The Belgium-based company has been selling the brand in the US and Israel for over a year and now plans to expand.
Lavlé is produced using Barry Callebaut’s Acticoa , a high cocoa flavanol chocolate that has an EU-approved claim to say it maintains normal blood flow.
Targeting health channels
Jennifer Moriconi, co-founder and CEO of the Good Chocolate Company told ConfectioneryNews her business would target niche channels such as drug stores and health & wellness centers.
“I don’t want it in the mainstream at the moment,” she said. “It’s not the moment as the health claim is not well understood.”
The Good Chocolate Company is the second chocolate firm to launch a product using Barry Callebaut’s health claim in the EU, after Belgian firm Vandenbulcke introduced its brand ChoVita earlier this year.
€7.50 per pack
Lavlé is sold in a 170 g pack containing 10 g bars and comes with a recommended retail price of €7.50 ($8.49).
Moriconi said the price point was another barrier for mainstream retail at this stage.
Each 10 g sugar-sweetened bar has 53 calories and 200 mg of cocoa flavanols. The brand has 65% cocoa solids and contains no palm oil or GMOs.
“You cannot add anything to Acticoa if you want to use the health claim,” said Moriconi. “You have to use it pure… it’s a real challenge.”
Last year, her company purchased two metric tons (MT) of Acticoa, which uses special processing to maintain cocoa flavanols. The Lavlé brand is produced in Belgium by a contract manufacturer.
Cocoa trading to healthy chocolate
The Good Chocolate Company is part of the JHB Group, which has traded cocoa beans for more than 30 years. Moriconi’s business partner is a cocoa trader to companies such as Barry Callebaut and Belcolade.
Around a year ago, Moriconi and her business partner started to explore better-for-you chocolate and analyzed magnesium levels in chocolate made from Ugandan cocoa beans.
The pair acquired a cocoa plantation in Uganda and began planting trees, which will take five years to yield beans.
But Moriconi changed tact after speaking to Barry Callebaut and switched from its own beans to the suppliers’ Acticoa Chocolate.
Lavlé packs previously claimed the product contained cocoa flavanols, but now the company is revamping its packaging to use Barry Callebaut’s European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)-approved health claim.
New packs will carry the claim "good for the cardiovascular system" or "good for blood flow," said Moriconi.
Mars builds cocoa flavanol awareness
The CEO said Mars had helped build awareness of health benefits of cocoa when marketing its supplement brand CocoaVia.
Mars has previously said chocolate is unsuitable as a health food due to its caloric content. The multinational’s CocoaVia range is comprised of capsules and powdered sticks rather than chocolate.
The Good Chocolate Company launched raw cocoa bean brand Goood beanz in October last year after spotting a trend of athletes consuming raw cocoa beans. The brand uses sterilized Trinidadian beans, which were chosen for their lack of bitterness. The Good Chocolate Company has a SKU covered in sugar sweetened Belgian dark chocolate, and a stevia sweetened version. The brand will move into the same markets as Lavlé and will be positioned in the nut aisle.