Mars Just Launched A New Plant-Based Chocolate Bar

Considering that plant-based food innovations are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in restaurants and home kitchens, an animal-free chocolate bar might not seem like anything to write home about. Plenty of confectionary brands — including Ritter Sport, Lindt, and Ghirardelli — have hopped on the vegan-friendly train by marketing their dark chocolate products to plant-based shoppers. When it comes to chocolate bars that set major trends, though, even Willy Wonka has to tip his hat the biggest name in the game: Mars, Inc. 

The candy giant, which produces popular brands like Twix and Snickers, put out an animal-free version of its coconut-filled Bounty bar last year to much acclaim, which followed the similarly successful vegan-ication of its no-frills Galaxy bar in 2019 (via Plant Based News). The vegan Bounty came out just a few months before the company announced its goal to make its nominal Mars Bar carbon neutral by 2023, which preceded an even loftier brand-wide goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Now, rather than taking the dairy out of another one of its existing products, Mars has taken its earth-loving campaign a step further by teaming up with Perfect Day to create an original bar free of animal products, Food Dive reports. 

Meet the CO2COA

As you might guess from its name, CO2COA, Mars, Inc.'s animal-free chocolate bar is angled toward plant-based and eco-conscious shoppers. The product (which launched online on June 16 at $2.39 a pop) was made in partnership with Perfect Day, a company that makes sustainable animal-free whey protein "through precision fermentation in a process that uses up to 99% less water and produces up to 97% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional dairy," per Food Dive. According to a June 16 news release, the name of the bar "is a thoughtful and playful way to pay homage to its Rainforest Alliance-Certified cocoa and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) in product sourcing."

Perfect Day has worked with brands to make animal-free ice cream, cream cheese, protein powder, baking mix, and milk alternatives, per Food Dive, but collaborating on a chocolate bar with one of the biggest multinational confectioneries in the world may be its biggest move yet. VegNews calls the CO2COA "as smooth as Dove bars," in case you need a testimonial.