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Functional treats: are vitamin-enriched chocolate bars part of the next wave?

These new snacks from Zoot aim to target those looking for a health boost.

12 April 2018

Snacking company Zoot wants to help consumers get their vitamin and mineral boost without popping a pill.

Instead, it wants them to pop a chocolate bar into their mouths – one that the company has created as a way to top up vitamin intake.

Using a new scientific development – which they are keeping tight-lipped about – the company is launching Zoot Vitamin.

The range will consist of four chocolate bar varieties, all made with dark chocolate that has a minimum cocoa solid content of 70%, which will be available online.

Vitamin variety

It wouldn’t be a vitamin snack without some revitalising names.

The four options include the Be Beautiful bar, featuring vitamin E, vitamin A, niacin and biotin, which help maintain normal skin function and protect the cells from oxidative stress, according to the company.

Then there’s the Sunshine Boost, containing vitamin D, vitamins B6 and B12, and folate. This particular bar is supposed to help with the normal functioning of the immune system, red blood cell formation and reducing tiredness.

Feeling a little bit up tight? Take a bite out of the Anti-Stress, a chocolate bar that employs B-group vitamins (B6, niacin and pantothenic acid), along with valerian and hop extract, for a calmer state of mind.

Finally, the Refresh bar includes vitamin E to protect cells from oxidative stress and resVida, a high-potency, convenient and safe trans-resveratrol that’s designed to promotes healthy aging and a healthy heart.

John Dixey, managing director of Zoot, tells Food Spark the concept of adding vitamins to chocolate has been on his mind for a long time.  

“There have been numerous articles in the press about the lack of vitamin D in our diet, and we wondered how we could boost people’s intake and include this in one of our ranges. We thought the ideal carrier for adding vitamins into our diet was chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate, and to make it super healthy we could use our Smooth Dark No-Added-Sugar Chocolate, which has only 2% sugar,” he explains.  

“The opportunity to create a range of vitamin enriched bars seemed like a great idea; who wouldn’t prefer to eat chocolate to improve their skin, be less stressful, boost their vitamin D levels and their heart health?”

A healthy helping hand?

Zoot Vitamin is packaged in 13.5g bars that contain 64 calories. Each pack contains a weekly supply of seven bars, one for each day of the week.

But do the health benefits stack up?

Independent nutritionist Dr. Laura Wyness says dark chocolate is high in beneficial antioxidants. However, eating large amounts or eating chocolate more frequently in order to get more nutrients is still not ideal.

“The Sunshine Boost bar may contain vitamin D, vitamins B6 and B12 and folate, but you’ll also get all these nutrients, and more, from eating an egg, a portion of cheese or a bowl of wholegrain, low sugar cereal with milk,” she says. “A handful of mixed plain nuts, or dried fruit, or a bowl of salad will also deliver similar nutrients.”

If consumer behaviour has taught us anything, though, it’s that convenience is key. In particular, Brits continue to struggle to obtain enough vitamin D.

Zoot Vitamin showcases another way that confectionery can approach the health boom.

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