Today, new vegan company Sourse launched its first product online: Hype Bites, dark chocolate candies infused with vitamin B12. Sourse CEO Jenne Moore—who has been vegan for several years—was inspired to start the functional candy company as a way to help her partner, co-founder Andrew Remlinger, go vegan. Remlinger suffers from early onset hypertension that he treats with daily medication. While his doctors recommended a plant-based diet to ease symptoms, he was not excited by vegan meals and concerned about supplementing with vitamins such as B12. 

The duo partnered with a candymaker in San Francisco to develop a proprietary formula for vitamin-infused, dark chocolate-coated chocolate that features a 60-percent higher absorption rate than pill or gummy vitamins—filling a gap in a market that typically relies on animal-derived ingredients. “As we continued working, we were shocked by the true scope of the problem,” Moore told VegNews. “The candy industry uses animal additives in almost everything. Shellac, gelatin, and animal-based food colorants are still used in a majority of candies. We hope that our recent food invention becomes just one example of a broader shift to higher standards all around.” In May, Sourse will expand its functional candy line with two flavors: Omega 3-infused Pro Bites and Glow Bites (which feature plant-based collagen). Each bag of 30 candies (a two-week supply) retailers for $16.