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Vegan Chocolate Innovations Shake Things Up

As the pandemic continues, consumers are turning to indulgences to seek happiness, pleasure, and to celebrate. Chocolate is one of the first places they look to indulge — Barry Callebaut found 65% of U.S. consumers agree that chocolate is their favorite indulgence and 70% choose chocolate for their celebrations.

The COVID-19 pandemic had many consumers turning to healthier alternatives to their favorite treats in an effort to boost their immune systems, a trend many producers spotted in 2021. Wellbeing is a priority for North American consumers, and FMCG Gurus reports that 71% say that they are actively trying to improve their diet. 

Though they are looking for healthier options, consumers don’t want to compromise on taste. Just over 60% wish there were healthier chocolate options, products that deliver the same quality of taste but have reduced sugar, are plant-based, or are all-around good for their body. 

In this market environment, Callebaut announced the launch of their NXT iconic innovation “Callebaut NXT”: 100% plantbased dark and milky tasting chocolates, guaranteed free from any traces of dairy with the same great taste and quality as traditional chocolate. 

According to the company, Callebaut NXT helps chefs and artisans get ready for the next generations of chocolate gourmets. Xuan-Lai Huynh – Global Brand Leader of Callebaut explained: “After our infamous Ruby launch and the conversion to traceable cocoa for all our chocolates, we’re very proud to present Callebaut NXT dairy-free. It took Callebaut experts and R&D teams 3 years to bring this unique innovation to life. What makes it even more special is that the whole concept is being fuelled not only by our R&D team, but even more by passionate chefs and artisans. Creating vegan, plant-based and dairy-free recipes stirs up all the know-how chefs have been applying for generations. For many, it’s like starting over. NXT will help ambitious chefs to re-invent the traditional pastry and chocolate recipes and elevate dairy-free, vegan, plant-based chocolate delights from a ‘niche’ segment to a global movement.”

NXT complies with the strictest food standard in the industry: unlike vegan chocolates, Callebaut’s NXT dairy-free range contains no traces of dairy whatsoever. Therefore, it brings a total solution to chefs when creating dairy-free, lactose-free, vegan and plant-based delights – without any compromise on taste and indulgence. To achieve the creamy mouthfeel and flavor, Callebaut extracts a 100% vegetal milk-alternative from the chufa plant, which adds a fully creamy texture and neutral taste to their chocolate recipe.

You can read the rest of this article in Issue 1 of Worldbakers Digital magazine, which you can access by clicking here

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