The company entered the market at global sweets fair ISM in Cologne this January and also exhibited at nutraceutical trade show Vitafoods last week.
It has introduced two functional chocolates: collagen-fortified beauty chocolate and a well-being chocolate packed with vitamins.
Harvard graduate Anne Francoise Weyns-Papaleo started Nutricoa Ltd last year after 15 years in the British premium chocolate space with her company Artisan du Chocolat.
Portion-controlled delivery vehicle
Speaking to ConfectioneryNews, she said: “In the chocolate confectionery industry there's a difficulty as chocolate is seen as inherently unhealthy.
“We thought of just using it as a delivery mechanism and keeping it portion and calorie controlled. Because dark chocolate in its pure form is actually quite good for you.
"Instead of just eating chocolate, they can eat a chocolate that gives something back to them. It's chocolate's that love you back."
Nutricoa is positioned as a daily alternative to a multivitamins or supplement pill.
The no sugar added chocolate brand is sweetened with 15% to 23% of dried honey and is made with Colombian cocoa beans, chosen for their mild bitterness. A daily portion of 15 g contains 90 calories.
"We've noticed that when people buy vitamins and minerals it's not very easy to keep on taking it because it’s not easy to swallow a pill,” said Weyns-Papaleo.
"If anyone is like me they'll take vitamins and minerals in early January then by the end of January they've stopped because it's not pleasurable,” she said.
"Chocolate is really strong in taste, so it covers quite a lot of the taste of some of the things that are good for you, but don’t taste particularly nice,” the company founder continued.
Exports and channels
The UK-based company is also looking to target international markets.
"Generally Asia is quite big on health claims and beauty products," said Weyns-Papaleo "Also the Middle East. Any of those markets would be a primary target, but also Europe and the States,” she said.
The company founder expects the brand will lend itself to e-commerce via a subscription service and could be marketable on TV shopping channels.
Nutricoa is priced at around £12 ($17.50) for a week's supply. "Which is similar to if you were buying skin supplements for the equivalent amount of collagen," said Weyns-Papaleo. "We're trying to benchmark it more against supplements than chocolate," she said.
The company is targeting health stores, chocolate shops and pharmacies. Weyns-Papaleo said the product could fit in the regular chocolate aisle or next to supplements aisles.
Weyns-Papaleo continues to lead both Nutricoa Ltd and Artisan du Chocolat, which is the manufacturer of the Nutricoa brand.
Nutricoa Beauty and Well-being bars
The company's Nutricoa Beauty bar is 62% cocoa, 18% honey and 20% active ingredients.
The bar contains 2g of collagen from Peptan Collagen, 50 mg of hyaluronic acid as well as 100% of the nutrient reference value (NRV) for vitamins C, B2 and Biotin 75% of the NRV for zinc, and more than 50% of the NRV for iodine.
Also present is turmeric, beetroot, saffron extract, red grape extract and flavanols.
The company’s website claims the Nutricoa Beauty bar is a good source of vitamin B3, selenium and calcium and it claims benefits for skin, hair and nails.
The firm’s other bar Nutricoa Well-being is 70% cocoa, 22% honey and 8% active ingredients.
The product has 100% of the NRV for vitamins B6, B2, B5 and B12.