London — From cannabis to quinoa, ruby to low-sugar: this is not your grandmother’s chocolate. With the market for traditional sweets in developed countries flagging as consumers shun sugary items for healthier treats, food companies are trying to make chocolate more appealing. Their tactics include gimmicks like Ritter Sport’s hemp-infused Chocolate and Grass bars (they don’t get you high), new flavours and colours as well as formulas that cut down on sugar. Some chocolatiers are even diversifying away from chocolate. Hershey, which began selling its classic bar 120 years ago, is moving into popcorn and potato chips, while Mars said in November that it would buy a stake in health snack firm Kind. Just two months later, Nestle agreed to sell its US confectionery unit amid falling revenue and a focus on products such as coffee and water. "Sugar is portrayed as the new tobacco," said Eric Bergman, a commodities broker at Jenkins Sugar. "Consumers are now shifting away from the iconic,...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now