Kayco launches Chocolate Leather to appeal to better for you segment

By Hal Conick

- Last updated on GMT

Will Chocolate Leather speak to the better for you crowd?
Will Chocolate Leather speak to the better for you crowd?

Related tags Candy Nutrition Confectionery

Kosher product manufacturer Kayco has launched Chocolate Leather, a chewy candy bar lower in calories, fat and sugar than an average chocolate bar.

An entirely new manufacturing line was created to support the efficient production of Chocolate Leather, according to Glenn Schacher, consultant for Kayco who specializes in R&D and worked to create this product.

“It was a very difficult process,”​ Schacher said of refining the manufacturing of Chocolate Leather. “No one really makes this specialized in developing the technology to run it and mass produce it at high speed to get it at a reasonable consumer price point. We worked with the manufacturer now for at least a year and finally we are coming out with it now.”

Better for you and the kids

The company touts the bar as being free of GMOs, dairy and soy, as well as having 40% to 50% less sugar than traditional fruit leather bars and far less calories and fat than other chocolate bars. It features pure chocolate, cocoa nibs and brown rice crisps as ingredients. The bar contains 1.5 g of fat 0.5 oz with 50 to 60 calories, depending on if it’s dark chocolate (60 calories) or original chocolate (50 calories).

“I think that people are looking for low calorie [treats] for the last 50 years,”​ Schacher said. “People always want lower fat, lower calorie products. I think that’s something that really isn’t so trendy, it’s what people have been looking for over the years, and I think it’s growing … If you can get the product at the right price and it tastes good, then low-fat and low-calorie becomes gold.”

Schacher has spent the past two years developing this product in the hopes of winning over the hearts of those who diet and try to eat healthily. He wanted to produce a long-lasting chocolate treat that could last for a while.

“By chewing on this, it satisfies your craving for sweets without all the sugar you’d get form normal candy,”​ he said.

While Chocolate Leather started as something for the natural food crowd, he said he could see this treat becoming popular with children as well.

“I think it’s going to be parents who want their kids to eat healthier, it’s going to be people on diets and people concerned about health who like natural ingredients,” ​Schacher said. “I know my kids at school, the kids are asking for it … The demographics, I think, are going to stretch.”

Finding distribution for a unique product

Having the product find an immediate audience may be difficult, as Schacher calls Chocolate Leather “totally unique,”​ with his closest comparison being the Tootsie Roll. “But this is different,” ​he said.

Currently, Chocolate Leather is distributed across 200 stores in the New York Tri-State area, as well as Kosher stores in California and Florida.

The natural food industry has expressed a lot of interest so far, Schacher said, but his next goal for the product is to grow it across the nation.

When asked what kind of sales expectations he has for the product, he said it is too soon to tell. However, he said they will still know the full range of possibilities, as the product will be presented to many distributors and shops in the next two months.

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