New kid on the confectionery block, HiP, claims a first with oat milk chocolate

A UK confectionery breakthrough is being claimed by new brand on the block, HiP (Happiness in Plants), developed by James Cadbury, launching what is thought to be the first oat milk chocolate range in December.

Promising a creamy oat-based alternative to milk chocolate, the four-strong line-up will include: Smooth & Creamy, Cookies & Cream, Salted Caramel and Salty Pretzel flavours, retailing £2.50/70g bar.

According to the business, HiP’s key brand proposition is designed to make consumers sit up and take notice. Plant-powered, the range is handmade in the UK using sustainably-sourced single origin cocoa with completely plastic free packaging. Featuring distinctive, contemporary designs targeted at the younger spectrum of the market (consumers aged 20-50 years) the NPD aims to deliver both on taste and looks.

The launch seeks to tap into the current flexitarian trend, which has seen traditional meat and dairy eaters make a conscious effort to reduce their intake of animal products. Alongside this, consumer demand continues to grow for plant-based, sustainable brands. Producing oat milk has minimal environmental impact versus traditional dairy milk.

James Cadbury, founder of ethical, luxury chocolate brand, Love Cocoa and the great-great-great grandson of Mr John Cadbury, believed the new range had significant potential. The British based confectioner has been busy expanding his core range of products, which were showcased earlier this year at the ISM trade fair in Cologne, with a strong emphasis on ethical trading.

This has included a conservation project in Cameroon, linking sales of chocolate directly to replanting forests within the country – with a campaign to plant 500,000 new trees.

Speaking to Confectionery Production on his latest HiP launch, he said: “We’ve seen a wave of innovative products that mimic the taste and structure of meat and dairy products in recent years. The launch of HiP and our new oat milk chocolate bars will stretch the confectionery category, driving increased excitement and engagement. I believe these innovative, first-to-market products will deliver great-tasting oat milk chocolate to younger consumers who are looking for compelling dairy-free/vegan alternatives.”

Making oat milk chocolate utilises completely different production techniques and so Cadbury observes it’s been a learning curve to guarantee the taste and texture of the new bars is on point: “The problem with current dairy free chocolate on the market is that the taste is incomparable to a traditional milk chocolate bar. Plant-based milk chocolate flavours and packaging are often bland and we think we’ve come up with a winning combination that will be hard to beat.”

HiP is currently in talks with UK retailers regarding launching in December 2020 in time for Veganuary, with a UAE supermarket and Scandinavian health store retailer already signed up.

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