Vegan & Plant Based Inclusion Options

Many people are taking up new eating habits and increasing their awareness of the impact of their food choices environentally, economically, and socially.

With this in mind, there has been a global rise in the interest for food that is plant based, vegetarian, and vegan.

Many of the products we already make are suitable for vegan or vegetarian applications – often with only small modifications, process controls or colour swaps to meet your requirements. Our team would love to help you find the right solution for your next project.

Further Reading

World Vegan Day – 1 November – with regular celebrations in Adelaide, Melbourne,

Plant Based, Vegetarian, & Vegan Diets – NZ Heart Foundation

Veganism – Wikipedia

What Impacts Pricing For Inclusions?

Product Pricing Header Image
Sugar Boiled Kibble Category Image - Spilt jar of Cherry Kibble


Some ingredients are premium priced compared to others. Isomalt is a premium raw product compared to sugar, so it makes sense that Sugar Free Inclusions are premium priced compared to their sugar based counterparts.

Comparison of small kibble large kibble and small balls - boiled sugar range

Shape & Processing Time

How long things take to make and the shape of the finished goods means there is a specific layer of processing time. The various cooling processes, cooking times, and non-mechanical processing including the speed of processing the formulation at the required shape and size.

Technician comparing two samples of an inclusion for colour match verification

Processing Restrictions & Testing

If your processes require additional testing or has special processing restrictions this may place extra charges or timeline restrictions onto your order increasing the required resources and cost to complete for you.

empty shipping container on wood floor with white wall

Order Volume

All inclusion products are made to order. Each product is a custom setup for processing equipment and there are strict process controls to ensure cleanliness, compliance, quality, and safety throughout production. When processing smaller orders, it means these fixed costs for production setup are spread over a smaller total volume of product.



As our inclusion products are priced including delivery, where you wish to send the shipment as well as the urgency of the delivery is also important. We regularly send containers to our Australian logistics warehouse, but should your production require stock with more urgency than is available via our standard freight options or under our current lead times, airfreight is often available for an extra charge.

Colour sample verification on white background

Special Flavours/Colours

There are a variety of colours and flavours available from a wide range of suppliers. If your project requires a specific colour or flavour result, then the volume of these specialised ingredients will impact the overall cost.

Confectionery Coatings - RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and Cocoa Butter on white background


Coatings have a range of options and purposes and is an extra processing step. The type and volume of coating can impact the production process including manufacturing time and ingredient costings.

4 Types of Popcorn in mixed Pile

Smallest Size

When a product is created it is then sized into what is needed for your application the smallest required size with your finished product. The more inclusive the smallest size of product acceptable (down to 0mm – dust) the more cost effective the production process.

3002 Natural Caramel Fudge Pieces in scoop

Largest Size

The size range that is required for your inclusion including the largest pieces that are processable by your equipment and desired in your finished product dictates the variance in product size of the finished product. A smaller size range increases processing efforts and as such increases costs.

Ready to start? Our team are here to help

Or grab our free product development worksheets to help kickstart the process for you.

What Creates The Fluffy Texture of Honeycomb?

Heat Reaction of Baking Soda Header

What makes honeycomb fluffy? Well, it’s the aeration of the hot sugar mixture beyond what was typically available through “pulling” (the same process used to soften and finish taffy based treats).

This aeration process is typically done with a raising agent, like baking soda. Baking soda when heated produces bubbles, and the resulting delicious light and fluffy texture is what we capture in our various honeycomb/hokey pokey recipes to help get just the right texture for your project.

For further information on this chemical reaction, check out the following resources:

Inclusion Learning Centre: Chocolate Coatings

ILC Chocolate Coatings- Header image with piles of white, milk & dark chocolate on whilte background

Chocolate is a highly moisture resistant option as an inclusion coating and is has a wide range of price points and options available within. From a premium dark or ruby chocolate coating to the delicious options in compound milk or white choc, and everything in between there is sure to be something to delight your customers and meet your desired taste profile. Chocolate coatings, in real or compound chocolate, can be applied as an outer coating on your inclusion or as a part of the flavour itself of the item in products like chocolate fudge or dark chocolate biscuit soft crunch.  Our team has even developed processes to partially coat the products in chocolate, allowing the strength of the inclusion flavour to be enhanced with a hint of chocolate (like in our Mint Kibble Dark Compound Partial Coat – 3334 as shown on the left).

