The initial offering consists of six products: for anti-aging, stress free, strong bones, pre-natal, sweet dreams and vitamin bars. They are available at wholesale under the ChocoMed Pure Chocolate label, or can be custom-packaged at volume.
The decision to use high quality chocolate as a delivery system for dietary supplement is particularly interesting since market experts have been advising the companies to align add functional ingredients to food products that are already considered healthy, for a better chance of capturing consumer interest.
For example, yogurt products are already considered to be healthy foods, and therefore a more appropriate carrier than, say, cake for cholesterol-lowering plant sterols or probiotics.
On the other hand, chocolate may not be considered as inherently unhealthy food as it once was, due to recent attention paid to the health-promoting properties of cocoa.
A number of studies in the last five years have indicated that antioxidant polyphenols found in cocoa could have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, the immune system, or exert an anti-cancer activity.
Confectionary giant Mars, maker of CocoaVia, and Barry Callebaut, the company behind Acticoa, are amongst the companies that have invested in upping the polyphenol content of their chocolate.
But for ChocoMed, the focus is not so much on the chocolate itself as on the added nutraceuticals that its products contain. Dr Bill Donovan, chairman and president, said that persuading patients to comply with a regime is always a challenge for medical practitioners, and the new products could help with this.
"Most of us are familiar with the Mary Poppins song that which told all our children that 'Just a Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down'," he said. But until sweet products loaded with nutrients have been aimed only at children - such as vitamin Gummi Bears.
"The same nutraceuticals that taste bad to children taste bad to adults too."
Making the chocolates taste nice has been a major challenge for ChocoMed over the past two years - as has finding a safe way to combine the nutraceuticals with the chocolate without breaking down the chocolate matrix.
Tim Donovan, managing director and product development coordinator said that the company has "accumulated reams of studies confirming the good, and verifying the safeness of [the] products."
He said that the company is currently working on several more nutraceutical solutions in truffles and bars, and that it hopes to deliver medical solutions through chocolates in the future.