gift and consume, so it’s easy to see why demand for independent chocolatiers is increasing. When purchasing a chocolate gift box or chocolate hamper gifts, for example, Gen Z knows the enhanced value that artisan chocolate can offer.
As well as being made with higher quality ingredients, the enhanced traceability and transparency associated with bean to bar chocolate reflects Gen Z’s commitment to ethically produced products and economic equality.
Due to this, we’ll continue to see smaller, independent chocolate brands taking centre stage in the future, while the popularity of mass-produced chocolate may begin to wane.
5. Gourmet Flavours
Combining chocolate with additional flavours may not be anything new but there has certainly been more variety on the shelves in recent years. However, Gen Z are even more experimental when it comes to adding new flavours to their chocolate.
Just like the barley in our Gladiators Chapter or medicinal mushrooms in our Healers Chapter, gourmet ingredients will become even more en vogue in upcoming years. As Gen Z flexes its purchasing power and consumer demand for the highest quality ingredients continues to rise, we’ll see an even wider variety of flavours becoming available. (In fact, we have some exciting combinations on the way ourselves!).
Gen Z are more attuned to environmental issues, such as climate change, and this is being reflected in the purchasing decisions they make. Today’s young adults want to ensure the chocolate they buy has a positive impact on the environment. Choosing bars and chocolate gift boxes made with ethically sourced ingredients is just the start of an eco-friendly manufacturing movement that will increase sustainability and help mitigate the ongoing environmental crises we’re seeing.
Leading the Way with Bean to Bar Chocolate
So, what does this mean for chocolate manufacturing? Well, the demands of Gen Z will no doubt impact manufacturing as a whole and the chocolate industry will become more varied and accessible as a result. With the potential for independent chocolatiers to take on the ‘big brands’, up-and-coming chocolate producers can make their mark by producing healthy, eco-friendly, fair trade chocolate that delivers exceptional flavour and outstanding experiences.
At Eat It Like, we like to stay ahead of the game. Trendsetters, you might say. And that’s reflected in our range of delicious Chapters. Our focus on ‘doing good’ extends beyond making mouth-watering chocolate and reflects the priorities of Gen Z.
From ethically sourced beans and fair trade bars to unrefined ingredients and vegan chocolate, we’re committed to crafting exquisite flavours that help you to feel good and do good.To find out more, explore our range of Chapters now and discover how we go Beyond the Taste to create chocolate that makes a positive impact on the world.