A potential global chocolate crisis has been averted, thanks to British scientists who claim to have developed the world’s first sustainable chocolate alternative, addressing the impending “shortage” of chocolate.
The innovative product comes from the efforts of serial entrepreneurs Ross Newton, 46, and Kit Tomlison, 44, co-founders of NuKoKo. With a decade of experience in the food and chocolate industry, they’ve created a chocolate that is 100% cocoa-free, crafted from fava beans. Remarkably, it not only replicates the taste of traditional chocolate but also mimics its texture and “snap” when consumed.
In addition to its authentic flavor and texture, this fava bean chocolate contains 40% less sugar, higher protein content, and is more environmentally friendly.
Ross Newton, co-founder of NuKoKo, expressed the situation’s urgency, saying, “Chocolate is running out. This year there has been a shortage of £350,000 worth of chocolate bars and this is expected to grow to £50bn worth of chocolate bars within 10 years.”
The chocolate industry has been grappling with sustainability issues related to cocoa bean production, which has been threatened by climate change. Furthermore, the industry has been associated with substantial carbon emissions, deforestation, and humanitarian concerns. Shockingly, about 1.56 million children, some as young as five, are involved in cocoa farming in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, according to The Food Empowerment Project.
NuKoKo’s solution involves replicating the natural fermentation process of cocoa beans using the much more accessible-to-cultivate fava beans within the UK.
This scientific breakthrough has been achieved in collaboration with renowned Professor David Salt, who has over 35 years of experience, including five years of cocoa quality research with growers and chocolate producers worldwide.
Kit and Ross embarked on their entrepreneurial journey by establishing a successful chocolate brand, Mighty Fine, which they expanded from a market stall to retail before selling it. During this venture, their passion for sustainable chocolate was ignited.
Co-founder Kit Tomlinson highlighted the cocoa shortage’s impact, stating, “The cocoa shortage has hiked prices by 30% this year alone. And that’s on top of the fact that the chocolate we eat has the fifth-highest carbon emissions amongst all food.”
NuKoKo firmly believes that their product is the future of chocolate, offering a cheaper, healthier, and environmentally conscious alternative with 90% fewer CO2 emissions.
The founders aspire to see a world where premium chocolate, made from valuable cocoa, benefits growers and encourages them to reduce the impact of deforestation.
The company has been in discussions with significant chocolate brands regarding potential partnerships and has received funding from Indie Bio, a leading food tech investor, while also collaborating with Kickstart Innovation.
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