TEL-AVIV, IsraelCarmit Candy Industries will launch a new line of gluten-free chocolate clusters at Natural Product Expo West taking place March 7-9 in Anaheim, CA.
“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," said 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," said Adrian Sagman, VP of export marketing and sales, 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. Carmit's final product is a rich, bite-sized cluster of crispy cereals and chewy dried fruits, covered in milk or dark chocolate.