US confectionery giant Mars Inc has announced the launch of a new line of snacks that take advantage of the heart-healthy properties of cocoa.
Mars said CocoaVia contains ingredients that can reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels and promote healthy circulation to maintain heart health.
Created after more than a decade of research, CocoaVia contains a patented blend of heart-healthy cocoa flavanols and cholesterol-lowering plant sterols from soy. The new line of snacks also is fortified with calcium and a mix of heart-healthy nutrients including folic acid, vitamins B-6, B-12, C and E. The new products are made by Mars Nutrition for Health & Well-Being, a new division of Mars.
“CocoaVia is the vanguard of our efforts to ‘reinvent’ cocoa as an ingredient in healthful foods,” said Dr. Harold Schmitz, chief science officer at Mars. “It’s a first-of-its-kind product that was purposely designed to deliver heart-health benefits and real chocolate pleasure in products that are less than 150 calories per serving.”
Mars first introduced CocoaVia granola-based snack bars nearly two years ago and sold the product exclusively on the Internet. Now a full line of CocoaVia products – including new chocolate bars (original, crispy and blueberry & almond) and chocolate-covered almonds – will be available at retail beginning in October.