Mars’ latest launch taps into the growing demand for vegan chocolates. 

The company is partnering with Perfect Day, Inc., to launch CO2COA — its first-ever animal-free, lactose-free, and “early-friendly” product in the U.S. 

Perfect Day is known for its animal-free dairy ingredient, which is, “created using a fermentation approach that cultivates microflora –similar to the process that makes beer fizzy, yogurt thicken, and bread rise,” the company explains.

“Our animal-free milk from flora is the first of its kind, using whey protein made by microflora, not cows, to make dairy that’s identical to traditional milk,” Perfect Day says on its website. “Yes, we said identical.”

The bars are described as “vegan friendly,” because they don’t contain any ingredients from animals, and they’re also lactose- and cholesterol-free. However, they do contain milk allergens which would impact anyone with milk allergies. 

Mars says the CO2COA barsmaintain the silky-smooth taste consumers expect while leaning into the flexitarian dietary trends today’s conscious consumers are embracing.”

The name, CO2COA, is meant to invoke the fact that Mars reduced greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) when sourcing the bar. It’s also meant to draw attention to the bar’s cocoa being Rainforest Alliance-Certified.

Or, as product website says: “CO2COA -- the marriage of CO2 reduction and COCOA.” 

A limited number of Mars CO2COA bars will be available for purchase online at, beginning today, while supplies last. The 1.09-oz CO2COA bars will be available to consumers for $2.39 plus free shipping. 

“We are running a test with a limited quantity of product, so be sure to order before it's all gone!” the company says on the CO2COA website.

Mars explained some of its reasoning for creating the dairy-free bar on the CO2COA website. 

“While it's true the rich flavors and creamy texture we love in chocolate partly come from dairy, it's also true that cows are one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions that negatively impact the Earth,” the site reads. “Thanks to Perfect Day's animal-free dairy technology that allows us to replicate a real diary protein without the animals, we are proud to introduce CO2COA — no input from animals, less greenhouse gases for the planet, and the taste you know and love.”

Vegan chocolate sector valued at $467.2M

The global vegan chocolate confectionery market size was valued at $467.2 million in 2020 according to a report from Grand View Research

The sector is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.8 percent from 2021 to 2028. And vegan dark chocolate confectionery is anticipated to be the fastest-growing product segment from 2021 to 2028. 

The report says an increasing acceptance of veganism among consumers — especially among millennials and the working population — has been fueling the product demand. 

“In the past few years, the popularity of the product among consumers, especially in Asian countries, has increased with shifting taste preferences and growing awareness about the many health benefits of dark chocolate,” the report says. 

While Mars is launching a new brand with its CO2COA bars, the report said other major players in the market are launching their renowned chocolate confectionery in a vegan version. For instance, in February 2020, Mondelēz launched of a vegan version of its most popular brand Dairy Milk.

“With this strategy, the company can enjoy the brand loyalty of customers across the globe and result in higher sales of such products,” the report says. 

CO2COA follows Mars other recent global packaging innovations, including: 

  • BALISTO paper-based packaging in Germany
  • ORBIT Gum Megapacks adding on-pack recycling guides from How2Recycle in the U.S.
  • The announcement that all Mars bars sold in the UK, Ireland, and Canada will be certified as carbon neutral by 2023.

For more information on CO2COA and Mars sustainability efforts visit or join in on the social media conversation using #CO2COA.