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Vegan Sustainable Ecofriendly Recyclable Bean to Bar Chocolate

Kocoatrait Vegan, Sustainable, Recyclable chocolate

Saving the planet one chocolate bar at a time!

Poonam Chordia & L Nitin Chordia

The launch of Kocoatrait Chocolates marked the birth of the world’s 1st Vegan, Sustainable, Ecofriendly, Recyclable and Planet Friendly Bean to Bar Chocolate. We proudly showcased India’s plastic free and paper free effort to the developed world and had a dream launch in early 2019 in Amsterdam. On display was how Kocoatrait operated in and contributed to the circular economy model. In the past year in India, our efforts have met with both disbelief and acceptance in the same breath. Kocoatrait is proudly a cockroach startup. (Read How It Is Different From Unicorn Startups). Given the current pandemic scenario our efforts to be a sustainable and planet friendly chocolate brand might NOT sound completely alien. We expect to find relevance with a much larger audience across the globe and in our home market India.

Kocoatrait Launch Chocoa Amsterdam Feb 2019
The Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Mr Venu Rajamony at Kocoatrait Launch @ Chocoa 2019 in Amsterdam

The Past

A bit of digging deep into our chocolate consumption behaviour would help us put things in perspective. Let us start with, when in 2019 Mariana Trench, an american explorer found candy wrappers on the seafloor. She was attempting to break the record for the deepest human dive ever. This did ring alarm bells and demonstrated how far the implications of human carelessness can be felt and the irreparable impact it is bound to create if we continue our current consumption behaviour. The amount of landfills chocolate wrappers produce adds to chocolates being among one of the most polluting FMCG products in the world. Chips and confectionery packets account for the largest share (19%) of plastic waste in India according to FICCI.

Forcing all of us to think hard

John Gary of the New Statesman in his article titled “Why this crisis is a turning point in history” dated 1st April 2020 claims, “The era of peak globalisation is over. For those of us not on the front line, clearing the mind and thinking how to live in an altered world is the task at hand”. He adds, “Of course economic expansion is not indefinitely sustainable. For one thing, it can only worsen climate change and turn the planet into a garbage dump”. It is perhaps fair to assume that consumers will start to expect brands and products to be more planet friendly. It will also lead to localisation as per KPMG’s forecast of how business landscape is likely to evolve in the days to come. As i write this on 14th April 2020, what comes as a breath of fresh air is Amsterdam’s decision to consider adopting the Doughnut model of sustainable development where decreasing the dependence on depleting resources shall be in focus. Fast economic growth is not considered necessary in this model of sustenance. Click to read.

Worth Pondering About

Anand Mahindra recently wrote an email addressing his employees, where he noted how neglectful we have been and how we were putting an unnecessary burden on the environment. He pondered with a touch of distress.

“Do we need this kind of crisis to learn all this? Can we not live like this even after the crisis is over, not use the environment in a better way and reduce carbon emissions by traveling less?”

– Anand Mahindra, Mahindra & Mahindra

“For too long, the human race has taken the planet for granted, exploiting resources and depleting its biodiversity to feed our unsustainable ways”

Pankaj M Munjal Chairman & Managing Director, HMC, a Hero Motors Company

Vegan, Sustainable, Ecofriendly and Recyclable chocolate

Kocoatrait had the luxury of time over the last 2-3 years to think and act beyond the obvious and immediately visible customer demands. We added differentiation as a key element of our product strategy and we decided that our chocolate packaging would help us balance the impact of the environmental/water burden cocoa farming puts on the planet. In hindsight, we are now happy that we took this execution task very seriously. We are convinced that we right when we decided to execute our product, packaging & positioning strategy in peace before having been forced to!

Strategy without execution is hallucination!

Mike Roach, CEO, CGI

Declarations

Before justifying our efforts to create a futuristic Vegan Sustainable Ecofriendly Recyclable and concious chocolate brand, we would like to be transparent and look at some relevant declarations. a) It takes an astonishing 1700 liters of water to make a typical 100 gram chocolate bar as quoted by BBC. Most of that water is consumed by the cocoa plants in the field. We are not sure if we can reduce the farms dependence on water currently or in the future and b) We currently use non-renewable water/electricity supply sources. Move to greener and self sustainable sources of these resources in the future is on the cards.

