In any retail business the stock sold changes with every season, and the sweet business is no exception. There are definite favourites among consumers at different times of the year and the winter season is one of the most evocative when it comes to taste. |
The darker days, colder weather and cosier nights bring with them the flavours of winter, and confectionery shops should stock up with all the seasonal favourites. Chocolate suppliers and manufacturers can give great advice on the types of seasoning that is preferred by the consumer during this period.
Warm and Spicy
When we think of winter smells and tastes, we think of warm spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Maybe it is because of the inherent need for those nurturing spices to combat sniffy colds, but there is no doubt that they bring a feeling of warmth and cosiness. Many a cosy evening can be passed with a mug of hot cocoa, and some brands have enhanced the ‘wintriness’ of their product with additional spices. Becks ‘Hot Winter’ Spicy Drinking Chocolate is just one such favourite chocolate drink for those long winter afternoons. Its combination of quality cocoa with delectable spices and a big blob of whipped cream makes for a real winter treat.
Fruit makes its mark in confectionery at every time of the year but winter fruits are particularly special. These are the ones that are hardy and enduring, and are not harvested until late into the year. Cranberries are a wonderful example and flavour many products during the cold months.
In countries blessed with a warmer winter season, it is the tart, fresh flavours of citrus that are more readily used. Importing oranges from Spain and even Florida, the UK’s big chocolate brands produce some fabulous offerings with a citrus boost. There are many manufacturers who produce chocolate bars that are bursting with orange peel and delicious cranberries. These make for a perfect antidote to a cold wintery dark afternoon.
Nuts are that quintessential cold weather snack and again, harvested late into the year, are perfect ingredients to incorporate into confectionery products. Chocolate and nuts are a match made in heaven and chestnuts, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and almonds make great accompaniments to chocolate. The texture and taste of chocolate can be lifted purely by adding a roasted nut flavour, and nutty chocolate is the ideal complement to a roaring fire and big mug of tea. Booja Booja make Organic Hazelnut Crunch Truffles, which are a delectable combination of nut and chocolate and the florentines made with buttery almonds from Ko-Koa are another favourite.
The sumptuous rich taste of caramel is wonderful at any time of the year, but frosty winter weekends are the perfect time to indulge. The beauty of caramel is its flexibility, and this simple cooking of sugar can be manipulated to create butterscotch, nut brittles, caramel sauce, and praline as well as many other sweet treats.
Toffee is similar to caramel, but is even more buttery and silky on the tongue. Divine’s Toffee and Sea Salt Milk Chocolate bar is a fine example of a toffee and chocolate combination, but if you prefer the simple caramel with chocolate flavour, then Prestat’s Dark Chocolate and Caramel Wafers are the snack to go for.
Reputable suppliers of confectionery will all be very aware of how winter affects the desire for different tastes. If you are a retailer who is looking to make your shelves and window displays more appealing in the winter season, take heed of the flavours we have discussed and you won’t go far wrong.
Angelina Moufftard works for HF Chocolates, Chocolate suppliers to the retail trade and others who wish to purchase wholesale quantities. Renowned since 1957, we've sourced the best suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and UK. Our great tasting and beautifully packaged products also represent excellent value for money.
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