Mars Inc is eyeing "leading retailers" in the UK and Ireland after deciding to launch its CocoaVia food supplements in the two markets.

The company, which already sells the supplements in the US, has made the products available on and Amazon's UK site. Each three-capsule portion of the supplement contains 375mg of cocoa flavanols. Mars pointed to a health claim approved by the EU, which says a minimum daily consumption of 200mg of cocoa flavanols contributes to normal blood flow.

Mars is looking at ways to expand distribution to meet what it sees as growing demand for cocoa flavanols. The company has claimed there is an increasing body of evidence linking the flavanols to cardiovascular benefits.

In the US, CocoaVia first hit speciality stores before expanding to grocery retailers. In October, Mars secured listings at more than 8,000 Walgreens outlets.

Earlier this week, Mars announced plans to sell ice cream under its namesake brand - and a second brand, Snickers - in tubs in the UK.