The concept called Candice Heaven uses sugar replacer xylitol, a white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar and commonly used in products aimed at promoting oral health, for both passive and active anti-caries effects.
"We are able to use xylitol to produce a low calorie and cool sensation candy," said Irene Tan Marketing Manager at Danisco.
Danisco claims Candice Heaven is central to its 'better for you' focus, in line with current health trends in the confectionery market. A growing market in Asia Pacific where 144 confectionery launches in 2006 featured low or reduced sugar, according to market researcher Euromonitor.
"It's catching up with the current waves of the confectionery market" said Irene Tan, referring to the new concept.
Xylitol belongs to the polyol family of sugar alcohols and is a naturally occurring polyol sweetener found in a host of fruits and vegetables. Xylitol is the sweetest of all polyols, is said to be safe for diabetics, and has no after taste.
The billion euro market for polyols is growing at just under three per cent, compared to over 8 per cent for high intensity sweeteners. Dental benefits could open up new sales growth areas for this polyol sugar replacer as it is used in a greater number of healthy products.
Overall, the Asia Pacific confectionery market is showing signs of steady growth. It was worth $20m in 2005 and is forecast to grow to $25m by 2010, Euromonitor figures reveal.