Barry Callebaut’s Treat Tomorrow Virtual Event: Shaping The Future Of Chocolate Indulgence
Tuesday, April 27th, 2021
APFI magazine speaks to Racheal Toh from Barry Callebaut on the cocoa giant’s latest virtual initiative, Treat Tomorrow, an event that seeks to mobilise thousands of customers from across the globe, NGOs and others of the ecosystem to shape chocolate indulgence fit for the future.
Q: Before we begin, let’s talk about the name of the event, ‘Treat Tomorrow’—what significance does it hold?
A: The COVID-19 crisis disrupted the whole world and propelled the need for the acceleration of changes already in the making: climate concerns, social inequality, as well as health concerns. These changes have prompted us to believe that we need to “treat” tomorrow differently with the new treats of tomorrow. This is especially relevant in the wake of the pandemic where consumers’ behavioural patterns with relation to food are constantly changing.
Tapping into this shift and drivers of consumer purchase is a key ambition of Barry Callebaut and its partners—to play a meaningful role in how we shape and deliver the future of chocolate indulgence. We need to adapt to these patterns and changes quickly, providing new and innovative options such as indulgent, yet lower-in-sugar snacks or visually appealing options for the younger generation.
Q: Speaking of indulgent snacking, as a chocolate connoisseur and expert, have you noticed any new trends in this area?
A: We’re all in varying degrees of lockdown across the globe, and in this unprecedented scenario, consumer’s needs and priorities are changing. That said, we do observed similarities in some of these rising trends, regardless where a person is located. Research reports have indicated that maintaining both physical and mental health has become increasingly important for consumers, in order to stay holistically fit during these tough times.
To stay motivated in isolation, many have turned to snacking as a form of “comfort eating” to keep the mind healthy. Chocolate has always been a front-runner in the ‘feel good’ and ‘indulgent’ snacking categories, so it is no surprise that consumers are seeking these treats to feel good and indirectly, benefiting their mental health.
Q: I believe the mental health proposition would appeal to the younger generation, especially millennials and Gen Zs. Are there other initiatives that target this demographic?
A: Yes, certainly. For Millennials and Gen Zs, life is in the NOW. They seek a broader sense of purpose from their consumption and experiences, whether it’s food, snacking or lifestyle events.
Pertaining to food & snacking, having a good taste is no longer enough. They often ask questions such as, ‘Is it good for me?’ and ‘Is it good for the planet?’, which increases their expectations as a consumer demographic.
Further, they also feast with their eyes before they taste the product itself. In order to attract this group of consumers, the snacking experience has to deliver a triple-play effect: health, sustainability, and appeal (taste + look).
Leveraging on this trend, Barry Callebaut will be launching its new Satin Black Coating application in Asia. This sustainably-sourced, black cocoa-based ingredient provides a silky shiny black coat for pastries and other bakery applications, creating a tasty and ‘Instagrammable’ feast for the eyes.
Q: That sounds delicious as well as aesthetically pleasing. So, will this be launched at Treat Tomorrow? Are there any other innovative solutions you’ll be premiering at the event?
A: Oh, yes. We’re very excited to be launching a platform that provides an entirely new live virtual experience for our viewers. The first-ever Treat Tomorrow rendezvous will take place on 28 April. Attendees can enjoy this new type of live virtual event experience… in Netflix style! Five consumer questions will be presented as a mini-series and each of them will be hosted live by a subject matter expert. One could expect topics like healthy snacking, next generation indulgence, plant-based innovations, sustainability, and upcycling.
Each mini-series is a ‘snack stack’ that consists of five 15-minute videos. All these can be watched live on the day of the launch—28 April 2021 or via video-on-demand after the event day.
Viewers also have the option to save our video series to their watch list and come back to them when they have the time—à la popular streaming platforms. These flexible options lend our content a ‘binge-worthy’ factor, which I believe will be a big hit with our audience.
The series will also be market-segmented to accurately target regional viewers. For example, under the Asia track, we will be launching the new Ruby Intense via the mini-series Gen Zest for Life.. Many viewers might already be aware that Barry Callebaut rolled out Ruby Chocolate as the fourth type of chocolate back in 2017—this product was especially popular in the Japanese market. The new Ruby Intense will be launching specifically for this market and offers a more intense berry fruitiness and luscious consumption experience.
For the larger Asia market, we have a new indulgent yet wholesome beverage option: drinking chocolate powder with monkfruit. Monkfruit (Luo Han Guo in Chinese) is 150-200 times sweeter than regular sugar, making sugar-reduced options possible for healthier consumption, yet not impacting taste With over 30 years of experience in researching and developing sweet solutions, our R&D team has unrivalled expertise when balancing health propositions with taste.
The key to successful new product developments in the region stems from understanding the need for healthier offerings and the mindset of the rapidly evolving consumer.
We hope to share and exchange more knowledge with industry professionals on 28 April 2021.
See you at Barry Callebaut Treat Tomorrow! Sign up here with your business e-mail.
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