Dark Real Vs Compound Chocolate
Dark Real Vs Compound Chocolate

Chocolate traces it’s history back over centuries to the hot drink and is now a popular flavour around the world for treats and snacks. Various forms of “real” chocolate are made with cocoa butter (the natural fats of the cocoa bean) and various amounts of other ingredients such as cocoa liquor or cocoa powder with sugar and milk to create the chocolate we know and love today. Compound chocolate is the product made with similar ingredients, but replacing some of the cocoa butter with other fats or oils, such as sustainably sourced palm oil, to create a product that meets the taste profile, use requirements,  or price point of the product’s target market.

3 Chocolates - Milk Dark White
3 Chocolates – Milk Dark White

FoodFlo International has also developed processes for usings chocolates that meet special requirements, such as sugar-free options where projects need chocolate coatings but have specific ingredient requirements or process restrictions.

No matter what your desired application, there is sure to be an ideal solution available. Our team are here to help you discover them.

Related Inclusions

Further reading: – Chocolate – Wikipedia – Ruby Chocolate: Everything You Need To Know – Couverture Chocolate – Wikipedia – Compound Chocolate – Wikipedia

Inclusion Learning Centre: Cocoa Butter

Inclusion Learning Centre Header Image - Cocoa Butter: With photo of solid pieces of cocoa butter against white background

Cocoa butter is a premium confectionery fat, primarily used in the manufacture of chocolate. Cocoa butter is the oil/fat extracted from the cocoa beans and is primarily used in the manufacture of chocolate and chocolate products, with some side applications in pharmaceutical use thanks to the melting temperatures of the fat being similar to the average temperature of the human body. This melting point of the fat is what gives chocolate and other products containing the premium confectionery coating a smooth, melt in your mouth experience.

solid pieces of cocoa butter against white background
solid pieces of cocoa butter

Cocoa butter behaves similarly to sustainable palm oil in the application and use as a confectionery coating and moisture barrier to mitigate the effects of ambient moisture in production processes and minimise the effects of high moisture or freeze/thaw application on products such as food inclusions.

Cocoa butter in solid form is a buttery yellow colour, and when melted, has similar colouring to olive or other cooking oils.

No matter what your desired application, there is sure to be an ideal solution available. Our team are here to help you discover them.

Further reading: – Cocoa Butter – Wikipedia – What’s The Deal With Cocoa Butter? – Cocoa Butter – Bakerpedia

Inclusion Learning Centre: Sustainable Palm Oil Coatings

Inclusion Learning Centre Header: Sustainable Palm Oil Coating - with image of solid palm oil on white baground

Palm oil is a popular confectionery coating fat thanks to its creamy texture and neutral flavour. Oil from palm trees It is also very efficient to produce (source) compared to other oil products per unit of land. FoodFlo International uses only RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil as per our Sustainable Palm Oil Policy.

Palm Oil - Solid against white background
Palm Oil – Solid

This fantastic and multipurpose oil is clear, odourless and flavourless and hardens to a bright white colour in solid form. Applied carefully, it helps to mitigate the effects of ambient moisture in production processes that would otherwise cause uncoated items to clump together and used in greater volume used for minimizing the impact of high moisture applications (such as in ice cream) or freeze/thaw situations on products like honeycomb balls. This multipurpose ingredient is used as a cooking oil in some countries thanks to its impressive range of properties.

No matter what your desired application, there is sure to be an ideal solution available. Our team are here to help you discover them.

Further reading: – FoodFlo International Sustainable Palm Oil Policy – About the RSPO – How It’s Made Palm Oil (YouTube Video)

Inclusion Learning Centre – Confectionery Coatings

ILC Confectionery Coatings- Header image with piles of RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, Cocoa butter, white, milk 7 dark chocolate on whilte background

Confectionery coatings are a great way to enhance specific properties of your inclusion. This can be for the benefit of the final product, or as a processing aid. Regardless of if you are hoping to delay softening or create a smoother free-flow in your production dosing, there are a variety of solutions that are available.

Honeycomb balls in panning drum -right gloved hand and factory whites
Honeycomb balls in panning drum -right gloved hand and factory whites

Confectionery coatings primarily act as a moisture barrier, creating a moisture-resistant coating on a product that would naturally absorb environmental moisture at a level that encourages the inclusions to either stick together in ambient storage or dissolve quickly in high moisture environments. By manipulating the quantity and type of coating applied, inclusions such as Honeycomb can be engineered to remain crunchy in products like ice cream or melt just the right amount while still being free-flowing without impacting taste profiles.

