According to cocoa expert Jeff Rasinski, salty and savory is where it’s at. (Check out a conversation we had with him a few weeks back on our Hot Commodity podcast:

We’re all used to hot flavors in chips and other snacks, but hot now seems to be spilling over to the sweet side. It’s no longer odd to see chocolate paired with jalapeño, habanero, or even ghost pepper. Anyone up for a Fiery Snickers? Or perhaps you might like to try “The World’s Hottest Chocolate Bar,” tagged with the line: “Hellfire-Infused Milk Chocolate.” Even candies like Skittle’s Sweet Heat are getting in on the action—to the bemusement of some consumers and the confusion of their palates. It’s all about your dual sensory experience, or so the trendsetters and foodies claim.

Another trending combination: hazelnuts and chocolate! Commonly found for years in Europe, it is now delving further into the U.S. market. We should see more of this from now on, adding further to the demand for hazelnuts. Is the hazelnut industry ready for that?

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