It should come as no surprise that Germany landed the top global spot for vegan confectionary launches over the past year. Citing growing interest, demand has played a significant role in new product development. Backing up this claim, research from Mintel shows three out of 10 (28%) German consumers would like to see a wider variety of clearly labeled vegetarian and vegan confectionery. For those ages 25 to 34, this number rises significantly to 46%.
Germany saw the most vegan confectionery launches globally over the past year, hosting 16% of global vegan confectionery launches in 2017. This is the result of significant new product development growth within this category in Germany: vegan new product launches in the sweets category have grown by 252% between 2013 and 2017.
“A shift away from animal products is currently underway, as described by Mintel’s 2017 Global Food & Drink Trend,” says Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight for Mintel Food and Drink.
After a boom in other categories, the vegan and vegetarian trend can now be seen in both chocolate and sugar confectionery. There has been a growth in non-dairy milk chocolate, while in sugar confectionery there is growing interest in vegetable-based gelatin — the ingredient that provides the ‘chew’ in chewy-textured candy. Gelatin is traditionally derived from animal collagen, so vegans, vegetarians, kosher and halal consumers are among the consumers seeking non-eat gelatin-based confectionery, she says.
Significant new development
The growing interest in vegan and vegetarian confectionery is already visible in new product development. According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), vegan confectionery product launches more than doubled globally, growing by 140% in the five years between 2013 and 2017. Vegetarian sweets have experienced a much smaller increase of 21% over the same time.
Given the high consumer interest in vegan sweets, a look at the German confectionery market reveals that consumer demand is already shaping product launch activity. Germany saw the most vegan confectionery launches globally over the past year, hosting 16% of global vegan confectionery launches in 2017. This is the result of significant new product development growth within this category in Germany: vegan new product launches in the sweets category have grown by 252% between 2013 and 2017.
Most likely to indulge
Beyond the vegan trend, it seems that Germans have high expectations for their confectionary in general. Half of the German consumers (50%) say that there are not enough healthy sweets available, such as confectionary without artificial ingredients or with natural sweeteners. Furthermore, 51% of German consumers say that they would like to see a wider variety of ethical sweets, such as organic or fair trade chocolate.
Furthermore, Mintel research shows that Germans are the most likely among their European neighbors to indulge their sweet tooth: over two-thirds of German consumers (69%) report that they allow themselves the occasional treat. In comparison, only 56% of French consumers and 59% of Spanish consumers allow themselves a sporadic indulgence.
“Growing awareness of the source of certain ingredients, such as gelatin, in confectionery products is making consumers more conscious in their purchase decisions,” Mogelonsky says. “Germany is an ideal testing ground for vegan confectionery, as German consumers both like to indulge and are looking for ethical and inclusive products.”