Indulgent Chocolatey Options
Contributed by Anna Sentance, Gourmet Marketing Manager, Callebaut UK and Ireland
Why Offer Chocolate Desserts
Dessert menus may have more variety than ever, but one constant is chocolate. Research shows 95% of dessert consumers choose a chocolate dessert when dining out, therefore it is important that at least half of dessert menus include desserts, cakes or pastries which are made with, or include, chocolate.
As a versatile product, chocolate-based desserts or sweet treats allow caterers to create menu options for all diets including vegan treats (using dark chocolate), seasonal offerings and desserts made with ingredients that are ethically sourced, fairly traded and offer sustainability sourced cocoa beans.
Not only is chocolate a great way to cater to all consumers but 92% of dessert consumers are also motivated to choose desserts if the chocolate content is described as ‘good quality’ or ‘Belgian’. Highlighting the quality of the chocolate in a menu description presents more opportunity to engage and convert into sales. It is genuinely valuable to describe the quality and Belgian provenance of chocolate in desserts as the majority of dessert consumers find both “Belgian” and “good quality” as appealing descriptors for chocolate desserts, using a hybrid term on menus, such as ‘made with quality Belgian chocolate’ will deliver the premium messaging that drives purchase.
Creative and Indulgent Chocolatey Options
Callebaut Chocolate is one of which is Ideal for all chocolate applications, is highly versatile and rarely needs tempering to create the desired result caterers are seeking for their dessert dishes. From indulgent sauces to hot chocolates, the Chocolate can be used in almost any way. Simply melt the chocolate Callets in the microwave for 20 seconds to create a smooth Belgian chocolate drizzle perfect for topping on cakes, pastries and ice cream sundaes, or for even more indulgence add whipping cream to create a quick and easy creamy chocolate dipping sauce. The chocolate can also be melted down with warm milk to create an indulgent hot chocolate drink or melted on its own into moulds to form chocolate bars, perfect for cross-selling with hot beverages.
Top Tips To Get Your Dessert Offering Right:
- Keeping your menu simple yet desirable with your bestselling dessert dishes will help drive footfall.
- A balanced menu with an even offering of dishes suitable for different dietary requirements, including vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, will help make your offering all-inclusive.
- Tap into upselling opportunities by offering a Callebaut Belgian chocolate dipping sauce or chocolate decorations as added extras to increase indulgence.
- Continue to offer a takeaway service for consumers who would rather dine at home and ensure your takeaway dessert menu is suitable for travel whilst still remaining indulgent.
- Promote your dessert offering via your social media accounts or with signage outside your venue.
- Create offers and deals, such as ‘Friday 2-for-1 on all desserts’ or ‘Buy a main and a dessert for £11.99’ to drive footfall.
- Seasonal offerings are a great way to increase profit margins and letting the customer know the origin of an ingredient, or that and ingredient is locally sourced, i.e. ‘Made with Real Belgian Chocolate’, will allow you to charge a premium that consumers are willing to pay for.
It’s important for caterers to adapt and evolve to suit new consumer needs as people will always enjoy and appreciate a sweet treat. With restrictions lifting and diners enjoying al fresco dining, it’s still important to dedicate time to your takeaway offering with the takeaway trend set to continue at similar levels even after all restrictions are lifted.
Not only is your takeaway menu a great way to drive further profits, but tapping into the growing trend towards plant-based menu choices will create even more opportunity to gain footfall in your venue. With more consumers participating in Veganuary in 2021 than ever before, it is clear that plant-based options are showing no signs of dropping in popularity. This growth of plant-based menus remains an important consideration for caterers and continues to influence consumer dining habits nationwide.
While only 3% of consumers in Great Britain identify as vegan, there is a wider consumer interest in plant-based options when dining out-of-home. Some 15% of today’s consumers say they would be more likely to order a dessert that is vegan and 69% would be neither more or less likely to order a dessert if it was vegan, proving that these options can appeal to the majority of diners and mean that caterers can suit many requirements with one dish.
Recognition of the growing demand for inclusive dessert options and the challenges that chefs may have when seeking plant-based or vegan inspiration, has driven more inspirational recipes that are not only vegan-friendly but still delightfully indulgent.
See below two delicious Callebaut recipes made using Dark Chocolate Callets and can easily be adapted to suit other preferences. These indulgent desserts are not only suitable for vegan diets, but also the perfect choice for the whole table to enjoy.
Lemon and Hazelnut Chickpea Blondies
The perfect sweet treat, suitable for both vegan and gluten-free diets. With zingy lemon and smooth hazelnut flavours, this blondie is a perfect addition to any menu.
Chocolate Banoffee Pie
This easy-to-serve classic has been upgraded by including an extra layer of Dark Chocolate inside, adding even more taste. It’s also suitable for vegan diets so it’s a dessert the whole table can enjoy.