KANSAS CITY — Better-for-you options are pervading the confectionery category, including options with low sugar and no added sugar and offerings made with no artificial colors or flavors.

Low-sugar candy maker SmartSweets is launching its first innovation outside the gummy category with the debut of Sweet Chews.

The individually wrapped chews come in mango, strawberry and watermelon candies. Each 1.6-oz bag contains 3 grams of sugar, 10 grams of fiber and 120 calories. The chews are sweetened with allulose, a naturally occurring rare sugar that is absorbed by the body but not metabolized, resulting in lower calories. Sweet Chews are non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher certified and contain no added sugars.

"Since day one of recipe testing in my kitchen, I have been passionate about creating radically better choices to traditional candy that taste just as delicious as the candy we've all grown to know and love — without all the sugar,” said Tara Bosch, chief executive officer and founder of SmartSweets. “Cutting sugar in one of the most sugar-laden foods out there is no easy feat, but that challenge excites us. We are passionate about changing the narrative of candy from being something that's a moderately enjoyed treat to a snack you can feel good about enjoying throughout the day. We've spent hundreds of hours in our Candyland kitchen perfecting our new Sweet Chews and are excited to launch the first-ever low-sugar, plant-based chew in the market. The possibilities are limitless as we continue to reinvent the candy aisle."

In February, Lily’s Sweets expanded its portfolio of no-added-sugar confections with two new products and three new varieties of its chocolate bars. All products are fair trade certified and sweetened with stevia.

The new chocolate-covered caramels, available in milk chocolate style and dark chocolate, contain less than one gram of sugar per serving.

The dark chocolate and milk chocolate style caramel popcorn contain less than one gram of sugar per serving and feature popcorn enrobed in either dark chocolate or milk chocolate.

The new varieties joining Lily’s Sweets’ chocolate bar lineup are hazelnut, a 40% milk chocolate style bar; salted caramel, a 70% dark chocolate bar; and a 92% dark chocolate bar.

"Our promise has always been to deliver the smooth, rich taste of chocolate we all love, without the sugar," said Cynthia Tice, founder of Lily's Sweets. "As a leader in the sugar reduction movement, Lily's is here to help limit your overall sugar intake while giving you sweets you'll obsess over. I am beyond excited to continue to revolutionize the sweets aisles with our newest product introductions."

Sonoma Brands, maker of Smashmallow brand snackable marshmallows and crispy rice treats, debuted in February new better-for-you gummy snacks featuring three grams of sugar per serving.

Smashgummy is available in two varieties: a fruit-inspired medley of strawberry, cherry, orange and peach flavors, and a sour collection of watermelon, lemon, raspberry and green apple flavors.

“Smashmallow has always been committed to creating permissibly indulgent snacks using the best real and natural ingredients possible, allowing consumers a chance to satisfy that sweet craving in a mindful yet delicious way,” said Jon Sebastiani, founder of Smashmallow. “We are thrilled to bring a new option to our consumers that is in line with our core values of creating products that are formulated with integrity, are modern and on-trend, but that also play on nostalgia and fun.”

Clean label chocolate brand Little Secrets in January expanded its lineup with new Cookie Bars.

Containing no artificial colors or flavors, Little Secrets Cookie Bars feature a baked cookie center topped with caramel and wrapped in fair trade milk or dark chocolate. The bars come in two varieties: dark chocolate with salted caramel, and milk chocolate with caramel.

Additionally, Little Secrets has added a new flavor to its Crispy Wafer line — almond butter in dark chocolate with sea salt crispy wafers — and is introducing Mini Crispy Wafers as a new wafer format. Mini Crispy Wafers come in 3.5-oz bags of 10 individually wrapped wafers and are available in dark chocolate sea salt, milk chocolate sea salt, peanut butter in dark chocolate and the new almond butter in dark chocolate flavors.

View slideshow of new confectionery products.