Natural Products Expo East: ‘Back to their’ senses
Single-origin flavors, stevia, probiotics, raw bars and cause branding emerge as upcoming confectionery trends at Natural Products Expo East.
The premise behind Simple Squares is simple enough: a healthy herb-infused whole food snack bar using only five unprocessed ingredients. Yet their taste is far from simple, enabling one of the products to win a prestigious 2012 SOFI Silver and a Most Innovative Natural Food Snack award at the 2012 Sweets & Snacks Expo.
Simple Squares are a healthy alternative to highly processed snack bars and are suitable for adults and children with a broad array of food allergens. They are free from gluten, soy, dairy, refined sugars and GMO ingredients. Sweetened with organic unfiltered raw honey, the bars come in four flavors: coconut, cinnamon & clove, rosemary and sage. Coffee and ginger flavors will be released early next year. The 45-g/1.6-oz. bars have a $2.49 S.R.P.
Having started 15 years ago, Coco Polo is the grand daddy of sugar-free chocolate, the only chocolate company that exclusively sells sugar-free products. Last year the Highland Park, N.J.-based company rebranded to Coco Polo from Yamate Chocolate and reformulated its bars to replace maltitol withReb A (an extract of stevia), erythritol and inulin. Extensive research was involved into producing a chocolate that eliminated stevia’s natural bitter flavor endnote. Its current product line includes 12 flavors in either 70% dark or 39% milk chocolate. The bright and colorful packaging features a stevia sprig. The 85-g/3-oz. bar sells for $5.99.
North Logan, Utah-based Probiotix Foods debuted at the Expo its first brand,Active D’Lite, a line featuring probiotic chocolate bars and ice cream. The health benefits of probiotics include strengthening the body’s immune system and supporting good digestive function. Global demand for probiotic products is expected to grow to $28.8 billion by 2015, according to a Global Industry Analyst report.
Through an exclusive arrangement, the products contain Dupont’s HOWARU strains of probiotics. According to clinical studies, these strains maintain high survival rates when delivered to the lower intestine where they are most beneficial. Apparently, chocolate is a better carrier of probiotics than dairy by a 4 to 8 factor. As Thomas Morrison, v.p. of sales, notes, “If you take care of your gut, you are taking care of your body.”
In addition to probiotics, the chocolate bars have been formulated with a host of other health benefits: high fiber (7-9 grams), low-calorie (100 calories), zero sugars (naturally sweetened with stevia) and zero net carbs (low glycemic index). Non-GMO certification is in the works.
Active D’Lites’ chocolate bars are available in six flavors: Chocolate, Chocolate Crisp, Chocolate Almond, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Caramel and Chocolate Almond Goji Berry. The S.R.P. for a 28-g/1-oz. bar ranges between $1.89 to $2.49