Stevia chocolate firm Cavalier has scooped an award for innovation at this year's International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (ISM).
The company’s stevia chocolate beat 112 other new products to achieve the honour at ISM’s New Product Showcase as voted for by 80 journalists worldwide.
ISM is taking place now is Cologne, Germany parallel to the processing, packaging and ingredients show ProSweets.
Belgium-based firm Cavalier developed its semisweet chocolate sweetened with stevia last year, in partnership with Barry Callebaut.
It is one of the only stevia-based chocolate products on the EU market following the approval of the sweetener as a novel food in December last year.
Swiss firm Villars also manufactures stevia chocolate, however Cavalier has refined its recipe and now boosts an assortment of stevia products, such as pralines, milk and dark chocolate in different packaging forms.
Cavalier told this site last year that it had plans to break into the UK market early this year.
Stevia has been somewhat of a talking point at ProSweets. Show organiser Peter Grothues called it this year’s hottest topic and an entire session was dedicated to the sweetener at the fair’s conference on ingredients.
Among the speakers at the conference was Cavalier CEO Felix Verdegem and ConfectioneryNews.com was there to hear his presentation.
He said that the Belgian market had received Cavalier’s products very well and spoke about the positive image of stevia among consumers.
Although, products containing stevia are forbidden from making “all natural” claims under EU labeling regulations, Verdegem said that stevia was ‘perceived’ as being all natural as it came from plant sources found in nature.
Runners up for ISM’s New Product Showcase innovation award were German snack firm ültje and PEZ International.
In second place was ültje with its curry sausage and hamburger flavoured peanut product Crispers.
The third place choice was PEZ’s soft fruit gums, PEZ soft, which are gluten and lactose free and use natural flavouring and colouring agents.