CHICAGO — Mars, Inc. announced its partnership with Perfect Day, Inc. and the launch of its first ever line of animal-free and earth-friendly chocolate line, under its new brand CO2COA.
Perfect Day is a manufacturer of animal-free milk protein. The company creates an identical whey protein — which is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained — from microflora through a fermentation process.
“At Mars, we bring our consumer-passion to innovation, developing on-trend innovations that support a world where both people and the planet thrive,” said Chris Rowe, global vice president of research and development at Mars Wrigley.
Perfect Day has partnered with a variety of companies that have made the switch to animal-free products, including Betterland Cow-Free Milk, Strive Nutrition’s milk alternatives and Brave Robot’s ice cream.
A lifecycle assessment conducted in April 2021 found that Perfect Day’s production methods emit up to 91% to 97% less greenhouse gas emissions and 96% to 99% less blue water consumption when compared to whey protein found in traditional milk.
When compared to the other products in Mars’ portfolio, CO2COA has about one-third of the greenhouse gas impact from the company’s Dove Milk Chocolate bar production, said Rowe.
“The creation of CO2COA is an inventive example of how we partner with technology innovators, like Perfect Day, to bring great new offerings to our consumers,” he said. “We’re excited to collaborate with Perfect Day and continuing to explore the potential of alternative proteins to help create a more delicious and sustainable future.”
The name for the new product line is a way to call attention to the Rainforest Alliance-certified cocoa and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) in the product sourcing, according to the company.
The new chocolate bar is available in a 1.09-oz size for a suggested retail price of $2.39, coming in a paper-based packaging, which is considered to be more earth-friendly than a plastic-based packaging.
It’s available direct-to-consumer at co2coa.com, with the company waiting to hear consumer-feedback before bringing the chocolate to retailers. The product is both lactose-free and vegan-friendly, although it contains animal-free milk proteins, so it could trigger those with a milk allergen.
“Partnering with a forward-looking leader like Mars to accelerate their innovation and sustainability initiatives is a hallmark example of how we’re extending our impact,” said Ryan Pandya, co-founder and chief executive officer of Perfect Day. “Today, companies big and small need to deliver on the needs of their consumers, who won’t compromise on taste or the future of our planet. We’re thrilled to help a world-class company like Mars do just that as we champion a path towards a more resilient food system for all.”