The Netherlands (Cargill) — The ‘Rise of the Hybrid’ which sees new hybrid products and unconventional flavour combinations, was one of the most exciting food trends* examined in the latest ‘T for Trends’ webinar presented by Cargill’s cocoa & chocolate business.
Aimed at manufacturers working in confectionery, bakery and dairy sectors, the webinar revealed the ten major food trends and their connection to cocoa and chocolate applications. It was co-presented by Rens de Haan, Marketing & Communications Director, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, and Lu Ann Williams, Head of Research Innova Market Insights.
“For our customers it is important to be aware of the latest trends, so they can produce innovative and distinctive products which align with consumer demand. Through this webinar, supported by independent research, Cargill offers new perspectives and insights on the trends set to make the news in 2014”, commented de Haan.
The following trends were identified as key:
The Rise of the Hybrid — New hybrid product concepts — featuring unconventional flavour combinations like sweet and savoury — are pushing the boundaries of innovation more than ever before, making product categories less distinct and presenting new opportunities and challenges for manufacturers.
You Can Trust Us — Consumer confidence is crucialin the light of recent food safety scares and scandals. Companies which can demonstrate traceability of ingredients have an advantage in winning consumer confidence.
Simpler Pleasures — The rise in home cooking and the demand for simple food and value, alongside a similar growth in premium products, is creating opportunities to develop new ranges to address both simplicity and home indulgence.
“As important as it is to be aware of key trends, it is how manufacturers respond to them, and use them to anticipate their consumers’ demands, which is the vital next step”, explains de Haan.
“Meeting the challenges presented by new product concepts, as identified in the ‘Rise of the Hybrid’ trend for example, needs a solid innovation partner. Through the unique T model approach, combining broad food knowledge with deep cocoa and chocolate expertise, Cargill provides manufacturers with the expertise they need to create new products.
“The insight provided by these trends will enable manufacturers to get a head start in cocoa and chocolate, to anticipate future consumer demand”, concluded de Haan.
To find out more about the Top Ten Trends for 2014 please visit: http://www.cargillcocoachocolate.com/innovations/driven-by-trends/index.htm 
*Research conducted by Innova Market Insights
Aimed at manufacturers working in confectionery, bakery and dairy sectors, Cargill's ‘T for Trends’ webinar revealed the ten major food trends and their connection to cocoa and chocolate applications. Here are some of the top trends from the presentation.