Lindt & Sprüngli teams up with Koa for chocolate sweetened with cocoa pulp
Premium confectionery brand Lindt & Sprüngli has claimed an industry breakthrough with a partnership for what is believed to be the first chocolate bar series sweetened with dried cocoa pulp, reports Neill Barston.
The company has linked with Swiss-Ghanaian business, Koa, a venture directly supporting smallholder farmers in West Africa, who are at the heart of the industry and have remained largely living with wages below UN-defined poverty levels.
As Lindt revealed, its latest Excellence Cocoa Pure series of products will have application across both chocolate and bakery ranges, and help provide key additional income for agricultural workers in the sector.
“2021 will be the year of the cocoa fruit. Using the cocoa pulp is key to sustainable, healthy and delicious chocolate. As young entrepreneurs, we are particularly proud to cooperate with the renowned Lindt Maîtres Chocolatiers and to share the same goal Anian Schreiber, co-founder and managing director of Koa, emphasises.
The company explained to Confectionery Production that until now, the pulp that surrounds the cocoa beans was not typically processed in cocoa-growing countries including core markets of Ghana and Ivory Coast due to a lack of infrastructure and technology. Consequently, with conventional cocoa processing, only a small part of the white pulp was used for fermentation, which left much of the fruit going to waste – which is an issue that the wider industry is tackling as businesses such as Ritter Sport, Nestle and Barry Callebaut recently reported maximising the full use of cacaofruit.
“Koa (pictured above) has found an innovative way to gently process the cocoa fruit in close cooperation with 1,600 smallholders. “This is how we enable Ghanaian cocoa farmers to increase their income by up to 30% while boosting value creation in rural Ghana,” Daniel Otu, Operations Director at Koa in Ghana, explains.
As the company revealed, its initial project working with farmers involved the creation of cocoa fruit juice, was to ultimately lead to the development of its new powder range.
According to the company, the new range opens up a number of industry opportunities, including replacing conventional, refined sugar, to create new flavour experiences, or to demonstrate what sustainable value creation in the cocoa-growing countries really means.
The first major chocolate product to emerge, the new Lindt & Sprüngli Excellence bar is made with 82% cocoa beans and 18% Koa Powder, offering a sustainable series for consumers.
As the company noted, more than 90% of cocoa comes from smallholders, 75% of whom live in West Africa. In Ghana, the second largest cocoa producer, around 800,000 smallholders cultivate mixed crops. The cooperation with Koa and the use of the cocoa pulp increases the income of smallholders by up to 30% and diversifies their income source.
Lindt & Sprüngli launched its own sustainability programme, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program (www.farming-program.com) in 2008, in which a voluntary premium is paid per tonne of cocoa beans purchased, which flows into the company’s programme and its elements. The company’s new chocolate line launches this month in selected Lindt stores, as well as on its online shop at www.lindt.com.