Rinus Heemskerk, global director of innovation for ADM Cocoa, said: “If you go to a country where chocolate is a relatively new flavor, people are more adventurous and more open to different flavors than they would be in countries where it was part and parcel of their upbringing.
“What you typically see is that people who have been born and raised in the tradition of a certain product and know that flavor very well, they’re generally less adventurous.
“If you go to markets in Asia, China for instance, where people don’t have a chocolate background and where chocolate is a relatively new product, they are much more open to flavors than someone in Germany or the US.”
Chocolate consumption in emerging Asian markets is far lower than in parts of North America and Western Europe.
Western Europeans eat an average of 8kg per head annually compared to just 70g in India and 100g in China.
The geographic spread of launches
According to market analysts Mintel, the majority of chocolate confectionery launches (41.26%) between 2008 and May 2013 have been in Europe.
However, there were a higher proportion of launches in the Asia Pacific over this period (24.6%) than in North America (17.55%).
But the Asia Pacific region has lost its share of launches from a peak of 26.09% in 2010 to 22.53% so far this year because of a spike in launches in the Middle East & Africa and Europe.
Proportion of global chocolate launches in 2013 (up to May)
Middle East & Africa
[Data from Mintel]