Carob Makes A Comeback
Decades ago, brands tried to convince consumers that carob was a healthy alternative to chocolate. As much as consumers tried to make the switch, it fizzled fast. Many were skeptical that something could ever replace the taste of chocolate.
Consumers are now looking to carob to stand on its own and respecting it for its unique flavor. It may never replace chocolate, but it has a unique taste that’s appreciated and a myriad of beneficial qualities packed into those small locust bean pods.
What is Carob?
The tree produces a fruit that resembles a pea pod, only dark brown in color. It originates from the eastern Mediterranean, but many other parts of the world cultivate it. As a super sustainable crop, it grows without requiring vast amounts of water. It tastes nutty without any bitterness, is low in fat, sugar, and calories, and it is gluten- and caffeine-free– no wonder consumers are taking a new look at carob.
As plant-based diets continue to grow in popularity, this ingredient will qualify as an excellent addition to a nutritional regimen. It is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, calcium, iron, antioxidants, and protein. It is also a plant-based source of hydroxyproline, which is an amino acid linked to collagen production. Collagen plays a significant role in the aging demographic because companies marketed it to improve skin health, reduce joint pain, and prevent bone loss. Many perceive that adding carob to the diet will encourage a youthful appearance.
Where to See Carob in Products
Carob is popping up in coffee, tea, and flour, but also pasta, marmalades, and biscuits. Protein bars made with carob coconut are popular, vegan friendly, and ideal for a pre-workout energy boost or post-workout recovery. These bars are now marketed for their natural sweetness and include a depth of flavor that is smoother and richer than ordinary carob of the past.
Carob recipes like raspberry, and banana green smoothies and milkshakes are popping up on the Internet, which consumers will be looking for in restaurants as popularity increases. Shakes are trending, and the Vegan Carob Smoothie Bowl is so thick that consumers will eat it with a spoon.
Brands may not want to delay if they are going to get ahead of the curve of carob’s comeback.