- Israeli food tech company DouxMatok has partnered with ingredient maker Blommer Chocolate Company to produce chocolate with much less sugar. The first product from this partnership is chocolate-flavored chips made with DouxMatok's Incredo Sugar.
- The new chocolate-flavored chips, which are available to Blommer customers in North America, taste like a regular chocolate chip but have fewer calories, higher fiber and 50% less sugar, according to a press release. Blommer and DouxMatok have also developed a range of other Incredo Sugar chocolate ingredients, the statement said.
- As food companies try to reduce their products' sugar content — especially those in the confectionery space — products are launching that use sweeteners ranging from allulose to sugars from upcycled food waste. These will be the first U.S. chocolates using DouxMatok's tastebud-tricking sweetener derived from cane sugar.
For years, DouxMatok has been perfecting its less-sugar sweetener and working to formulate products that both taste and behave identical to their full-sugar counterparts. This partnership with Blommer, said to be the largest cocoa processor and chocolate ingredient maker in North America, will offer many U.S. consumers the chance to enjoy lower-sugar versions of favorite treats.
According to the statement from DouxMatok and Blommer, R&D on the product took a year. A few Blommer customers have been receiving the Incredo Sugar chocolate ingredients, and the statement said they have received high marks so far.
"We’ve been working to provide a reduced-sugar chocolate offering for a long time, and when we began working with Incredo Sugar, we knew it would be successful,” David Meggs, Blommer chief operating officer, said in a written statement. “Until now, we’ve only been able to offer full sugar or zero sugar products, without a sufficient offering for sugar-reduced chocolate that meets our high taste and sweetness expectations."
If these new Incredo Sugar chocolate products truly have the same taste and function as their traditional counterparts, they could change the game for sugar reduction in confections. Unlike many other sweeteners, Incredo Sugar actually is sugar. To create it, DouxMatok adds a carrier compound to ordinary sugar, which creates a cluster of the sweetener. The sugar clusters linger on the tongue, optimizing flavor — and ensuring the consumer tastes all of the sugar they eat, according to the company.
And with real sugar as the sweetener, it could get easier for manufacturers to reformulate products. Manufacturers using Incredo Sugar products will only need to create options that behave the same — which still can be difficult given the bulking and browning properties sugar brings to products. They don't also have to correct the taste of an alternative sweetener, some of which can have shades of bitterness or acute sweetness.
A partnership with Blommer can also advance the prevalence and popularity of less-sugar chocolate products, an area with a lot of room for growth. Only about 6% of candy, mint and gum sales come from products defined as better-for-you, according to IRI data cited by Hershey last year. Breakthroughs in lower-sugar chocolates could add up to sales. While Hershey has invested in a partnership with rare sugar maker Bonumose to develop consumer chocolates using rare and naturally occurring sweeteners, this collaboration between DouxMatok and Blommer could be just as far-reaching, considering the array of manufacturers that use Blommer's products.
The partnership with Blommer may be DouxMatok's first with a key ingredient provider in the United States, but it is unlikely to be the last. In 2021, DouxMatok partnered with Italy-based bulking ingredient maker Hi-Food to create fully integrated, lower-sugar sweetener solutions that can be used in different applications.
DouxMatok also just named experienced innovator Kelly Thompson as its senior vice president and head of North America. Thompson comes to DouxMatok from Continental Mills, where she served as the senior vice president of research & development/quality. In her three decades of work in food R&D, she's worked in senior positions at Dean Foods and Kraft Foods, creating consumer products designed to drive growth. DouxMatok has an ingredient that could be used in many CPG products, and Thompson has the experience to forge partnerships to help it become more ubiquitous.