Mexican brand Sigma launches amaranth-based snack in the US market4 Feb 2022
Chocke-Obleas are arriving from Mexico to key markets in the U.S., thanks to multinational company Sigma. The Mexican snack wafer is made with chocolate, artisan wafers and crispy popped amaranth, and the wafers currently come in two flavors: chocolate and amaranth.
According to the company, each 110-calorie package offers 3 grams of plant-based protein and has no preservatives. However, it is to the star ingredient of this wafer — amaranth — that Sigma is bringing consumers' attention.
Amaranth is an ancient grain that is considered a superfood thanks to its gluten-free status and the fact that it contains more essential amino acids than any other plant source. Studies have also shown that the grain lowers cholesterol. The company is positioning its Chocke-Obleas as a better-for-you indulgence and “a snack they can feel good eating and sharing with their families.”
This particular combination of better-for-you ingredients is sure to attract attention from American consumers who are interested in foods with these ingredients. While the better-for-you trend is nothing new and has only been accelerated by the onset of COVID-19, foods with ethnic flavors have been steadily growing in popularity. A 2019 Snack Index survey by Frito-Lay showed that more than two-thirds of Americans say they eat snacks with international flavors at least once a month. At the time of the survey, Latin American flavors topped the list in terms of popularity with 26% of respondents saying they were a favorite choice.
In addition to its health credentials, Sigma is positioning its wafers as a snack with “authentic Mexican roots” thanks to the use of Mexican amaranth and the 70% cocoa-rich chocolate, an ingredient that was known and prized by ancient Mexican Mayans.
"There's nothing like Chocke-Obleas on American shelves today. It's not just another cookie, cracker, bar or snack," says Juan Carlos Duran Soriano, Founder and CEO of Golmex, the producer of Chocke-Obleas.
While these Mexican wafers do use superfood ingredients, they are still an indulgent snack, a category that has been on the rise. In the 2020 State of Snacking report by Mondelez International, the No. 1 driver for 53% of snackers was seeking comfort. Many of these people leaned toward indulgent treats as snacks, and this trend has not abated. In the 2022 State of Snacking report, 85% of consumers said they eat two types of snacks daily: one for sustenance and one for indulgence. As consumers are more willing to eat treats for snacks, companies have responded. Recently, Kind has moved from bars into candy-flavored bark and it introduced its frozen ice cream bars. Nestlé launched its Rallies chilled snack bars that are made with creamy nut butters and chocolate.
As these feel-good snacks continue to make inroads into grocery store aisles, it would not be surprising to see Chocke-Obleas expand beyond the six U.S. markets where Sigma is initially piloting this brand.
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