Thin-themed chocolate and snack bars has experienced a surge in the US market in recent years, as many people see it as portion control and healthier alternatives to traditional snacks. One of the earlier “thin” snack brands, THINaddictives, has experienced double-digit growth for the past 10 years, a BakeryandSnacks correspondent learned at the Snack Attack event in New York City earlier this year.
Other thin products include Hershey-owned barkTHINS, and Mondelēz’s Good Thins, both of which have been growing rapidly, this site previously reported.
According to the latest IRI data for the past 52 weeks ending October 30, the thinkThin brand is worth $122,778,574 with dollar sales growing 39.3% year-over-year, while barkTHINS is valued at $33,450,651 and grows 74.6% per year on average.
Start with passion for social justice
Cisse Cocoa begins with founder and CEO, Diana Lovett’s passion for chocolate and social justice. She believed that starting a business that combined her two passions would also help small cocoa growers to earn a living wage.
After traveling from West Africa to Central America looking for the right cocoa, she found FUNDOPO, an organic, fair trade cooperative in the Dominican Republic. All their single-origin cocoa beans are Fair Trade USA-certified, and are featured in Cisse Cocoa products, including hot cocoa blends, brownie thins and baking mixes.
The company’s Super Thins line is currently available in various regions of Whole Foods and Costco, as well as some key grocery and convenience stores, such as Stop & Shop, Kroger, Hudson News and online at Amazon.com.
The suggested retail price for Super Thins is $4.99 for a four-ounce package. They are available in Double Chocolate, Coconut Cashew, Cherry Sea Salt and Cranberry Pepita, Lovett said.
Lovett said Cisse is “a unique player in the indulgent or ‘thin’ chocolate snack category.”
“We are proud of the quality of our single origin, organic, non-GMO cocoa; but the most rewarding part of the process for us is the incredible impact our promise and commitment to the FUNDOPO farmers has had on their lives and the lives of those in their communities,” she added.
Focusing on key retailers
As a fairly new brand on the scene, Lovett said the team is working hard to drive its brand awareness.
“We’re targeting the regions that have the greatest distribution and doing all that we can to localize our efforts and dilute those markets first,” she said. “From there, we’ll use our successes to scale into all corners of the US.”
Cisse Cocoa’s business has doubled year-over-year, and it is hoping to see that pattern continue, said the company.
Entering 2017, Lovett said Cisse Cocoa’s growth strategy consists of supporting and focusing on key retailers to maximize its presence in those stores, and she will also heavily direct her attention towards the growth of the baking mix and Super Thins products.