The demand for premium products extends into all facets of the supermarket perimeter, including the instore bakery and its desserts.

In addition to high-quality baked goods like croissants, tarts or Danish, bakeries can instantly class up a baked good with the addition of artisan chocolate, whether it be a topper or a decorative touch.

“Consumers are searching for truth and honesty, especially in food products and ingredients,” says Gianni Fabrizi, directory of sales and marketing for Duluth, Georgia-based Dobla. “People want to connect to what is real and good and to things they recognize.”

It was with those selling points that Dobla recently expanded its line of artisan chocolates, introducing new handmade chocolate decorations aimed to complete pastry, cakes, desserts and other sweet delicacies.

Its Nature line includes realistic 3-D chocolate pieces of fruit slices and other decorative pieces. The line has seen strong support since its release to U.S. retailers and producers earlier this year.

“We’ve seen a lot of success with the chefs and bakers who are searching for a handmade look but not might not have the resources available to make that happen,” says Fabrizi. “They can use these decorations to convey the quality consumers are looking for.”

The line of decorations ranges from limes to passion fruit to kiwi to oranges to strawberries and more, all made entirely of chocolate, of course. The handmade details create a realistic-looking piece that can replace actual fruit that would go bad quickly, thereby increasing shelf life and boosting the bottom line.

But the line isn’t confined to just fruit. Also available are cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, miniature pumpkins, and acorns.  Wood tree pieces, pinecones, butterflies and toadstools are among the typically non-edible decorative flairs that are now handcrafted from high-quality chocolate.

Decorative touches

The demand for premium chocolate has allowed pastry chefs to enjoy an ever-growing list of innovative products to elevate their cakes, pastries and baked goods.

Barry Callebaut’s portfolio can add flavors and vibrant colors to products, allowing for the construction of creations that engage and interest consumers.

“We’ve found that consumers are attracted to our Mona Lisa color decorations on top of pastries and desserts,” says Laura Bergan, director of innovation and market development at Barry Callebaut.

The company says its decorative curls can add elegance and sophistication to the average pastry and dessert that consumers can’t replicate at home. Barry Callebaut’s mini colored and flavored chips are small enough to be used as fun toppings or decoration to pastries, desserts and cupcakes. These chips offer a versatile and easy-to-use solution for inclusions and decorations.

Barry Callebaut also offers pastry and chocolate chefs inclusions from its robust Gertrude Hawk Ingredients portfolio, which allow for even more creativity and imagination with chocolate, Bergan says. The Gertrude Hawk product line further expands the Barry Callebaut offering of multi-sensorial experiences for consumers.

Gertrude Hawk offers solid and filled chocolate in addition to compound pieces that can be molded into any shape. Most popular are the peanut butter and caramel filled mini cups, which can be used within a baked good, snack or ice cream as an inclusion.

Some of the products are even small enough to be utilized as a topper or decoration for myriad concepts. The range offers filled inclusions that can create a different texture experience for consumers. The Gertrude Hawk portfolio also includes different flavored and colored shapes, giving chefs endless options to customize their offering with unique flavors and colors.

ifiGourmet — a Gurnee, Illinois-based producer of pastry, confectionary, baking decorations and more — recently introduced its Everyday Chocolate Décor Collection.

The line was created for a wide range of products and events, including birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers and more.

“It offers a variety of playful designs that consumers will love,” says Shelly Kreml, ifiGourmet’s director of marketing. “For birthdays, for example, bright and colorful décor can always compliment a dark, rich chocolate cake.”

The Everyday line includes colorful, edible pieces with cheeky sayings — “Treat yo’self,” for example — while also offering subdued pieces like silver and gold wedding hearts or simple basketballs, baseballs, footballs or soccer balls.

Other opportunities

Chocolate manufacturers can also help instore bakeries elevate their products with other ready-made items meant to increase productivity.

Barry Callebaut offers the Mona Lisa line of premium chocolate cups and decorations, and Mona Lisa recently announced the launch of its newest cup, the heart bonbon. The 63-percent dark chocolate cup is perfect for any special time of the year.

Instore bakeries can also utilize high-quality chocolate as a vessel instead of just a topping.

Dobla highlighted its dew Mooncake Cups at IDDBA ’18 over the summer, encouraging its prospective customers to fill them with unique flavors like mandarin yuzu filling for an on-trend product.

The chocolate cups can be filled with just about anything, from pudding to mousse to candies.  This can help create a custom indulgence for any occasion or selling opportunity.

Dobla says it is the only company to offer the cups in multiple colors with the corresponding chocolate lids.