FOR MOMS, MOMS-TO-BE, & TODDLERS 5 YEARS+*
THE COMPANY: JJ’s Sweets, the parent company to Cocomels, came about from a dream that the founder, JJ, had back in 2009. In the dream, JJ witnessed a kooky Willy Wonka-ish candy man creating innovative new candies that were not only delicious but also healthier for our bodies and contained some functional benefits. They were also unique in their flavors, drawing on old recipes but infused with a modern sense of global adventurousness.
Inspired by the dream, JJ began experimenting with making delicious, natural sweets made from sustainably sourced, organic, healthier ingredients. Having been a scientist, musician and long time foodie, he soon found that the art of candy making was a perfect combination of his passions: science + art + food = candy making. And JJ’s Sweets was born.
What started as a candy stand at Boulder’s local farmer’s market has since grown into a thriving natural candy brand, with Cocomels occupying shelf space in more than 1,200 retailers around the country, and with their latest concept of Chocolate Covered Cocomels, joining the line in 2014.
THE PRODUCT: JJ’s Sweet first concept was that of Cocomels: coconut-based, caramel-like chews available in Naked varieties. They have since come up with a line of Chocolate Covered Cocomels, as well. USDA-Certified Organic, and non-GMO, all of Cocomels products are also soy, gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free.
Naked Cocomels: The original line of Cocomels is the vegan answer to your typical caramel-based chew – and I promise, they will not disappoint! Sweet and chewy, just like would be expected, no one will be able to guess that they are free of dairy and refined-sugars. Available in four flavors, including Original, Vanilla, Sea Salt and Espresso, each one is addicting in its own right and will make it hard to have just one.
Chocolate Covered Cocomels: Covered in vegan, organic dark chocolate that is between 68 and 72% cocoa, these newest additions to the Cocomels’ family will not disappoint. As a healthier-alternative to Rolo’s – that infamous movie-theater candy that can’t help but be stuck in your teeth for hours – Cocomels Chocolate Covered candies add the perfect balance of richness to your chocolate, and creamy smoothness to your Cocomel.
NUTRITION-WISE: Healthier than your average candy, Cocomels are vegan, gluten free, corn syrup free, soy free (although the Chocolate Covered Cocomels do contain soy lecithin) and non-GMO. They are also made with premium and 100% natural ingredients. Moreover, Cocomels are nut-free – unless you are allergic to coconuts, which are considered a tree nut. They are, however, processed on machinery that processes other tree nuts and peanuts, so if you are super sensitive it’s best to steer clear.
Made with only a small handful of ingredients, including organic coconut milk organic brown rice syrup, organic dried cane syrup, sea salt, xanthan gum and a few others depending on the flavor you choose, Naked Cocomels contain around 120 calories, 35 of which are from healthy fats, as well as 16 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein, per 6-piece serving.
The Chocolate Covered Cocomels, which are like the Naked Cocomels only covered in rich, dark chocolate, contain 60 calories per piece, 30 of which are from healthy fats, as well as 6 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein.
*Cocomels are a sweet treat and should not be considered a “health food”. However, they are a great alternative to other candies on the market since they are Organic, non-GMO, and gluten and dairy free. And although they do contain quite a bit of sugar (when looking at the Naked Cocomels), this is in a 6-piece serving, so if you cut it down to 1 or 2 pieces, it comes out to less than 3 grams of sugar [per piece], which really isn’t that much. I still wouldn’t give these to my young toddler though, since I try to avoid sugar as much as possible. Plus, they may be hard for a little one to chew. But, if you do give your child candy, these are a great substitute for many other sugary treats out there – not to mention that you will love them too!
WHERE TO BUY: You can conveniently buy Cocomels on their Online Store, or to find the retail location that sells them nearest you, please visit their Store Locator.
PRICE: The Chocolate Covered Cocomels cost $1.99 per 2 pieces and a box of the Naked Cocomels cost $4.99 for a 3.5-ounce pouch. Larger sizes are available for sale, as well.
FINAL THOUGHTS: If I had to choose one flavor that I truly miss since becoming vegan (or at least practically one ;) ), it would be caramel. The ooey-gooey, buttery richness that can satisfy even the worst sweet craving just can’t be replicated with any other food. Or at least I thought.
That is until Cocomels.
Made with organic coconut milk, and then a few choice ingredients, all of which are dairy and gluten free, Cocomels help take me back to a place long forgotten, one that I knew way before I got into nutrition and actually cared what I put into my body. Not to say that living a life of health isn’t great, but... you get the point.
But that’s why Cocomels are so great! 100% Organic and a better choice than your typical buttery and sugary candy, you can enjoy the unique, melt in your melt sensation of caramel, without all the unhealthy additives that it usually contains. Oh, and then there’s the Chocolate Covered Cocomels, which take it to a whole other level. And the Espresso ones – they totally have rocked my [sweet craving] world!
Try any or all of the Cocomels line of candies today and see for yourself how delicious these coconut milk-based treats can be.
For more information on JJ’s Sweets, please visit their website and check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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