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Dark Chocolate Sees the Light

By: Kristen Walker, Mintel
Posted: May 18, 2009
Kristen Walker

Kristen Walker, Mintel.

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In Italy, for example, Covip recently introduced Farfalle Pasta with spicy chocolate, which consists of durum wheat semolina, dark chocolate and red chili. Similarly in the United Kingdom, New Covent Garden Food recently introduced Choc Full Of Beans Soup, which is made using all natural ingredients, including mildly spiced mixed bean chilli and dark chocolate.

Health and Functionality

With much research highlighting the virtues of dark chocolate’s high antioxidant content and purported heart health benefits, a number of products using chocolate as the marquee functional ingredient have recently hit the market. To boost the health credibility of the foods, several products have paired antioxidant-rich superfruits with dark chocolate in order to provide a powerful and tasty antioxidant delivery system.

In the United Kingdom, Xoçai Active Chocolate Flavoured Antioxidant Drink combines unprocessed cacao with açai berries, blueberries and concord grapes to create a rich dark chocolate taste and concentrated dose of antioxidants. This natural functional beverage contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Similarly, in the United States, Nutritious Living Antioxidant Indulgence Breakfast Cereal claims to support a healthy immune system by assisting the body's natural defense against free radicals. This all natural cereal contains dark chocolate, strawberries and goji berries, and is free from high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, preservatives or artificial sweeteners.

Dark Chocolate in Personal Care

In the increasingly competitive consumer products marketplace, many manufacturers are aiming to differentiate their products by reaching outside of their own categories for formulation inspiration. Outside of food and beverage, dark chocolate has proven a welcome component in the personal care sector, with several products incorporating the ingredient, not only for its alluring scent, but also for its beneficial antioxidant properties.

In France, Sensation Chocolat’s Dark Chocolate Foaming Show Gel contains the proprietary ingredient Vegebios Cacao, an extract prepared from cocoa bean shells that is rich in iron, magnesium and antioxidants to nourish and hydrate skin. Similarly in the United States, Kerí Glassman Skin Appétit Nutri-Moisture Balm Stick is a nutrient-dense, buttery-rich moisturizer which targets dry, flaky skin. The paraben-free product contains skin-soothing yogurt, vitamin-packed fruit extracts and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate to prevent premature aging.