Confectionery Coatings - RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and Cocoa Butter on white background
Confectionery Coatings – RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and Cocoa Butter

The most common coatings include RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (See our Palm Oil Policy for more information or talk to the FoodFlo Team about your requirements). Cocoa butter is also an option for more premium products where your processes exclude the option of using palm products.

3 Chocolates - Milk Dark White
3 Chocolates – Milk Dark White

If you are looking to also add another layer of flavour to the product, the use of a chocolate or compound choc in white, milk, or dark, or even a mix of choc and fat or cocoa butter in a partial coating scenario allows your product to get value, flavour and desired performance all rolled into a single ingredient.

The FoodFlo Team use a variety of methods to create and capture various qualities across a range of inclusions on offer and are excited to work with you to find the right mix for your needs.

Further reading: – VIDEO – Variety & Range of Honeycomb Balls -VIDEO – Confectionery Coatings In Moisture – Water Demonstration – VIDEO – Chocolate Options As Confectionery Inclusion Coatings – Application Inspiration: Peanut Brittle Ice Cream – Ibrahim Bouaiss – Technology of Coated and Filled Chocolate Confectionery and Bakery Products

Inclusion Learning Centre: Sugar Free

Inclusion Learning Centre E-Course Topic Header: Sugar Free Inclusions - includes image of spilt jar of Sugar Free mint kibble

More and more consumers are chasing lifestyle products that not only taste good but have healthier formulations. In the past few years, we have seen the rise of the speciality food aisles in grocery stores for products “free-from” gluten, sugar and other ingredients shift from back corners and bottom shelves to prominent sections and special displays in prime locations. Products suitable for the diabetic were a label searching experience at the turn of the century and are now something ranged alongside and viewed by consumers as a practical alternative to the real sugar products.

Sugar-free inclusions are a great way to help products your products stand out. Isomalt based formulations not only have a less sweet taste, but they also carry a significantly lower caloric load than sugar, helping with formulations for a variety of purposes.

Sugar-free is a topic where we have created quite a few resources, and have included links to them below.

Looking to target the rise in post-lockdown wellness? How about flavour enjoyment without the guilt of over-indulgence? Sugar-free formulations are perfect for new and exciting products to delight consumers.

Our team are here to help you discover solutions perfect for your next project.

Further reading: – Sugar-Free Product Range

Free Whitepaper “Dietary Indulgence: Product Development Possibilities Expand With Sugar-Free Inclusion Options” – Free Download: Inclusion Checklist – Sugar-Free Inclusions Using Isomalt as a Sugar Replacement – Polyols in confectionery: the route to sugar-free, reduced sugar and reduced-calorie confectionery. Albert Zume, Adam Lee, and David Storey.

Related Inclusions

Inclusion Learning Centre: Popcorn Inclusions

Inclusion Learning Centre E-Course Topic Header: Popcorn Inclusions - includes image of spilt jar of caramel popcorn kibble

Popcorn’s natural popping process creates a light, high fibre and well-loved treat. Delicious, and available in full or kibbled flakes (popped kernels).

Although remnants of popcorn have been found thousands of years ago in Mexico, the snack was first popularised in the late 19th century and increased in popularity due to the large volume by weight compared to sugar-based treats that were rationed during the Second World War. Popcorn was also introduced as a highly profitable snack sold at theatres with Wikipedia reporting that in instances it was more profitable than the proceeds of the cinema ticket itself. Popularity surged after the invention of microwaveable varieties for home consumers.

4 Types of Popcorn
4 Types of Popcorn (L to R:) Caramel Popcorn Kibble, Kibbled caramel popcorn, whole caramel popcorn, and plain popcorn

The light and fluffy texture of popcorn come from a specific variety of corn, which has a durable shell to allow for the foam-like texture of the steamed wholegrain to develop when the pressure inside is released.

Used in a variety of ways, the flavours and textures of popcorn can allow product developers to create food experiences on a variety of levels.

4 Types of Popcorn in mixed Pile
4 Types of Popcorn Mixed Pile

As inclusions, the unique texture of popcorn can be preserved in high moisture environments such as those required in QSR environments, milkshakes, or ice creams with the application of various coatings such as cocoa butter and confectionery fat (RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil).

No matter what your desired application, there is sure to be solutions to suit. Our team are here to help you

discover them.

Further reading: – FoodFlo Popcorn Product Page – Corny Facts – Popcorn (Wikipedia)

Related Inclusions