U.S. Chocolate Giant Hershey To Launch Low GI, Plant-Based Chocolates

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Hershey recently announced that it will be launching its plant-based sugar chocolates as a part of the ‘Better-for-you’ category with an investment in a company that is developing sugars that have fewer calories than conventional chocolates and a negligible glycemic index impact.

The U.S. chocolate giant, Hershey that also sells other confectionary items, has partnered with American Sugar Refining, a member of the ASR Group, a leading sweetener company to co-lead an equity investment in Bonumose, a startup that works on innovations in plant-based food ingredients, including rare and natural sugars.

Part of Hershey’s C7 Ventures, this investment will open up new directions for the company’s growth as well as will kickstart an R&D partnership to offer not only reduced sugar chocolates but expand the BFY portfolio.

Bonumose created and patented a production process for high-purity rare sugars such as tagatose and allulose, developed from plant-based, low-cost, abundant starches that the company claims has fewer calories than traditional sugars with a negligible glycemic index impact but the same texture and taste without the addition of dextrose or maltodextrin which is high on the glycemic index (GI), causing a spike in blood sugar and though it’s safe to consume in minimal quantities, those with diabetes should prefer not taking it.

Without revealing any further details about the plant-based chocolate alternatives, Hershey’s chief growth officer, Kristen Riggs said: “We are the leader in US confection. And, our consumers rely on us to understand their needs for everyday moments, seasons, and special occasions, offering high-quality and great tasting candy that’s accessible for everyone. Expanding our expertise, building new capabilities and delivering more choices in better-for-you confection is the next big category opportunity for us to lead.”

We’re setting the foundation for long-term sustainable growth in the better-for-you category. Everything we do is led by our consumers and our commitment to deliver only the most delicious snacks. We’re driven to provide more choices to ensure they enjoy our brands and products in ways that are right for them

Chuck Raup, president, Hershey

The ‘Better-for-you’ category usually includes a multitude of interests such as those looking for plant-based ingredients and sugar reduction products. Previously, Hershey worked on portion-controlled choices and now it plans to expand its range of products to include reduced sugar, organic and plant-based alternatives.

Hershey President Chuck Raup said that the company is setting the foundation for long-term sustainable growth in the better-for-you category. “Everything we do is led by our consumers and our commitment to deliver only the most delicious snacks. We’re driven to provide more choices to ensure they enjoy our brands and products in ways that are right for them.”

Bonumose already has patents granted or allowed in the U.S., Europe, China, and many more with previous investors including Applied Food Sciences, Cure8 Ventures, Next Gen Nutrition Investment Fund and several more.

Rob Sproull, ASR Group’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Product Development highlighted the group’s commitment to provide customers with solutions to meet their sweetening needs. “Sugar sets a high bar in terms of taste, functionality and cost, and most sugar alternatives fall short. Our investment in Bonumose expands our portfolio to provide customers with sugar alternatives that offer full flavor, closely-matching functionality across multiple food and beverage applications, and at a lower cost than other alternatives.”

With Hershey having more than 80 world-famous brands including stalwarts Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty, and which drive more than US$8 billion in annual revenues, this new addition could disrupt the plant-based sugar chocolate market around the world.

Vegan chocolates are having a moment around the world with several brands investing in these products for instance just days ago, according to an insider organization, global food giant Nestlé will be soon unveiling a vegan version of its KitKat chocolate having vegan chocolate’ as its first ingredient and created using vegan wafers.

James Cadbury, the owner of artisan chocolate brand Love Cocoa also announced plans to debut Happiness in Plants (HiP), a new chocolate line that is entirely vegan. Last year Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli also announced it will launch a range of vegan chocolate bars created with oat milk and available in 100% recyclable packaging.


Lead image courtesy of Facebook Business News.


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