Alt Choc business WNWN Food Labs claims world first with Easter ‘Wegg’
British-based ‘alt choc’ business WNWN Food Labs has unveiled what is being claimed as another industry breakthrough with the creation of what is believed to be the first cocoa-free chocolate Easter egg, the Wegg, reports Neill Barston.
The company, which played a prominent role in last year’s World Confectionery Conference in claiming an award for its product innovation, is seeking to further advance its portfolio.
As the business explained, the Wegg, designed by the company’s chocolatier, is15cm high and 10cm wide, weighs approximately 100 grams, and is said to have a nutty, malty taste with a smooth dulce de leche finish. Inside, is a surprise filling, another cocoa-free choc creation from WNWN.
Co-founder of the business, Dr Johnny Drain, welcomed the potential for the new series, which he believed would have potential for the company, which recently gained $5.6 million in investment funding towards scaling-up its manufacturing capabilities within the UK.
“Having launched the first cocoa-free chocolate products, we recognised an opportunity to create the first, and currently only, cocoa-free choc egg, to show that Easter should be celebrated ethically and sustainably,” “While this is not yet a consumer product, due to our scale-up efforts, you shouldn’t be surprised to see the Wegg in baskets next year.”
Sadly, the Wegg will not in fact be for sale as it is in concept form, but it was awarded to an Instagram follower at random via a contest running Tuesday 3 April until 23:59 Easter Monday, 10 April 2023.
Describing its approach to manufacturing, WNWN (pronounced “win-win”) employs a proprietary fermentation process to transform widely available plant-based ingredients like cereals and legumes to create cocoa-free choc that tastes, melts, snaps and bakes just like conventional chocolate.
It is vegan, caffeine-free, gluten-free, palm oil-free, lower in sugar than comparable products. Cocoa-free WNWN products produce 80% less carbon emissions than conventional chocolates, based on an internal lifecycle analysis.
As previously reported by Confectionery Production, a key motivation for creating the business came in response to consumers greater awareness of the impact of key issues including deforestation and child labour within conventional supply chains, with the company noting that 1.5 million children remain vulnerable to being employed in hazardous activities within the industry – given that it is still predominantly a smallholder farmer-driven industry in Ghana and Ivory Coast. The two west African nations account for two thirds of cocoa production.
Speaking previously to our title, the company noted that in its view there would still be place for traditional cocoa growing techniques and supply chains, but noted that where it could offer a technology-created alternative, then in its view, there remains room for all forms of production, given that the confectionery market globally is continuing on a notable growth trend.