The world’s leading chocolate supplier, Barry Callebaut, based in Zurich, has announced plans to focus on its new dairy-free line, Pathway, in a bid to keep up with consumer demand for vegan products.
Although the Swiss supplier does carry dairy-free chocolate already, the market is ideal for expansion, maintains the company.
“The sector has evolved from catering to individuals with dairy allergies or lactose intolerances to consumers opting to live a dairy-free or vegan lifestyle. Consumers are looking for dairy-free products for more than just allergy reasons, but incorporating more plant-based food products into their diets,” Laura Bergan, Barry Callebaut’s Director of Innovation and Market Development, told FoodIngredientsFirst.
“We believe that dairy-free products will continue their momentum, given how many consumers are either switching to plant-based food diets or including plant-based choices in their everyday food choice,” Bergan added.
Around the world, consumers are becoming more conscious with their food purchases. Over the past three years, veganism in the US has grown by 600 percent, and in the past two, it has grown by 700 percent in the UK. Even in China, where meat and dairy consumption is high, the vegan market is expected to rise by 17% between 2015 and 2020. Be it for environmental, health, or animal welfare-related reasons, the tide is slowly turning away from animal-based ingredients.
Barry Callebout, who first created ruby chocolate – chocolate from the ruby cocoa bean, are offering the new dairy-free Pathway range in a variety of styles, including ‘milk-like’, which will be produced in a lighter, ‘milkier’, colour, to mimic milk chocolate.
“Given many consumers do prefer milk chocolate, we anticipate a dairy-free substitute for milk chocolate will continue to grow in popularity and drive chocolate innovation towards more creamy and milky variations without using dairy ingredients,” Bergan continued. “Barry Callebaut offers a ‘milk-like’ chocolate product to fit that consumer demand. The Pathway coatings and decadent flavor profiles that ensure Barry Callebaut customers can create products that respond directly to consumer demand for more dairy-free options, without sacrificing on taste.”
The global vegan chocolate market is expected to soar in the coming years according to a research report published in January. The market is predominately being driven by millennials.