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.
Launched last year, SNAP Infusion’s first product line is Supercandy, a sport nutrition brand positioned around “performance [that] never tasted so good; where flavor meets function,” explains CEO Andrea Stoll. The Andover, Mass.-based company has targeted a core set within the Millennial generation who are active, engaged trendsetters who exercise three or more times a week, snack twice as much as the average consumer and eat between meals but feel that their snacks are not healthy.
Supercandy has a natural ingredient profile consisting of B vitamins to boost energy, antioxidants to protect the immune system and electrolytes for maintaining fluid balance. It is the official “super candy” of the U.S. Ski, Snowboarding and Freeskiing teams.
Supercandy is available in five forms: Gummy (multi-berry flavor), Bean (multi-berry), Mel (caramel), Tart (“fruit-full”) and Gum (citrus). The 28 g/1–oz. pack has a $1.99 SRP.
Sibu Sura Chocolates
Sibu Sura is a bean-to-bar single origin chocolate maker based in Myersville, Maryland. Its factory, which opened last year, produces chocolate using Fair Trade, natural and organic ingredients and its packaging is Forest Stewardship Council-certified. The name refers to two deities in a northern Andes creation myth who seek to restore balance in nature.
Sibu Sura sources its beans direct from Peru. “I was drawn to these beans because of their fruity, nutty flavors,” explains Julie Mclean, ceo/founder/head chocolatier. The company sells bars, roasted nibs and chef’s blocks for baking and food service uses. The solid bars are approximately 35-40 g/1.2 – 1.6 oz and have a $3.49 S.R.P.
NibMor was founded in 2009 by Heather Terry and Jennifer Love. The Long Island, N.Y.-based company’s mantra is “LiveMor, GiveMor and NibMor.”
LiveMor is all about living a healthy, active lifestyle; knowing your foods and what’s in them. It’s an inspiration drawn from the ladies’ backgrounds as certified Holistic Health Coaches. Additionally, Terry learned chocolate making at the French Culinary Institute. NibMor bars are certified organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, vegan, gluten-free, kosher and GMO-free.
NibMor, which Love says stands for either nibble more or cacao nibs, also implies moderation and portion control; convenient and easy-on-the-go packaging. Additionally, the amount of product packaging has also been reduced by 70%. The 62-g/2.2-oz. bars sell between $3.99 - $4.79.
This Viola, Wis.-based company has ten snack bar SKUs, all of which are organic, vegan, macrobiotic, use ethical ingredient sourcing, non-GMO and gluten-free. President Amelia Kirchoff credits her company’s success to several factors: producing a truly healthy product, timing; ingredient sourcing, distribution and sampling.
“When it’s their health, people don’t let the economy affect them,” says Kirchoff. “Their food becomes very important to them.” She developed the bars as a nutritious macrobiotic sweet snack when she was recovering from the trauma of breast cancer. Her first sales were to consumers with significant health issues: those with wheat allergies, vegans, diabetics to treat hypo-glycemia and, most recently, consumers with gastro paresis. Apparently, a blogger hosting a gastro paresis-centered web site discovered that four of Go Macro’s ten bars are easily digestible, especially the Chocolate Protein bar. Although it’s a small, tight-knit community that’s dealing with gastro paresis, it created a buzz. Because the bars contained so many healthy benefits, distribution expanded rapidly in the natural/organic food segment. The 65-g/2.3-oz. .bars retail for $2.89.
Curtis Vreeland, president of Vreeland & Associates, specializes in confectionery market research. He has been spotting trends in the premium confectionery sector for Candy Industry for five years.