The company has released a new flavor, Cocoa Mocha Praline, to help expand its line and perhaps grow interest across the rest of the country.
Its praline is an extremely popular treat in the southern US, but is not well known across the rest of the country.
The new flavor is currently available in the company’s retail store in Texas and on their website’s shop.
Introducing a new audience to pralines
Michael Pocrass, chief operating officer at Aunt Aggie De's Pralines, told ConfectioneryNews that he recently moved to Texas from Seattle to work with the company.
He believes the cocoa nibs and coffee flavors in this new variety will help make the candy more accessible to consumers outside of the South.
“We’re trying to do things the same way but add some new twists to what the company is doing,” he said. “We wanted to do a little bit of a northwest twist on the praline. I was looking at some of the flavors we’d use out there and experimenting some things … This is kind of a flavor we can reach out to new audience with.”
The biggest challenge will now be reaching out to the rest of the country and growing appreciation for the southern candy treat.
Aunt Aggie De’s currently sells 90% of its products via the wholesale channel; Pocrass said they will now start reaching out to coffee shops across the country for sale at the register, saying theirs candy needs to sell quickly due to the lack of preservatives and level of freshness.
“We’re not an aisle candy,” he said. “This isn’t a candy that sits on the shelf or six to nine months.”
With this new flavor, Pocrass said they wanted to give customers more choice via another variety.
“We’re not a large company,” he said. “We’re small, but we’re trying to grow and expand. Having a different type of variety and reaching out to more tastes, we see that as good for our business and for giving to the customers more to choose from.”
A healthy indulgence
Eleanor Harren, who founded the company in 1987 and still owns it, said although the pralines are a treat, the companies believes they offer some redeemable healthy qualities.
“It’s very important,” she told ConfectioneryNews. “My husband was a doctor and he didn’t want anyone eating anything that had anything in it that was not healthy”
The company touts the fact that pecans are rich in monounsaturated fats and fiber and that cocoa nibs are the least processed form of chocolate, as well as the candy’s gluten-free, all-natural status.
Pocrass said they’re trying to appeal to multiple different kinds of audiences, but knows there are now plenty of people looking for a 'better for you' indulgence.
“We’re using that trend to our advantage,” he said. “People are more and more reading the ingredients on the label, and everything on ours is all-natural.”
“We’re finding good success. We’re not trying to be everywhere in every store across the country. Our goal is to be premium gourmet and appeal to people who appreciate having the best praline possible.”
Health factors are of consequence to consumers, as a recent Mintel report on snacking showed that 60% of consumers wish there were healthier snack and treat options available.