Douglas Yu, a fellow Forbes columnist, has a great column about how investors and food ventures are tapping into the confectionery space by investing or creating brands that mimic consumers’ favorite childhood items.
Little Secrets is one of those companies, claiming its products have a “better chocolate-candy ratio” than M&M’s, and has found its presence in all major U.S. natural channels, including Whole Foods and The Fresh Market.
“The chocolate category hasn’t really had a face-lift, redefining the formats we grew up eating,” Little Secrets founder and CEO Chris Mears told Yu. “Our overarching strategy has been how we take a classic format and put a better twist on it—we don’t have any artificial ingredients and corn syrup. It’s a completely clean product.”
Venture capital company Boulder Food Group, which raised $100 million in its second funding this past February, led a $2.5 million Series B funding in Good Day Chocolate in September; New York-based equity firm Alliance Consumer Growth also led a minority round of funding this August in snacking marshmallow brand Smashmallow.
We love our candy, no question. It's about time that these companies are cleaning up their ingredients to match what consumers want—we applaud their efforts and just hope that the big confectionery companies will wake up and follow the lead of these startups. We all win—retailers, brands and, of course, consumers.