The certification ensures cocoa beans used in the product are grown on sustainably managed farms that protect people and surrounding ecosystems of water, soil and wildlife.
A spokesperson from the Rainforest Alliance told BakeryandSnacks.com that Balance Bar is not the first nutrition bar to use Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa but just the first to launch bars.
She said Clif Bar was the first to commit to sourcing 100% certified cocoa.
She added that both firms had been told by the association that there could be other smaller energy bar companies using certified cocoa too.
Balance Bar’s new bars are available in three flavors – dark chocolate crunch, dark chocolate coconut and dark chocolate peanut and will carry the green frog certified seal.
The new products are being sold exclusively online at Drugstore.com and will then feature in select stores across the US during December prior to its national launch in early 2013.
“High quality nutrition that tastes great is a standard for Balance Bar and we are very excited to marry those core principles with improved ingredient sourcing,” Peter Wilson, president and CEO of Balance Bar Company, said.
“The new dark line is a perfect blend of what consumers are telling us they want; a delicious small meal-replacement or healthy energy snack bar made in a way that they can feel good about on every level,” Wilson said.
The president of the Rainforest Alliance welcomed the commitment from the firm.
The new bars contain four grams of fiber per serving, are high in protein and contain vitamins A, C and E. The product line is gluten-free and also certified kosher dairy.
The nutritional formula follows the 40-30-30 principle like with all Balance Bar products – with 40% of total calories from carbs, 30% from quality protein and 30% from dietary fat. The firm said this formula helps to stabilize blood sugar levels that represent the caloric ratio the body needs to enjoy lasting balanced energy and satisfy hunger for longer.
The product will join seven other product lines – Original, Gold, Bare, Café, CarbWell, nimble and mini – covering 28 flavors.
Sustainable push across industry
While Balance Bar claims a first on launching bars using certified Rainforest Alliance cocoa, Clif Bar committed to sourcing 100% certified cocoa earlier.
The US market leader (Clif Bar according to Rabobank data) also sources organic ingredients and uses eco-friendly packaging and the company has invested in wind energy. Nicholas Fereday, Rabobank analyst, noted that it was these “socially aware credentials” among other things that pushed it ahead of its rivals. See HERE .