Natural Products Expo East

Chocxo innovates at the intersection of indulgence and lower sugar to help consumers balance physical, mental wellness goals

This content item was originally published on, a William Reed online publication.

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chocolate Indulgence better-for-you sugar reduction

Sugar has emerged as public enemy No. 1 among consumers and FDA is looking for sugar reduction strategies at the behest of the White House – and yet, most Americans still want moments of indulgence with many people justifying them as much-needed support for their mental wellness.

At the intersection of these seemingly contradictory trends is an opportunity for products that are truly indulgent and better-for-you – two boxes that Chocxo checks with its line of high quality chocolates.

“Really what Chocxo has been trying to do is innovate with what we would call permissible or feel-good indulgences. They provide the indulgence that you want in that moment of relaxation – self-care, some might say – but it doesn’t do so at the detriment of the sugar amount that consumers are looking to stay within their diet,” Kristen Mandel, vice president of marketing at Chocxo, told FoodNavigator at Natural Products Expo East in Philadelphia earlier this month.

While Chocxo is low in sugar, it is not free from sugar – and that is on purpose, Mandel said.

“Consumers want true indulgence, and often that true indulgence comes by sweetening with the real thing,” which is cane sugar, she said. “A lot of times those sugar alternatives don’t deliver on taste and taste is king – especially in chocolate. That’s why consumers and chocolate fans come to the category – it is because they want something that tastes great.”

Chocxo is able to deliver the full flavor that consumers want without all the sugar because it has two “not so secret weapons” – two classically trained chocolatiers on staff and the high quality ingredients they source.

“We source very, very high quality cocoa beans from two specific regions from Peru and the Dominican Republic. The cocoa beans that come from those areas are naturally more flavorful, fruity and nutty. They taste so fantastic that they need less sugar taste amazing,” Mandel explained.

Innovation promises consumer engagement through the seasons

At Natural Products Expo East, Chocxo showcased two new products shipping in January and two season items, including an Nexty award winner.

The products going out in the new year include a dark chocolate coconut cup that has an 85% cacao shell with a creamy coconut center and only three grams of sugar per cup. This launch will be followed in the spring by a dark milk chocolate toffee almond and sea salt snap, which Mandel says “is quickly becoming a fan favorite.”

This holiday season, the company will offer consumers two peppermint options – a dark milk chocolate, peppermint and cookie crunch, which won a Nexty award at this Expo East, and an organic dark chocolate peppermint cup.

Looking forward, the company plans to continue to innovate in its current formats and bring new flavors to snaps and cups, as well as new seasonal product – including a lemon series set to launch in the spring.

“We are so excited to keep bringing the true indulgence with lower sugar from Chocxo for everyone to be able to have those feel good moments,” Mandel concluded.  

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