There’s a surprising way to track the popularity of diet trends: chocolate. Contemporary diets like keto and paleo are different from the diets that came before them. Both keto and paleo don’t restrict dieters according to the number of calories they consume. Instead, they are based on avoiding certain types of food, specifically foods that are high in carbs.
Google Trends shows that chocolate is one of the top search results in connection with both keto and paleo. But while interest in keto chocolate is continuing to rise, enthusiasm for paleo chocolate is stagnating.
Consumer discussion about keto and paleo chocolate remained fairly equal until December 2017. Across the next 12 months, consumer discussion about keto chocolate skyrocketed by 600%, while discussion around paleo chocolate remained small, rising by under 25% in the same period.
Keto as a Feature in Chocolate, Brand Association & Consumer Sentiment (US Sampled Data)
The sustained rise in interest in keto chocolate is a strong signal that more dieters are joining the movement and looking for indulgence options.
Paleo as a Feature in Chocolate, Brand Association & Consumer Sentiment (US Sampled Data)
Equally, the stagnation of interest in paleo chocolate shows that few consumers are joining the diet, and that the trend is petering out. This perception is reinforced when the keto and paleo chocolate markets are broken down.
Interest in keto truffles, bonbons, and similar confectionery runs at 23%, with consumer interest in keto protein bars at 11%. When it comes to paleo chocolate products, the numbers are almost reversed. There’s 24% interest in paleo protein bars, and only 15% in premium paleo chocolates. The high demand for luxury chocolate products shows that there are many dieters who are eager for a treat, while protein bars reflect a no-nonsense attitude to the paleo diet.
There is a strong case for arguing that once consumers move away from indulgence treats targeted at both paleo and keto, a decline in interest in both diets will begin to fade. This in fact stands as an early signal to the trend’s stagnation or decline. On the other hand, the current increase in interest around keto chocolate signals more consumers try to adhere to this lifestyle with relevant offerings cross-category, and that the overall keto trend is still on the rise.
Volume of Consumer Discussion in Chocolate by Solution Type (US Data) Jan 2017 – Jan 2019
To conclude, by analyzing the growth and decline across indulgent categories we can obtain a good indication whether trend diets such as keto and paleo are here to stay or just a passing fad.
Written by Ofir Yahav
CPG/F&B Business Consultant at Signals Analytics
Ofir has an extensive background in market analysis and advertising. At Signals Analytics, he works across various industries, including Confectionery, Fabric and Haircare.
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