Chocolate is as essential to Valentine’s Day as roses, but consumers don't necessarily want to woo their sweetheart with just any old sweets. The average consumer can’t show up with a heart-shaped box of pharmacy chocolates and expect to feel the love in this day and age.

Consumers are now taking their sweets game to the next level if they really want to impress, and 2022 is already delivering with a slew of fun and innovative candies, desserts, and flavor profiles to consider. Which treats are guaranteed to be popular in 2022?

Heart-Shaped Candies

Okay, so we’re not exactly breaking new ground with heart-shaped versions of Dove or Reese’s chocolates wrapped in appropriately-colored pink or red foil or Hershey’s Miniatures with hearts added to their everyday wrappers. But consumers still crave these classics. 

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You can also find heart-shaped Ding Dongs, Swedish Fish, or Madelaine chocolate roses.

LTO Flavors

Consumers not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on gourmet chocolate but still wanting to make an effort to choose something special for Valentine’s Day will be happy to discover that several mainstream candy companies offer limited-time flavors, especially for this February holiday.

You can always count on M&Ms to deliver holiday-centric offerings, and they don’t disappoint with White Cheesecake and Black Forest M&Ms just released for Valentine’s Day 2022.

Hershey’s Kisses get a timely update with Lava Cake Flavoring, while Kit Kats are available in Raspberry Crème. Also available is Ghirardelli Strawberry Bark Squares. Consumers can even add an air of adventure to their sugary tokens of love this year with Valentine’s Day Fun Dip Mystery Flavor.

Gourmet Chocolates

If consumers want to take a step up from treats they can find in the candy aisle at the grocery store, there are plenty of chocolatiers ready to ship a gourmet selection to your location of choice. Companies like See’s, Harry & David, and Godiva are pretty well known for their selection of truffles, chocolate-dipped fruit, and other confections, often available in a variety of collections, pairings, and price points.

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Looking for something more unique? Try Recchiuti Confections, which aims to deliver a whole sensory experience with premium cocoa and flavors ranging from Burnt Caramel to more adventurous offerings like Tarragon Grapefruit. Their unique black box doesn’t exactly shout “Valentine’s Day,” but it speaks to their serious commitment to outstanding confections.

If Consumers looking to stay on the safe side, can consider Michel Cluizel bonbons. The classic box features just milk and dark chocolate (no crazy flavors), but the French cocoa is top shelf, and the decoration is breathtaking. You can also find outstanding vegan and gluten-free options (handmade, no less) from Missionary Chocolates, based in Portland, OR, with customizable boxes.

Homemade Dessert Trends

Handmade, heartfelt gifts have something that store-bought confections don’t—your blood, sweat, and tears (okay, hopefully, none of those things). They show that you took the time and effort to create something, and that alone is worth a lot more than the time spent perusing the candy aisle at CVS.

So what can consumers make on their own without too much trouble? A box of strawberries and some melting chocolate can quickly become chocolate-dipped strawberries, which look beautiful and sweeten an out-of-season fruit.

If consumer preference is for cakes or cookies, it’s not hard to whip up festive cupcakes or brownies or make them from a box mix.

For consumers looking to go the extra mile, they can put together some cheesecake brownie bites or brookies (brownie cookies). Food manufacturers should consider adding unexpected flavors that are gaining popularity of late, such as coffee, Asian citrus (like yuzu). Consumer are now more open to try floral additives like food-grade lavender or hibiscus.

Manufacturers can also take cookies to the next level by turning them into ice cream sandwiches. ]

Finding the perfect Valentine’s Day flavor for your products doesn’t have to be complicated, simply look to the classics while also considering new twists on the old with something new and novel that fits the theme.

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