“Our recipe demonstrates that being sugar free and indulgent are not mutually exclusive,” co-founder, Cynthia Tice, said. “You don’t miss the sugar when you eat our bars.”
Tice is a long-time advocate for natural foods. She partnered with her friend Chuck Genuardi after they spotted the opportunity for a healthier alternative to the chocolate using the plant-based sweetener, stevia.
Since the business launched in 2011, Lily’s Sweets has been manufacturing all gluten-free and non-GMO chocolate bars, snack bars, baking chips and baking bars. The company also offers several vegan versions, such as blood orange dark chocolate bar and sea salt dark chocolate bar.
The company recently unveiled two new chocolate bars: 40% caramelized and salted milk chocolate bar and 70% dark salted almond chocolate bar.
Trial & error: key to subduing stevia’s bitter aftertaste
Tice said that testing formulations is important to reducing the bitter aftertaste of stevia.
“It’s all about the recipe. All of our chocolate is sweetened with stevia instead of sugar,” she said. “When exploring a new recipe, we taste and revise it until we find one that chocolate eaters will enjoy.”
Stay ahead of consumer trends
Tice said she is excited to see more companies who are interested in reducing the amount of sugar in people’s everyday diets. Instead of competing with bigger companies in the market, Lily’s Sweets will stay focused on its mission of using fair trade ingredients.
However, one challenge better-for-you products often face is “tracking latest health food movements without investing in passing fads,” Tice said.
“We stay ahead of food trends by investing in our customers… We want to be sure our latest and greatest chocolate is going to be in-demand for years to come,” she said.
“There will always be people who love sugar and people who prefer to avoid it,” Tice added. “There’s a market for both categories, and companies that understand their niche will stay relevant.”
Lily’s Sweets is one of the few brands in the US that only offers sugar-free chocolate, and its products are available both online at Amazon and in-store at Whole Foods.