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Monk fruit sweetened cookies to entice diabetic markets, claims Koochikoo

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By Oliver Nieburg+

27-Jun-2013
Last updated on 27-Jun-2013 at 13:33 GMT2013-06-27T13:33:28Z

US brand Koochikoo is anticipating strong sales for its sugar free cookies sweetened with monk fruit in markets with high diabetic populations
US brand Koochikoo is anticipating strong sales for its sugar free cookies sweetened with monk fruit in markets with high diabetic populations

The maker of a new sugar free cookie sweetened with monk fruit extract claims its product is set for big things in markets with high diabetes rates such as Australia and Saudi Arabia.

US brand Koochikoo uses a monk fruit extract as an alternative to sugar in its new cookie product and adds erythritol as a bulking agent.

Expensive monk fruit

“We spent a year on the R&D because monk fruit is such a sweet compound it’s very difficult to work with,” brand manager Sally Cox told this site.

Monk Fruit is native to Southern Asia and is 200 times sweeter than sugar.

Cox said that monk fruit cost $450 per kg making it “super expensive”.  Koochikoo cookies will retail for $3.99 or $3.49 on promotion. The brand manager said this meant the firm was working on “slim margins”.

Appeal in diabetic markets: Australia and Saudi Arabia

The company is targeting Walgreens, Kroger and CostCo in the US and already has an agreement with Whole Foods Market.

Koochikoo has a sister company in global distribution for natural and organic brands, which gives its own cookie brand a platform to launch internationally.

As well as the US, the product will sell in the Philippines, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, China and Japan.

Cox anticipates that the sugar free appeal of the product will draw sales in markets with high levels of diabetes. She said Australia would be a strong market as around 25% of people are diabetic.

Although not selling there yet, Saudi Arabis is another potential market, she said, because the number of people considered diabetic or pre-diabetic is as high as 75%. The company is working through the regulations in the market presently.

 “The diabetic market is huge and retailers realize that,” said Cox.

No EU novel foods

Europe is not an option for the moment as monk fruit has no EU novel foods approval, however, monk Fruit supplier BioVittoria is currently working on a submission.

The Koochikoo cookies are set to launch in Asia in July and in the US in September.

‘All natural’ claim

The brand is claiming “world’s first all natural sugar free cookie”. We put it to Cox that this was quite a big claim to make.

She said:  “There is nobody doing what we’re doing not using sorbitol or maltitol,” which are the two most common sweeteners in confectionery and are considered unnatural.

Cox argued that stevia was unnatural because it was typically procured through chemical extraction and usually used sorbitol or maltitol to support it.

Other companies have launched ‘natural’ cookies sweetened with stevia. Koochikoo even uses the sweetener for its own Blissful Chocolatey Brownie cookies.

A German court earlier this month ruled that manufacturers could not suggest stevia was natural on labels. The European Stevia Association (EUSTAS) and the International Stevia Council (ISC) condemned the decision in a joint statement. The associations said Steviol glycosides occur originally in the leaves of the stevia plant and are extracted using conventional plant extraction described in the Regulation (EU) No 231/2012.

GMO free and low calories

The Koochikoo brand launch uses organic unsweetened chocolate chips and an organic strawberry extract. However, the butter is not certified organic. Cox said it was ”financially impractical” to procure cerfified butter and added that it was not a prerequisite in the Non-GMO Project standards.

The cookies also include soluble corn fiber – which gives the product 5g of fiber per serving. Six cookies qualify for an excellent source of fiber claim under Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

The company claims the product contains 25% fewer calories than conventional sugar cookies.

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Lou Han Guo

Mogroside IV is a component with no sweet taste. Mogroside A, Mogroside II, and Neomogroside are bitterness substance. In all cucurbitane glycoside, Siamenside I is the sweetest component, whose sweetness is approximate 563 times of sucrose. But its content in the fruit is very low. The content and sweet degree both high in all the mogrosides is Mogroside V, the sweet degree of which is approximate 256-344 times.

Advantage:
1. High sweet degree. Approximate 300 times of sucrose.
2. Low calories. In an equal degree of sweet, Mogrosides’ calorie is only 2% of that of sucrose’s.
3. Fine light color and fine water soluble. Mogrosides is a kind of yellowish powder and easily soluble in water.
4. Fine stability. It has excellent heat stability and wouldn’t be spoiled even in 100℃ neutral water or in 120℃ air for hours. In addition, it can be maintained under PH value 2.0~10.0 for two years without quality affected.
5. Safe and dependable. Experimentations shows its LD50 value more than 100g/kg; and no side effects found during thousands years using by Chinese people.

Please contact me for more information or samples

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Posted by Thomas C Kelly
27 June 2013 | 21h002013-06-27T21:00:36Z

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