US – Cargill has developed a range of plant-based “power ingredients” that have been designed for “outstanding sensory appeal” in vegan chocolate such as its ExtraVeganZa range.

The American global food corporation said during the unveiling that the vegan and plant-based trend continues to evolve and grow.

The evolution has become a key driver across the industry as consumers increasingly perceive these products as better choices for their health and the health of the planet; the company added.

According to Cargill, the increase in consumer interest and concern about sustainability is a driving force in the plant-based movement, especially in cocoa and chocolate purchases.

In its most recent consumer research, the company found seven in ten (69%) consumers factor sustainability into their cocoa and chocolate product purchase decisions, up three percentage points from similar research conducted in 2021.

While sustainability is a strong concern for consumers who desire plant-based food products, they still have high expectations for these products, especially in indulgent spaces like confectionery, because taste and texture are key barriers to mainstreaming plant-based products.

In addition, Cargill’s commercial marketing lead for cocoa and chocolate, in Europe, Philippe Bernay, noted that while there is a heightened interest in plant-based innovations, there is also a demand for those that avoid allergens and are made with label-friendly ingredients.

Plant-based innovation remains one of the most notable and progressive F&B trends, with confectionery taking the limelight as a particularly fast-growing category within this space.

“Our ExtraVeganZa range of plant-based chocolate is an example of how we’re helping brands bring permissible indulgence to their plant-based product innovations,” Bernay underscored.

 This range of vegan chocolates is made exclusively with plant-based ingredients that deliver “outstanding taste and texture profiles,’ according to Cargill.

Bernay explained that the ingredients solutions align with consumer demand for plant-based options and indulgent sensorial experiences, leveraging three plant-based ‘power’ ingredients – sunflower kernel powder, rice syrup powder, and organic rice syrup powder.

These ingredients provide a distinctive taste and texture profile, enabling Cargill to create vegan chocolate recipes that reimagine plant-based indulgence, he highlighted.

The versatile offering can be used in various applications, including bakery, confectionery, and dairy, as a substitute for regular chocolate. Further differentiating the line, the Chocolate ExtraVeganZa uses nut- and gluten-free ingredients.

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.