At Food Matters Live 2018, Harriet Jachec spoke with Gavin Cox, co-founder of Montrose Chocolate Ventures, about the company’s innovative approach to confectionery.
On display at the event were brands such as Benefit and Cox & Co, each with unique product options. Cox explained how the company has tailored their products to consumers who bear functional benefits in mind when purchasing confectionery.
Of Benefit, he said: “This is a range of 85% cacao, vitimin enriched-chocolates. We’ve got a protein bar in there which has 19g of protein per 100g and is plant-based; a vitamin-enriched product; and an energy product.”
This particular range is also paired with complementing beverages, which Cox said is in order to maximise opportunities in the guilt-free indulgence market.
“I was looking to expand the reach of the Benefit brand with complementary products.
“I started thinking about the benefits of chocolate – high cacao is inarguably good for you. 85% chocolate is full of flavanols and antioxidants. And I thought the match with the drinks would work well; consumers and buyers are saying that it’s a reasonable match. Guilt-free indulgence is a growing trend with consumers so hopefully, we’re ticking that box.”
In terms of the consumer base, Cox said “Benefit appeals to consumers who are working towards a vegan diet, leading a healthier lifestyle, and are trying to reduce sugar intake – by having 85% cacao included in this line, they are lower in sugar than standard chocolates.”
Sugar reduction is important to the Benefit brand, also seen in its low in sugar beverage line. This will draw consumers in who are seeking to lead healthier lifestyles and indulge in snacking without compromising on health.
The company’s brand Cox & Co is also looking to diversify the confectionery sector with added ingredients such as bee pollen and chia seed, which Cox said was a decision made due to consumer interest.
“You look at the chocolate category and theres a lot of different brands out there using different chocolates from different regions and with different percentages, which is great because that adds interest to the category. But I am a foodie, and I was looking at the category and it struck me that there was an opportunity to blend superfoods with great tasting chocolate.”
With the rise in interest for superfoods in the food industry, Cox explained how Cox & Co followed these consumer behaviours and gained from this.
“We decided to use these behaviours to our benefit. However, just because something is different, does not mean that it tastes good – the feedback we’re getting is that people love the taste and that they’ve never tasted anything like it before.”
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