Carmit Candy Industries launches a new line of gluten-free chocolate clusters for healthy indulgence at Natural Products Expo West, Anaheim, March 7-9, 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/Gluten Intolerance and those following a gluten-free lifestyle,” explains 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% 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% 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 multi-pack. 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,” enthuses Adrian Sagman, VP 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% 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.