Brief description of the dive:
- Mars has partnered with Perfect Day to create a milk chocolate bar with non-animal proteins. new bar, branded as CO2CoaAvailable today to order online.
- CO2Coa is positioned as a greener chocolate, in line with Mars’ larger goals: zero carbon emissions by 2050. The bar’s cocoa is Rainforest Alliance certified and the wrapper is mostly paper. Perfect Day milk proteins are produced by precision fermentation in a process that uses 99% less water and produces 97% less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional dairy products. company life cycle assessment.
- This is the latest CPG product released using Perfect Day milk proteins. They have also been used in ice cream, cream cheese, protein powder, baking mixes, and dairy drinks.
With this launch, one thing has become clear: consumer goods companies believe that animal-free dairy products can be an acceptable substitute for ingredients typically sourced from cows. It’s not much more than one of the world’s largest confectioners using these proteins for its very first US chocolate brand using something other than traditional dairy.
Chris Rowe, global vice president of research and development at Mars Wrigley, said the bar was developed in less than a year – lightning speed in a slower world of innovation and new product production at big company CPG. Rowe said it was indicative of innovation and a desire to break into new categories at the heart of Mars. And this bar, he says, is better than any chocolate on the market that uses an alternative to cow’s milk.
“There are plant-based alternatives on the market, and what we have seen is the use of Perfect Day material, which really mimics the smooth, silky texture that consumers are looking for,” Rowe said. “It’s a big difference because it has both the taste and texture of chocolate products.”
Perfect Day co-founder and CEO Ryan Pandya said the reason CO2Coa looks so much like traditional milk chocolate is because the actual ingredients are mostly identical. Perfect Day proteins are the same as in cow’s milk. They do the same thing in food preparation, especially since many of today’s milk chocolate bars are made using powdered dairy ingredients. Pandya said the goal is for people to find the new bar “surprisingly unremarkable” – similar enough to the chocolate they’re used to in terms of taste and performance that seem to be no different.
With a brand new brand and relatively slow rollout, Mars is positioning the bar as something of a standout. For now, it’s only available through online orders. It’s more expensive than a regular chocolate bar and costs $2.39 for a 1.09-ounce bar. Rowe said Mars is starting with an online release mainly to get consumer feedback on the new brand’s taste, performance and positioning. Depending on consumer reaction, the company may decide to roll out the bars more widely in retail stores, Rowe said.
Even if the bar tastes like any other Mars milk chocolate, the creation of a new brand for Perfect Day chocolate also puts it on a pedestal. This new brand could be positioned to highlight more sustainable chocolate — which Rowe says is a likely strategy. According to him, its name also emphasizes the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by the bars.
Many of the companies using Perfect Day proteins are start-ups that are not yet well known or have a wide reach. This is the second Big Food product to use Perfect Day proteins. General Mills uses animal-free dairy products in its Bold Cultr Cream Cheese. Companies like Mars and General Mills not only have huge reach, but also offer a variety of product lines. If Perfect Day proteins work in one brand, they can also be a good addition to another.
Mars is in the very early stages of using Perfect Day dairy, but Rowe said the company doesn’t rule out adding it to some of its well-known chocolates in the future. Pandya said this is the main reason Perfect Day is working with Mars on this launch.
“Probably we wouldn’t be here if this was a one-time event targeted at a certain niche audience, and it will be very large,” Pandya said. “We see this as the beginning of an opportunity to really do something much bigger.”