Editor's Spotlight: Startup Focus

A chocolate bar a day keeps the doctor away?

By Nikki Cutler

- Last updated on GMT

Father-son team Dr Jurgen and Niels Hower
Father-son team Dr Jurgen and Niels Hower
A father-son team have combined their expertise in health and retail to create a range of supplemented chocolate products that aim to ‘put the D in delicious’.

With the ambitious goal to cheer consumers up and improve their health through a tasty treat, the German pair have created the brand Doctor Chococo, selling nutritious chocolate bars and drinks.

Dr Jurgen Hower was a Paediatrician for more than 40 years and experienced vitamin D deficiencies for decades while his son Niels Hower has more than 20 years of global experience in retail and wholesale.

 “We have combined the longing for something delicious with the need for something healthy,” Niels told NutraIngredients. “Within two years we want to be represented in all markets nationwide and known throughout Germany.”

Available to buy since September 2018 in two large German retailer chains and Amazon, each 30g chocolate bar provides 50% of the RDA of vitamin D as well as 50% pure cocoa and reduced sugar. Each 200ml drink provides 100% of RDA of vitamin D, over 50% RDA of vitamin K and 32% RDA of calcium as well as 80mg of omega-3.

With an appeal to health-conscious sweet-toothed consumers of all ages but a key target audience of mothers, the product is already making waves in Germany and expanding its reach elsewhere. The entrepreneurs have received their first pilot order of 40,000 bottles from Saudi Arabia to be shipped early next year and they are in discussions with importers and distributors in Scandinavia, Hong Kong, China and Australia. They eventually hope to extend their range into ice cream, yogurts and puddings and bring their products to schools through catering services.

Our 90% deficiency

Dr Hower says that the majority of the world’s population have insufficient vitamin D levels making them more likely to suffer decreased bone strength, energy capacity, muscle strength, immune function and lowering moods. He says only 10% of the RDA of vitamin D is ingested through diet while 90% needs to be absorbed via the sun – something near impossible to do in winter months.

He says: “As a paediatrician and vitamin D expert, I feel responsible for the wellbeing of my little patients. That’s why I’ve committed to a balanced and needs-based diet of children for years.

“With my Doctor Chococo products I try to get closer to the goal of adequate vitamin D supply, especially in children and adolescents. So snacking in moderations does not have to be unhealthy.”

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