New sweetener range from Luker Chocolate
Luker Chocolate has developed a new range of covertures using erythritol & stevia as a sweetening alternative driven by an increase in consumer and client demand. Image: Luker Chocolate
Family-owned, Colombian chocolate manufacturer, Luker Chocolate, has developed a new range of covertures, including erythritol & stevia, in response to an increase in client and consumer demand for chocolate with no added sugar and lower calories.
These new offerings complement the company’s current options sweetened with maltitol, according to the company.
Last year, the healthier, better-for-you chocolate category in the US was valued at $1.3 billion – with consumers demanding chocolate that has less sugar, is kinder to the body, but still offers a tasty treat.
Globally, the sugar-free chocolate market is expected to grow by 5.7% between now and 2028, reaching a value of $621.5M USD – creating huge potential growth opportunities for companies looking to develop products in the “better-for-you” market space.
Luker Chocolate said it has experienced an increase in requests from businesses “looking to develop products that appeal to the growing category of more conscious consumers” – with a 50% increase in requests specifically for “bespoke sugar-free and no-added sugar products”.
The range includes erythritol & stevia 40% no-added sugar milk chocolate and erythritol & stevia 70% sugar-free dark chocolate.
The range also includes a maltitol-sweetened option as well as allulose for specific markets.
Knowing sugar is a key ingredient, Luker has carefully balanced its new range with the right amount of sweetener to create indulgent chocolate products which consider the taste, texture, and overall experience for the consumer.
When not balanced correctly, sweeteners may affect the taste of the end-product.
Luker spent years experimenting and researching to create the ideal combination to achieve a formula that kept the outstanding fine cocoa flavours characteristic of its chocolates while considering the sweetening power and flavour characteristics of different sweetening options. The process resulting in the pairing of stevia with erythritol to give a more rounded flavour profile.
Non-sugar sweeteners have fewer calories than traditional sugar: for example, stevia has two calories per gram, compared to regular sugar which has four calories per gram, while erythritol has zero calories, making it a great alternative for those looking to create lower and no sugar chocolates.
While only dark chocolate can achieve ‘no sugar’ status due to the natural sugars present in milk, Luker has mixed stevia with erythritol to develop a low sugar coverture in its Balance range, available in both milk and dark chocolate.
Daniela Quintero Fernandez, chief of design & product development at Luker Chocolate, said: “Consumer demand, coupled with the competition to create new, “better for you” chocolate, has created an interesting space in the market and allows us to be as innovative as possible, meaning bolder and braver products are being regularly tested and created.
“Low sugar alternatives in chocolate aren’t new anymore, but this new era is giving us more knowledge of these sugars and a better understanding of what they offer to the more conscious consumers. It leaves us in a position to expand our alternative sugar offering and give our clients even more choice to create their “better for you” options.”