In an industry saturated with sugary temptations, Gatsby Chocolate emerges as a counter-narrative, offering an array of low-calorie, high-flavor chocolates. Founded by Doug Bouton, a veteran entrepreneur who previously co-founded Halo Top Ice Cream, this fledgling chocolate brand has captured significant attention for its innovative approach to healthier indulgence.
Making inroads in a category double the size of ice cream, Gatsby Chocolate aims to strike a balance between taste and nutritional value, targeting consumers who are calorie-conscious yet unwilling to sacrifice flavor. With a swift expansion into major retail chains within a year of its launch, the brand has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of confectionery.
Gatsby Chocolate Before Shark Tank
Doug Bouton’s journey into the food and beverage sector started with Halo Top Ice Cream, a company he co-founded in 2013. Transforming a modest investment into a juggernaut brand, Halo Top’s growth story became a beacon for consumer packaged goods (CPG) innovation. In 2017, Halo Top even outpaced veteran brands like Ben & Jerry’s, boasting record sales and receiving accolades as one of TIME Magazine’s top inventions of the year. The company distinguished itself by creating low-calorie, high-protein ice cream options that resonated with health-conscious consumers. As someone who had transitioned from a career in law due to a passion for entrepreneurship and healthier food alternatives, Bouton proved his mettle by successfully steering Halo Top toward market dominance.
After selling the Halo Top business and leveraging existing relationships with retailers, Bouton decided to shift his focus towards an entirely new culinary frontier: chocolate. Joining forces with family members, including his brothers Matt and Ryan, who had previously been involved in Halo Top, Doug Bouton ventured into creating Gatsby Chocolate. The aim was ambitious but clear: to innovate in a space brimming with traditional and often unhealthy options. Thus, after a year dedicated to scrupulous product development, Gatsby Chocolate was born, hitting shelves in 2022 and challenging stalwarts like Hershey’s.
Gatsby Chocolate’s entry into the market was no subtle affair. The brand made its presence felt with a repertoire of nearly 10 different products that diverge from traditional chocolate bars. With flavors ranging from Sea Salt Extra Dark Chocolate to Almond Dark Chocolate and the best-selling Cookies & Cream, Gatsby has set a high bar for taste without the caloric guilt often associated with chocolate treats. Their chocolate bars contain only 180-210 calories per bar, and their peanut butter cups weigh in at just 50 calories per cup, making them an appealing choice for those keen to indulge without compromising their health goals.
Gatsby Chocolate didn’t stop at merely reducing calorie counts; it extended its innovation to the realm of dietary restrictions and lifestyle choices. Recognizing the growing demand for vegan and plant-based options, the brand is planning to introduce an Oat Milk-based line of products. It also already offers vegan alternatives like Sea Salt Extra Dark & Almond Dark chocolate bars, as well as Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups that are entirely plant-based.
Gatsby focuses on sourcing natural ingredients and maintaining a low sugar content, with its products containing 75% less sugar than most market competitors. Gatsby Chocolate has also become a haven for those on keto diets who often find their options limited when it comes to satisfying a sweet tooth. The brand’s chocolates and peanut butter cups have 50% fewer calories, 80% less sugar and carbs, and 50% less fat than leading brands. This robust approach to product formulation has been rewarded with significant retail success, with Gatsby Chocolate products becoming a staple in major stores such as Walmart, Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions, among others.
Gatsby Chocolate is not merely a brand; it’s a culinary statement that challenges long-standing notions about what chocolate can or should be. With its roots firmly planted in innovation and a mission geared towards healthier indulgence, the company appears poised to redefine the chocolate experience for modern consumers, one calorie-conscious treat at a time.