AAK - FSL Confectionery Spread Fats

The global market for chocolate spreads is valued at approximately $4.5billion with the market leader (Nutella) scooping 65% of its share.

The majority of consumers for these indulgent products are children (aged 6 – 14) who consume these products for breakfast or as a snack.

As delicious as these products are, their ingredients formulation has been falling under increasing scrutiny from parents who critique the high levels of sugar in the product and the palm oils which are losing favor due to their unhealthy and unsustainable attributes.

With a GCC population that is suffering from high rates of cardiac disease, obesity and diabetes and a consumer that is ever more label conscious, we identified a need for manufacturers to create healthier formulations of these delicious products for children.



Chocolate spreads have been enjoyed on breads, toast and pancakes for over 30 years but their recipe formulation has been relatively stagnant for these past 3 decades with limited innovation taking place.

In 2019, FSL took the initiative to re-develop the recipe formulation for these products by removing the palm oils, excess sugar, hazelnuts and milk powders to create a healthier, more sustainable, 50% reduced sugar and plant-based version of this product which is also nut-allergen free – thus allowing the product back into schools again. We also diversified the product with a new range of flavours far beyond the 3 decades old hazelnut variant.

In 2021, FSL was awarded with the Gulfood Industry Excellence award for Innovative Ingredients Solutions for this Plant-Based Chocolate Spread which tastes the same as the original products. This was confirmed by a sensory evaluation with children aged 5 – 14, some pastry chefs and industry professionals who could not really tell the difference between our product and the market leader. However, the difference was substantial considering our product contained 50% less sugar, no palm oils, no nut allergens or milk powders.

There are many things to consider when making a high-quality and healthier spread. One of the most important is the choice of oils & fats as this influences properties such as taste, consistency, structure, and stability.

In order to replace palm oils with a healthier, high performance and more sustainable alternative we relied on the innovative capabilities of our partners AAK to develop a customized formulation of their AkoSpread fat solution for this purpose.



There were various factors to consider when developing this spread for manufacturing customers and the end consumer:


AKOSPREAD products are soft at low temperatures, but still partially crystalline at room temperature and higher. In addition, they contain a stabilizing fat component, which helps create a stable network of crystals, which prevents separation of liquid oil from the product.

Spreadability over a wide range of temperature is desired for fat based confectionery spreads. The spread must be spreadable at  refrigerated temperature but stable towards oil separation at high temperature, and it should have a shiny and attractive appearance.

Shelf life:
A long shelf life requires fats, which do not tend to separate into two different phases, one liquid phase and one partially crystallized. Products in AAK’s AKOSPREAD range are tailored to provide this desired profile and perform superbly.



Using AKOSPREAD™ in Confectionery Spreads:

AKOSPREAD™ is used for liquid and creamy confectionery spreads with excellent stability. It also has a deliciously soft, creamy texture straight from the fridge, which makes it the premium option for chocolate and hazelnut spreads. Furthermore, it is so versatile, that many of our customers are now also using it as a confectionery filling fat.

The broad AKOSPREAD™ range accommodates a wide variety of preferences for nut content, mouthfeel, and texture. In all cases, manufacturers can count on strong resistance to oil separation. Even in warmer climates, AKOSPREAD™ delivers a superior, stable performance.

Chocolate spreads, nut spreads and even savoury spreads are all candidates for AKOSPREAD ingredients. Below are some of the benefits of Akospread highlighted:

  • Ensures superb spreadability from 5-28°Cn
  • Secures stability over a wide temperature range
  • Gives excellent flavour release
  • Provides good melting profile
  • Available as non-hydrogenated