Husband-wife team launched low-sugar candy brand

VENTURA, CA. — The husband and wife team behind a new candy brand aims to expand the category with high and low sugar offerings.

With its “Welcome to Candy” tagline, Tidbits gummies are formulated with prebiotic fiber and fruit juice, while being free of sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, and artificial colors. One sachet contains 4 grams of sugar.

“We’ve created the best candy that’s best for you,” said David Vartanian, who co-founded parent company Stealth Health with his wife, Kristi. “Formulation-wise, we wanted to make sure this product met the highest standards of natural food retailers in the United States. We looked at their lists of prohibited ingredients.

Whole Foods Market, for example, does not sell products containing hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup, and certain colors, preservatives, and flavors. Tidbits recipes do not incorporate any of these ingredients, or allulose, which have not been approved for use in the European Union or Canada.

Rather than looking like traditional candy, Tidbits feature a small gumball shape.

“We didn’t want to give you a gummy bear, a gummy worm, a fishing ring… They were all done,” Mr Vartanian said. “We don’t want consumers going into it expecting it to taste a certain way only to disappoint them because it doesn’t taste like the real thing.”

Flavors include acai grape, tropical citrus, and wild berry.

“We didn’t want to give you the classic flavors you already know,” Mr. Vartanian said. “We wanted to be mainstream but with an elevated touch.”

The products are available online at Amazon.com and tidbitscandy.com and are expected to roll out to natural grocery retailers soon, Vartanian said.

Prior to launching the company, Mr. Vartanian co-founded, launched and developed emerging brands for Constellation Brand Ventures, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s ZX Ventures and PepsiCo Ventures. He began his career at The Hershey Co. in progressive sales roles.

He described Stealth Health as a “licensed snack platform” that can encompass additional brands and product categories.

“We started with sweets because it’s easy; people know it and love it,” he said. “But we wanted to do it in a secret and healthy way… That’s the grand vision of Stealth Health.”

Rachel J. Bradford