Fairtrade America is thrilled to welcome Russell Stover Chocolates to our community of ethically- and sustainably-minded brands. Their newest product line is made with Fairtrade-Certified Cocoa, and we talked with Vice President of Innovation Jill Beveridge to learn more about the company’s commitment to products that Do good and taste great.
Thank you for your time. Please introduce yourself.
My name is Jill Beveridge and I am the Vice President of Innovation at Russell Stover Chocolates. I have the privilege of leading innovation for this 100-year-old brand, which requires a delicate dance of honoring the rich heritage of the brand while ushering in fresh new products that resonate with today’s consumer. Russell Stover’s newest product line, Joy Bites, honors the brand’s century-long dedication to bringing joy and happiness to our consumers in a fresh, new way with a Fairtrade, no sugar added recipe that has no artificial ingredients, modern branding, and sustainable packaging.
What is the short history of Russell Stover?
Nearly 100 years ago, Clara Stover started bringing joy to anyone who walked through the door of her candy shoppe in Denver, Colorado, Mrs. Stover’s Bungalow Candies. Clara had a passion for using only the finest ingredients and always made her delicious candies in small, handcrafted batches.
She and her husband, Russell, built an enduring brand that, today, still brings joy to anyone who bites into an indulgent piece of Russell Stover chocolate.
What was the impetus behind creating Joy Bites?
With Clara’s vision in mind, our expert chocolate crafters passionately created even more joy in the best way we, at Russell Stover, know how –deliciously joyful chocolate. We started with a commitment to friendly and sustainable practices. We carefully selected recognizable ingredients, including Fairtrade cocoa and select organic and non-GMO ingredients. With 100 years of experience making high quality chocolate, we are better equipped than most to deliver great tasting chocolate without the added sugar. Our Joy Bites chocolate has no added sugar and is free of artificial flavors, preservatives, and added colors. As a part of the worldwide effort towards sustainability, our packaging is 100% recyclable and the outer carton is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Where can customers find your Fairtrade products?
Joy Bites can be found, or will be coming soon, at leading retailers including Albertson’s Safeway, Kroger, Meijer, Winn Dixie (Fall), Walmart (Fall), Target (Fall), and many other major retailers or visit RussellStover.com.
What makes your product unique?
Joy Bites bars have no added sugar and only 1.5-4 grams of net carbs per serving, so they are great for anyone looking to cut down on sugar in their diet without sacrificing great tasting chocolate. Our filled bars are especially unique. With decades of experience in perfecting the art of indulgent fillings, Russell Stover was the ideal confectioner to develop no added sugar chocolate bars with fillings. Three of the five Joy Bites assortment include delicious caramel, peanut butter or salted caramel fillings.
What is one takeaway for customers?
With 100 years of experience making high quality chocolate, we are better equipped than most to deliver great tasting chocolate without all of the added sugar and our consumer-focused commitment to innovation and creativity means they can look forward to even more new and exciting products to this collection.
What does Fairtrade mean to you in 1 word?
How do you use your business to create a more sustainable and/or equitable world? How do you give back?
We recognize that not all young women have the same resources or opportunities to build the confidence to realize their full potential. That is why Joy Bites has partnered with Step Up, an incredible organization that inspires women to inspire young girls through mentorship and support. We believe that everyone deserves joy, and our partnership with Step Up is just one way that we hope to spread joy to others.
we at Russell Stover care about the environment and our communities and aim to play our part in promoting sustainable practices.
Why did you choose Fairtrade?
With the Joy Bites brand, we at Russell Stover care about the environment and our communities and aim to play our part in promoting sustainable practices which, together with the joint efforts of our consumers and other players around the globe, will lead to a more sustainable supply chain. There is no better way to communicate this commitment to our like-minded consumers than putting the Fairtrade seal on our products.
What inspires you and your team at Russell Stover to work towards business for good?
Promoting sustainable practices and, together with like-minded others, helping to protect and regenerate the environment resulting in a more resilient supply chain. This is vitally important to Russell Stover Joy Bites and we know it is important to our consumers, too.
How can a customer get involved with your brand?
We’re in this together
Fairtrade America partners with brands on the journey to certification and beyond. We can help with everything from finding a certified supply chain to marketing your newly certified product.Get in Touch