News | September 5, 2023

East Meets West: ofi Uses Artificial Intelligence To Predict The Regional Cocoa Flavors About To Go Global

olam food ingredients (ofi) predicts a greater fusion of Eastern and Western flavors in confectionery, bakery, beverages, and snacks, after combining the insights of its innovation experts in key regional markets and AI-powered research1 to identify the next big cocoa flavor trends.

The research – which used predictive analytics to scan online recipes, restaurant menus and e-commerce sites for budding trends before they hit the mainstream – found Asian flavors like dragon fruit, sesame, yuzu, lychee and miso are taking off in the US and Europe, while Western flavors like butterscotch, marshmallow, salted caramel and cookies & cream are becoming more popular in South Asian countries, including Indonesia and India. ofi’s ingredients innovation experts have turned these trends into adventurous cocoa pairings and dishes we could see on menus or in stores soon.

1 Ai Palette

The top flavor trends by geography are:

  • Dragon Fruit – starting to trend in the UK in bakery. The punchy flavor pairs perfectly with deZaan’s N11N cocoa powder in pastries or N21N cocoa powder in ice cream or sorbet.
  • Sesame – becoming popular in bakery in France, this flavor pairs excellently with deZaan’s D11S – a deep intense cocoa flavor – in a chocolate banana brioche.
  • Chilli – emerging particularly in German confectionery, for example a chocolate bar. It also works with deZaan’s TrueDark – a rich natural cocoa powder with notes of nuts and fruits – in a chipotle chili, lime and passionfruit dessert.


  • Lychee – growing in popularity in the bakery category, it pairs well with deZaan’s D23A cocoa powder – a full chocolatey taste and creamy texture – in a rich pastry filling.
  • Yuzu – also booming in the bakery space, this works excellently with deZaan’s N11N – a well-rounded cocoa powder with delicate fruity notes in a chocolate crumb cake with a yuzu curd, or in a panna cotta.
  • Miso – emerging in confectionery, this pairs with deZaan’s D21CM, with notes of chocolate, nuts and caramel, in chocolate fudge.


  • Marshmallow – on the rise in confectionery in Indonesia. This flavor pairs well with deZaan’s 254DP11 – a premium cocoa powder with an intense cocoa flavor in a nougat or in a S’mores-style breakfast cereal.
  • Black Forest – also growing in popularity in Indonesian beverages. This punchy flavor blends perfectly in a frappe-style drink with deZaan’s 350DP11 – with a rich and full-bodied chocolate taste.
  • Cookies and Cream – an emerging trend in India in confectionery, this classic sweet flavor combination is the perfect match for deZaan’s H910N, in ice cream, confectionery, and frappes.

Visit ofi’s interactive flavor map for more insights into the research and to delve into the full collection of cocoa pairings and applications.

Source: olam food ingredients (ofi)