Carmit Candy Industries is launching a new line of gluten-free chocolate clusters for healthy indulgence at Natural Products Expo West, Anaheim, March 7 to 9, booth #571. The new line will be available in multiple international markets.
“Our new line of gluten-free clusters targets both the mainstream market and the specific niches of people suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance and those following a gluten-free lifestyle,” explained Steve Grun, CEO of Carmit. “This has been a strong focus for Carmit over the past decade.”
Global confectionery launches with a gluten-free positioning increased by 46 percent in 2013 from 2012, according to Innova Database. While this indicates significant growth in gluten-free claims, gluten-free product-launch activity is still relatively niche for confectionery. Only 7 percent of confectionery product launches tracked in 2013 filled such positioning.
A cluster is a snack, based on a blend of ingredients that does not have a structured or consistent shape. The gluten-free clusters line includes a wide range of combinations of gluten-free cereals and dried fruits or nuts, and is covered in either chocolate or yogurt. The clusters can be custom packed in different sizes and shapes as private label for marketers, restaurant chains and retailers, and for on-the-go packages or a multipack. All are designed to address a healthy, gluten-free lifestyle.
“We launched the line regionally and gained rapid success in food chains and health-food stores, culminating in our winning the prestigious ‘Product of the Year Award’ this week,” enthused Adrian Sagman, vice president of export marketing and sales for Carmit.
A significant industry challenge is in how to blend cereals such as cornflakes and rice puffs with nuts and/or dry fruits, and bind them with 70 percent chocolate in a way that the inclusions are not dominated by the chocolate and maintain overall great taste and texture. To achieve this, Carmit conducted a number of trials to hit the perfect balance in percentage of each ingredient and viscosity of the chocolate. The final product is a remarkably rich, bite-sized cluster of crispy cereals and chewy dried fruits, covered in milk or dark chocolate.