UK-based chocolate giant Cadbury has taken the plunge into functional foods by adding two energy products to its popular Boost range of chocolate bars.
Cadbury spokesman Tony Bilsborough said the new additions, Boost Guarana and Boost Glucose, are a direct attempt by the company to tap into the growing energy supplements market, estimated to be worth $1.2 billion in the UK alone. They are the first mainstream functional bars launched by a major confectionery player in the UK and will be available in most UK vendors.
Bilsborough said Boost bars were formulated to bridge a gap between two distinct product categories—popular energy drinks such as Red Bull and regular chocolate bars.
Bilsborough said extensive taste testing had been carried out to ensure the taste of the product wasn't compromised by the functional ingredients. "Ultimately, it is a chocolate bar and it must taste good. We are trying to marry the functional benefits with the good taste people have come to expect from Cadbury."
A spokeswoman for New York-based ingredients supplier Balchem Encapsulates, Vernetta Dally, said improvements in encapsulation technologies means it is now possible to get nutrients into chocolate without compromising the taste and [therefore that] chocolate manufacturers had more options open to them than ever before.
One market analyst said the market had been ripe for such a product for some time. "It is clever niche marketing," he said. "The bar format slips conveniently into our lifestyles. People are increasingly busy and hence trading off sleep. This is likely to be a successful prodcut because it promises to give you energy in an easily digestible form.
The Guarana bar, containing 54mg of caffeine, will be marketed on its potential to deliver mental stimulation, while the Glucose bar will carry a physical pick-me-up message.