Microbial Fermentation Comes to the Alt Sugar Market In Oobli Chocolate Bars
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Oobli, the California-based food tech company focused on sweet protein via microbial fermentation, has launched its first product.
Following its rebrand from Joywell Foods, Oobli’s first product is a sweet-protein-powered line of chocolate in three styles: 70% Silky Cacao, Sea Salt Flakes, and Raspberry Bits.
Oobli says its new chocolate is gut-healthy, diabetic-friendly, and contains 70 percent less sugar than conventional chocolate bars.
What is sweet protein?
“We are on a mission to transform the world with healthy sweetness, and we’re very excited to announce the first-ever, sweet-protein-powered products in the form of decadent, delicious chocolate bars,” Oobli CEO Ali Wing, said in a statement. “Oobli sweet proteins are good for your health and climate-friendly, but it’s the taste that keeps people coming back for more. Stay tuned for even more sweet treats to come from Oobli in 2023.”
Oobli is using a proprietary microbial fermentation process to produce nature-identical sweet proteins — the same tech alt milk company Perfect Day uses to reproduce dairy proteins without the cow.
Derived from fruit, the products deliver a sugar-like sweetness without the sugar spike. Oobli says its precision fermentation process is also more climate-friendly than other products.
The company has about half-a-dozen fruit-derived proteins with plans to use them across confectionery products, soft drinks, and other foods. Oobli says its protein can work anywhere sugar is used.
Sugar alternative market
“We’re biologically predisposed to crave sugar, so it’s not something we should actually feel so bad about,” Wing told TechCrunch earlier this year.
“If you really look at consumption today, over 70 percent of consumers are actively seeking to reduce sugar in their diets and the No. 1 culprit for that is daily added sugars,” she said. “We just need to solve it differently, and that’s the beauty of technology and what we are doing.”
The tech offers a breakthrough in the sugar replacement category dominated by artificial sweeteners including aspartame and stevia. The global artificial sweetener market was valued at around $7.2 billion last year and expected to reach nearly $10 billion by 2028, according to recent data.
Investors are sweet on Oobli’s tech, too. It recently raised a $25 million Series B with funding led by Piva Capital with participation from B37 Ventures and Global Brain Corporation, as well as existing investors Khosla Ventures, Evolv Ventures, SOSV IndieBio, and Alumni Ventures.