Product launch

Interview: Mayssa Chehata on how start-up brand Behave's gummies aims to disrupt the candy industry

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

Behave's new line of 'better-for-you' gummies. Pic: Behave
Behave's new line of 'better-for-you' gummies. Pic: Behave

Related tags: Candy, Gummies

D2C (direct-to-consumer) candy brand Behave launched onto the market this week with a ‘bold mission to reinvent the candy experience with its debut product - a low sugar, low net carb gummy, with exotic flavors and Instagrammable looks'.

Founder & CEO Mayssa Chehata told Confectionerynews the aim is to “bring joy and positivity to this playful new indulgence” ​to the $25bn candy industry.

Speaking on the phone from her home in New York City on the eve of the launch, Chehata said: “I've been a candy lover my whole life. I was probably someone brought up with kind of no candy in the house – and that makes you crazier for candy as a child.”

A self-confessed candy-lover and sweet tooth, Chehata feels the fun of enjoying candy fades as you grow older or can become a “convoluted experience​” meaning sometime you want to treat yourself but then feel guilty doing so “because you're not keeping up with the health metrics you've set for yourself​.”

'Being good'

The craving for candy may never leave a person, but our bodies change as we get older and Behave’s goal is turning the idea of ‘being good’ on its head by making it easy to enjoy candy again, with ‘better-for-you, all natural ingredients and chef-crafted, inventive flavors’.

Mayssa Chehata Behave 750

What we love about the flavors that we landed on is that they're sort of premium or more elevated … a little bit more unique and outside the box of what you would find in traditional candy -- Mayssa Chehata, CEO, Behave

Spotting an opening in the market based on her personal experiences of looking for a clean-label, tasty gummy, Chehata has collaborated with celebrity chef and James Beard award nominee Elizabeth Falkner (‘Head of Candy’) to create gluten-free recipes and flavors that include lychee (a classic in French patisserie), passionfruit, and raspberry.

Elizabeth is a celebrity chef with an incredible background in the pastry world, so she's really familiar with confection and was really passionate and got really excited when I told her about the idea … because she's really on board with reducing sugar and just helping people generally eat better and feel better about the foods that they're eating​.”

Behave started in the kitchen with the two of them experimenting with new ingredients to explore what they could do to make a product that was both better for you, but still taste amazing.

Flavor variations

Chehata says they tested over a hundred different flavor variations – and ones you won’t find in in conventional candy.

“What we love about the flavors that we landed on is that they're sort of premium or more elevated … a little bit more unique and outside the box of what you would find in traditional candy. But we also wanted to present consumers with something that is going to feel nostalgic - we don't want to shock them too much​.”

Behave gummies (1)

Offering both sweet and sour gummy bear varieties, each Behave bag contains only 3g sugar, 6g net carb, 90 calories, and is naturally sweetened with monk fruit.

Bringing her background in brand building and marketing at Daily Harvest, Uber and SoulCycle, Chehata also introduces modern, minimalist and fun packaging, with bright and electric color choices and a logo with a strikeout that implies saying ‘no to food guilt, yes to indulgence’.

Pop

Using natural ingredients also makes the colors ‘pop’ and look great on Instagram, a key area for the millennial target market.

My background really is in brand marketing and I've managed influencer marketing and social media and creative content at a number of different brands​,” says Chehata.

So, you know, that is always going to be in the back of my mind of anything that I do. In developing the products, we were very focused on obviously the taste and the experience and making sure that this is a product that people are going to want to come back for more​.

I think that everything needs to be done in a way where it's going to look great on Instagram, where it's going to be shareable, where someone is going to want to show this off on their desk or in their purse, or show it off to their friends … and that thinking went really heavily into the product itself - and then of course, the packaging and design and branding as well​.”

Bypassing the conventional candy model, Behave​ will also take a direct-to-consumer approach, while expanding distribution in the future.

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