It is quite clear, that we do not operate in an industry that is completely sustainable from an input standpoint. Hence, our endeavour has been to do our bit and ensure chocolate lovers do get their daily dose of chocolates with as less guilt as possible. Apart from being Vegan Sustainable Ecofriendly and Recyclable, we have decide to invest in workarounds to make the final chocolate packaging planet friendly. There is little doubt in our minds that our efforts will align with consumer priorities going forward.

Kocoatrait Vegan, Sustainable, Recyclable chocolate
Kocoatrait Vegan, Sustainable, Recyclable chocolate

As of March 2020, Kocoatrait has helped prevent 50 Kgs of single use chocolate wrappers from polluting landfills. This is our chosen parameter to measure the impact of our Startup!

– Poonam & L Nitin Chordia, Kocoatrait

Going by rough calculations, 500 sheets of A4 size non-recycled paper uses 6 percent of an average size tree, we have saved 1/3rd a tree. To put things in perspective, each tree will remove 3 Kgs of Carbon Dioxide emissions per year from the air! As of March 2020, we have helped remove 1 kg of carbon dioxide from the air! Hence helping us reduce our carbon footprint. While this might seem like a pretty small contribution to the planet, we derive pleasure in comparing our current situation to one where we would have contributed to landfill if we were using single use plastic lined chocolate wrappers. This keeps us motivated, strong & going.

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

– Steve Jobs
Insight into the Journey of Cocoa Pods to Kocoatrait Chocolates!

Our concerns and the opportunity

We have noted that our average consumer is well travelled and that the sustainability voices were growing over the last few years. Given the above, our concern is that post Covid19, travels will reduce or get minimised to “when necessary” due to justified fears. Travel related exposure to other cultures play a significant role in changing consumer mindsets. We are questioned about how our customer would get inspired to adopt sustainable and zero waste living lifestyles? How will consumers navigate the path of sustainability in this unsustainable world? Will they adopt effortlessly? Will they understand the need and benefits of doing so? Well, we will find the answers sooner than later upon our return to the “New Normal”. We shall be paying specific attention to the changes our consumers are going to make to their lifestyle to reduce the greenhouse gases that are generated by their actions. In the meanwhile, if interested, you can check your own Carbon Footprint by using this Carbon Footprint Calculator.

Heres how Kocoatrait, Vegan Sustainable Ecofriendly Recyclable chocolate brand is contributing to India’s circular Economy!

  1. Circularity in Packaging

    We UPCYCLE our packaging material by reclaiming cotton from Textile units & our own cocoa husk waste and help in REDUCING LANDFILL. Our packaging is RECYCLABLE, BIO DEGRADABLE & COMPOSTABLE and also PLASTIC & PAPER FREE.

  2. Eco Friendly

    70% of the Upcycled material gets utilised into making our chocolate wrapper with an aim to reduce WASTAGE of valuable resources. The balance 30% gets REUSED as a business card or gets RECYCLED.

  3. Planet Friendly

    We do not want to be a small bar inside a larger sized wrapper. Our Packaging helps us OPTIMIZE our transport volume, reduce CARBON FOOTPRINT & occupy LESSER RETAIL SHELF SPACE!

  4. Extending Product Lifestyle

    The inner side of the packaging has mandala art templates, greetings, emergency contacts, habit tracker, bookmarks etc, making it REUSABLE thus EXTENDING THE LIFECYCLE of the product and making the wrapper ZERO WASTE!

  5. Social Inclusiveness

    The wrapper design is entirely printed at V-Excel Educational Trust aiming to support & foster inclusion & independence of individuals with SPECIAL NEEDS.

  6. Use of Technology

    QR Codes have been used to educate consumers by providing information about REUSE & RECYCLING of packaging material.

  7. Sustainable Ingredients

    Uses ORGANIC cocoa beans of SOUTH INDIAN ORIGIN. Uses traditional NON REFINED organic khandsari (moscovado) sugar. Kocoatrait is Palm oil free! We do not buy cocoa where the cocoa was planted as a result of deforestation.

  8. Fair Prices to farmer

    As a business decision we only source Fine flavoured cocoa and pay 55% higher than market prices on an average for our cocoa purchases. We try to maximise the benefit to the farmers.

