With more and more vegan alternatives to milk chocolate being launched in 2020, innovations in the craft chocolate industry haven’t been limited to that area only but also opened up to a thoughtful development of fine chocolate products containing high-quality dairy ingredients.
A rediscovered appreciation for A2 milk produced by heritage cow breeds expands the gourmet consumer craving for a broader array of healthy and sustainable milk chocolate products. Market research projects a still impressive growth of dairy ingredients over plant-based ‘milks’—which will barely account for less than one-third of the dairy ingredients market value by 2027. In short, chocolate consumers’ reality in 2020 is much more shaded and varied than what it may seem.
In particularly uncertain times for our society and economy like the COVID-19 situation, chocolate consumers are looking for a comforting but familiar indulgence like never before.
While it is wise to consider modern consumer freedom of choice by offering working plant-based alternatives to milk chocolate, the underlying truth is that real milk chocolate still represents a massive favorite among foodies. Regardless of trends, the reason for that is nothing exists yet that can totally be overlapped with the multilayered and persistent flavor of a well-made dairy milk chocolate bar that has the power to recall the sweet memories of our early chocolate appreciation.
As a matter of fact, dairy ingredients are the only naturally-occurring food ingredients with a nutritionally-complete protein profile and a high percentage of reducing sugars (lactose) at the same time. During the milk chocolate making process, the flavors obtained through the Maillard reactions of the dairy nutrient components turn into the nonpareil of what a considerable share of food tasters would call ‘comforting indulgence.’
With the additional use of high-quality cacao ethically sourced from three different countries and roasted with individualized profiles, it’s no wonder our chocolate cravings get immediately addressed to reach new heights of guilt-free indulgence.
This Dutch Blend Milk Chocolate 54% by Heinde & Verre is a delightful dark milk chocolate bar made from a secret mix of Venezuelan, Indonesian, and Brazilian cacaos and two locally-sourced Dutch ingredients, such as beet sugar and two combined dairy ingredients (whole milk and buttermilk powder) obtained from sustainably- and organically-bred Dutch cows.
The tasting experience evolves into a virtual but neat journey of flavors. Initial golden notes reminding crème caramel and malted milk unfold to dark hints of blueberries and concord grapes, ending with the purest thread of dairy cream notes, finely coating the palate in a slow and silky explosion of milk fat.