Awake Chocolate Shakes Up The Caffeinated Candy Category

Energy drinks have become a staple for consumers looking for a quick pick-me-up, but how many of these beverages actually taste good?

Awake ChocolateAwake Chocolate, based in Montreal, Canada, offers an alternative: great tasting chocolate infused with caffeine. The company holds the honor as the top growing confectionery brand at Vistar in 2018, said  Jordan Hedley, senior business development manager for on-premise consumption and workplace for the U.S.

“The goal was to present the marketplace with something that at the time didn’t exist and still really doesn’t for the most part,” he said. “We were looking to create functional energy products that were approachable and tasted good.”

One Awake Chocolate 1.5-ounce bar contains as much caffeine as a single medium-size cup of coffee. The 1.5-ounce bars and half-ounce bites come in milk chocolate, caramel, dark chocolate and peanut butter.

Energy continues to be the single fastest growing category in convenience channels, Hedley said.

“Everybody’s doing energy drinks, so the demand for energy that’s different, that’s unique, is massive,” he said. Awake Chocolate is gluten-free, kosher certified and free from artificial colors and flavors. The 1.5-ounce bars contain 170 to 230 calories per serving while the half-ounce bites have 70 to 90 calories.

While the company has a presence at retail, vending, followed by campus dining, is the brand’s largest channel, Hedley said. The company’s initial push was on college campuses.

“Those (vending/micro markets and campus dining) will always be core channels for us,” Hedley said.

The brand has found success with the big national convenience service players in addition to the independents, he said.

The product, which is made and packaged in Montreal, has a 15-month shelf life, except for the peanut butter candy which is a few months less.

The half-ounce bite typically retails at 99 cents while the 1.5-ounce bar retails at $2.00.

Awake Chocolate currently has no direct competitors, Hedley said, although other companies have attempted to offer energy infused candy products.

G & J Sales and Marketing became the company’s exclusive broker for convenience services at the beginning of 2018. “They’re the best in the business,” Hedley said.

The company launched in 2012 and currently has 11 full-time employees.

Energy candy bars are not part of the energy bar market which includes bars with nutritional ingredients that are high in carbohydrate and sugar content.

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By Karen Scott, Publisher

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