Sweet + Tart Confectionery Concepts

Sour flavors have grown popular in recent years, in both sweet and savory foods. Consumers are seeking out sour beers, devouring pickles and other fermented vegetables, and rediscovering sour candy. Kombucha, shrubs, and unsweetened yogurt are all popular among younger consumers.

Sourness has become popular in conjunction with increased attention to the microbiome and the nutritional benefits of fermented foods. The zip of a sour sensation also gives foods the bold experience that younger consumers desire, but without sugar. As health concerns place sugar under additional scrutiny and fermented or other naturally sour foods gain popularity, consumer tastes are shifting away from heavy sweetness and toward flavors that are lighter on the palate.

For confectioners, this means it’s a good time for new product concepts with a sour flavor. This does not mean they need to be extremely sour products, like many of the traditional sour candies—instead, they could offer a more balanced experience of sweet and sour to reach a larger audience. Additionally, to reach a more sophisticated audience they need not be the traditional sour gummies—the growing popularity of sour flavors will offer opportunities for adding a bright, tart note to even chocolate products. Tart fruit flavors like citrus or berries, or even the flavors of sour beers, can pair well with smooth chocolate as long as the sweet and sour notes are carefully balanced. In today’s market, such distinct flavors are both eye-catching and delicious.

Here are three concepts for sweet + sour truffles from the product development team at Parker.

White Chocolate, Lemongrass, and Lime

A subtle white truffle infused with lemongrass flavor plus Parker’s key lime crunch inclusion for additional, pleasing texture. The classic Thai and Vietnamese combination of lemongrass and lime offers a bright, tart flavor profile that nicely complements the smoothness of the white chocolate.

Milk Chocolate Gose

This milk chocolate truffle is infused with Gose, a German sour wheat beer, and coated with Parker’s sea salt flake inclusion. Traditionally, Gose beers are topped with sea salt to complement their natural sour, complex flavors. The combination of chocolate, sour beer, and salt makes this a powerfully flavorful confection that layers several strong notes onto the palate: sweetness, sourness, and saltiness.

Dark Chocolate, Currant, and Quinoa

This quirky, complex truffle pairs dark chocolate with the puckering sourness of a red currant ribbon and Parker’s puffed quinoa inclusion. Currants are a tart berry related to gooseberries, with the red variety offering a great combination of red fruit sweetness and bright acidity. There are also black and white currants. Though currants are not as well known in the United States, they are very popular in the United Kingdom and Europe, both fresh and as a flavoring for beverages and confectioneries. Much like raspberry or other tart red fruits, it pairs well with dark chocolate, making for a flavor that proves accessible but still intriguing to chocolate consumers.

Whether one of these flavors caught your attention or you’re interested in developing another sweet-tart application, Parker’s product development team can help. We offer intriguing inclusions, toppings, fillings, and grinds for specialty chocolate bars, truffles, and other confections. Get in touch today and let’s discuss how you can intrigue with sweet and tart confections.