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Meet the first animal-free chocolate bar (made with dairy, but not from cows)

An image of Mars Inc. and Perfect Day's CO2COA collaboration. It shows the packaging and chocolate bar made from Perfect Day's animal-free milk.
Image Credit: CO2COA

Meet the CO2COA bar. It's the latest confection from Mars, Inc. and it's a chocolate bar that's made with lactose-free dairy derived from plants instead of cows.

To make the chocolate treat, Mars partnered with Perfect Day (which is already making dairy alternative treats on its own through its Urgent Company brand).

"CO2COA is another example of how Mars continues to think and act differently to help create the world we want tomorrow," said Alastair Child, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mars Wrigley. "From certified cocoa and a reduction in CO2 emissions to animal-free dairy, CO2COA was thoughtfully designed as we work to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across Mars' full value chain by 2050."

Perfect Day is one of a slew of startups that's working to develop animal-free dairy, egg, and meat replacements using plants. The idea is to produce the proteins that come from animal milk and meat, but use plants to make those proteins.

"At Mars, we bring our consumer-passion to innovation, developing on-trend innovations that support a world where both people and the planet thrive," said Chris Rowe, Global Vice President of Research & Development, Mars Wrigley. "The creation of CO2COA is an inventive example of how we partner with technology innovators, like Perfect Day, to bring great new offerings to our consumers. We're excited to collaborate with Perfect Day and continuing to explore the potential of alternative proteins to help create a more delicious and sustainable future."

Perfect Day, as the company touts in its press release, has created the world's first nature-identical dairy protein, without any animal inputs.

Studies performed by the company found that its fermentation process uses up to 99% less water and produces up to 97% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, compared to traditional production methods, the company said. By partnering with leaders in the food system, like Mars, who are innovating to use less of earth's resources, Perfect Day is broadening that impact for a kinder, greener tomorrow.

"Partnering with a forward-looking leader like Mars to accelerate their innovation and sustainability initiatives is a hallmark example of how we're extending our impact," said Ryan Pandya, Perfect Day cofounder and CEO, in a statement. "Today, companies big and small need to deliver on the needs of their consumers, who won't compromise on taste or the future of our planet. We're thrilled to help a world-class company like Mars do just that as we champion a path towards a more resilient food system for all."


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