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Israeli startup begins selling cocoa spreads in US, touting 50% less sugar

Food-tech firm DouxMatok launches first foray of its products made with Incredo Sugar, aimed directly at the sweetness receptors of American consumers

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Products and Hazelnut spreads developed with the Incredo Sugar developed by DouxMatok (Courtesy)
Products and Hazelnut spreads developed with the Incredo Sugar developed by DouxMatok (Courtesy)

DouxMatok, a Petah Tikva, Israel-based food-tech company that says it is able to cut sugar levels in foods without affecting their taste, on Tuesday started sales of a hazelnut cocoa spread and a dark-cocoa salted caramel spread in what marks a first offering of its low-sugar brand directly to US consumers.

The Israeli startup, founded by now-102-year-old Prof. Avraham Baniel and his son Eran, developed technology that it claims is able to deliver sugar directly to the mouth’s sweet taste buds. In this way, food can contain 30% to 50% less sugar than when made with original recipes, but still provide the same sweet taste, texture and feeling.

Start of sales will allow US consumers to taste a product made with the sugar reduction solution, called Incredo Sugar, which demonstrates “how sugar can be used to reduce sugar,” the company said in a statement. Incredo Sugar, the flagship product of the food-tech company, is made from real cane sugar and allows for up to 50% sugar reduction.

The ingredient is used already by bakeries in Israel, including Maison Kayser, Piece of Cake, Danny & Galit, Superpharm and Matzot Aviv.

DouxMatok’s Incredo Sugar is used by bakeries in Israel including Maison Keyser, Piece of Cake and Matzot Aviv (Courtesy)

The limited US launch “marks the first time the brand has released a direct- to-consumer product, and also marks the first time a product with Incredo Sugar is available in the US,” Liat Cinamon, VP of business development at the firm, said in a text message.

The two spreads are smooth and creamy and can be used on bread or drizzled on fruit. They have around 50% less total added sugar than similar leading brands and are rich in nutritional fibers, the company said. They are made with organic hazelnuts, are non-GMO, gluten-free, use sunflower oil rather than palm oil, and are free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, the statement said.

“We have been hard at work perfecting the commercialization of our Incredo Sugar, and are excited to showcase these delicious spreads with a superior nutritional profile,” said Eran Baniel, CEO and co-founder of DouxMatok. “We believe the only way to meet the challenge of sugar reduction is by maintaining the joys of sugar.”

Eran Baniel, the CEO and co-founder of Israeli foodtech startup DouxMatok (Courtesy)

The company’s long-term goal still remains to focus on its business-to-business customers and partners to provide Incredo Sugar as a “full solution,” Cinamon said. “But launching a product for US consumers will certainly help to receive feedback and help validate the future goals and potential use cases of the ingredient.”

The products, sold in a two-jar bundle, will be available starting Tuesday via a dedicated website, shop.incredosugar.com, until stock runs out sometime in early summer, the company forecast. The two spreads will also be sold on shelves at the Pop-Up Grocer in Chicago from April 30 through the end of May. The $22.95 price for two jars, including fees for shipping and handling, is in line with the price of other wellness and premium spreads, the company said.

DouxMatok expects the limited edition will be followed by more brands launching products using Incredo Sugar, including brand partnerships with select food makers.

Together with the launch of its spreads the firm is also launching a “Spread The Happiness” campaign, featuring a consumer sweepstakes and a charitable donation to Common Threads, a nonprofit that provides children and families with cooking and nutrition education to encourage healthy habits that contribute to wellness. DouxMatok will donate 10% of each sale of Incredo Spreads and will match the amount to double the donation, the statement said.

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