'Sexy' chilli chocolate hits market

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

A UK food company has found a unique way to target the growing
functional confectionery market, mixing aromatherapy with
chocolate.

Next week, the Feeding Your Imagination company are set to launch a variety of chocolate bars containing oils which claim to boost mood, sex drive and energy levels and carry intriguing names such as 'Dreamy', 'Sexy' and 'Sensual'.

The company is one of a number of chocolate-makers turning to more innovative ingredients as the functional foods market expands on the back of consumer demand for products that do more than satisfy hunger.

Chef Paul Da Costa Greaves, who runs a restaurant in South West England, spent two years formulating the unusual products which contain Belgium chocolate and oils and spices such as geranium, rose, ginger and chilli.

He told confectionerynews.com the idea was prompted by restaurant customers who were asking for specific foods to aid with digestion, increase energy or even boost libido.

The 'Sexy' bar, so-called as it contains arousing chilli, is expected to be particularly popular as it promises to increase metabolism as well as acting as an aphrodisiac.

Capsaicin, the compound that gives red chilli pepper its heat, has been reported by several studies to boost heat generation by the body, which means people burn more energy.

As well as being health-driven, functional products, the chocolate bars also tap into ethical consumer concerns by using organic cocoa.

Da Costa Greaves said: "The product is about well-being and it was important to use good quality chocolate so it had to be organic."

The range of six bars - 'Dreamy', 'Beautiful', 'Fantastic', 'Lovely', 'Sexy' and 'Sensual' - will be priced at £3.95 (€5.86) for 100g.

Available in white and milk chocolate varieties, Da Costa Greaves said there were no plans for the range to extend into the niche dark chocolate sector as the bitter taste impaired the flavour of the added oils and spices.

The range will be on display at the International Speciality and Fine Foods Fair which runs from 3 September to 5 September 2006 in London.

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