Hershey to Introduce Low GI Chocolates

We all like lower sugar and healthier treats. The problem with many chocolates and candies made with low sugar ingredients is that they can be very expensive. And, if they aren’t costly, they can be hard to find. Candy for people with blood sugar concerns is considered a niche market and often isn’t found easily in supermarkets. But, this week, Hershey has announced that they are launching low GI, plant-based chocolates as part of their “better-for-you” campaign.

Hershey can almost be viewed as a grandfather company when it comes to portion control for chocolate. Hershey’s Kisses are one way to enjoy a tiny amount of chocolate. In recent decades they have done an excellent job of miniaturizing their chocolate bars. Their Reese’s Thins are great smaller versions of their larger treats. They are trying to market themselves as the “better-for-you” choice when it comes to chocolates.

They are introducing more zero-sugar options that are also free of aspartame, like new Jolly Ranchers and York Peppermint Patties. They are introducing KitKat Thins to their portion-controlled offerings. They are also adding Hershey’s, Hershey’s Special Dark, Reese’s and Reese’s Dark to their organic line. And, they are working on an extensive range of organic chocolate offerings. The company wants to corner the market as the go-to option for the conscientious shopper.

Now, by partnering with the sweetener company ASR Group, they are experimenting with different sweeteners to make chocolate that won’t impact blood sugar. They say the new chocolate they are working on will have fewer calories than conventional chocolate and almost no blood sugar impact because of their choice of sweeteners. They’ll be made from “rare sugars” like tagatose and allulose that your body doesn’t process. They say that this chocolate will taste normal and have the texture you would expect from regular chocolate.

We are the leader in U.S. confection,” said Hershey’s chief growth officer, Kristen Riggs. “And, our consumers rely on us to understand their needs for everyday moments, seasons and special occasions, offering high-quality and great tasting candy that’s accessible for everyone. Expanding our expertise, building new capabilities and delivering more choices in better-for-you confection is the next big category opportunity for us to lead.”

The search for sweeteners is difficult. “Sugar sets a high bar in terms of taste, functionality and cost, and most sugar alternatives fall short,” said ASR Group’s Rob Sproull. But they think they have the answer with tagatose and allulose, which they are now producing in massive amounts.

We are interested in seeing how this all pans out. Sweeteners need to taste good, be proven to be safe and be trusted by consumers. We’ll see if people buy them. It’s interesting to see a company brag that their new Jolly Ranchers are aspartame-free while also talking about using brand new sweeteners in another product. We hope these new chocolates are delicious and safe.

Banner image: Madison Kaminski via Unsplash
February 26, 2021
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