  9. Unique Natural Flavours

    10 UNIQUE DARK CHOCOLATE FLAVOURS – Sukku Coffee, Masala Chai, Lavender, Banana, Pink Rose, Red Rose, Lemongrass, Banana, Coconut Milk & Cinnamon, Irish Coffee. FLAVOUR OILS have NOT been used.

  10. Transparency

    We print the (RDA) Recommended Daily Dietary Allowances clearly on the FRONT of the pack, allowing us to be transparent & CONSUMER CENTRIC. We also clearly give credits to our printing partners on the packaging.

  11. Healthier Product

    REDUCED SUGAR & HIGH COCOA ensures a much healthier Dark chocolate experience. In line with these principles, we do not offer White & Milk chocolates. Most of our chocolates are Vegan.

The Press release is available at: https://cocoatrait.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Kocoatrait-Press-Release-11th-December-2019-scaled.jpg We also curated a Zero waste chocolate gift box! Below is a video on the Making of Kocoatrait. You have an opportunity to enroll for a Bean to Bar chocolate making course at our Institute Cocoashala too! Click for details.

The making of Kocoatrait Vegan, Sustainable, Recyclable chocolate

Press Contact: L Nitin Chordia; +919600064846; nitin@cocoatrait.com

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Why should you recycle aluminum foil

Aluminum is considered one of the highest-value materials that can be recycled and reprocessed into new aluminum in just barely 60 days! Aluminium foils used by chocolate companies are usually laminated with a layer of plastic to save costs on aluminium by using a thin aluminium foil. Kocoatrait chocolates uses a much thicker pharmaceutical grade aluminium foil without any plastic content to wrap our chocolate bars. This ensures that our chocolates are protected as it provides a total barrier to light and oxygen.

Aluminum foil is 100% recyclable, unless there is a plastic laminate on it. While it is used to protect the chocolate bar before you have purchased it, we would like to encourage you not throw the aluminium away AND to re-use the high quality aluminium foil atleast once before it finds it way into the recycling plant. We have not sealed or stickered the aluminium foil and hence there are several ways we could re-use it. You can give it a second, third or fourth life with one of the creative ideas below! Whats more, you can reuse it for ever!

Use as a sandwich wrap Use the foil to wrap a cold sandwich or cold bread! This is the best use of the foil and it can be reused many times before you decide to recycle it. 

Sharpen Scissors Fold the aluminum foil into a thick square and cut it about 8-10 times. This will help to sharpen the edges of your dull scissors. 

Regulate Your Lotion Dispenser Wrap aluminum foil around the pump dispenser of your soap or lotion to control how much comes out. Not only will you be reusing the aluminum foil, but you’ll also extend the life of your soap or lotion. 

Eliminate Static Cling If you are having problems with static cling on your clothing, add a piece of aluminum foil to the dryer next time you do a load. It will help to reduce the static cling. 

Extend the Life of Your Bar Soap Instead of letting your bar of soap sit in a puddle of water, lay it on a sheet of aluminum foil. 

Cut Down Your Ironing Time Put a sheet of aluminum foil under your ironing board. It will help to reflect the heat and iron both sides at once. We believe that we can do better.

We would love to hear feedback & any ideas on how to improve! Email us at nitin@cocoatrait.com or Whats app us at +919600064846. Our other flavours are available at: https://cocoatrait.com/product-category/shop/kocoatrait-chocolates/ 

Content derived from: https://livegreen.recyclebank.com/14-little-known-ways-to-reuse-aluminum-foil https://www.homeandgardeningideas.com/12-creative-ways-to-reuse-aluminum-foil/2/ https://www.organicauthority.com/live-grow/how-to-reuse-recycle-aluminum-foil

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Difference between Cacao and Cocoa

In india, traditionally, sab kuch chalta hai has been the usual expectation, approach and attitude of both consumers and brands towards claims that are made. The FSSAI and the Advertising Standards Council of India have stepped up a great deal to monitor cases of misleading advertisements and claims in the Food and Beverage sector. However, the recent honey episode clearly exposes how Indian consumers are known to have a careless attitude towards many purchases they make. They do not question most claims and hence many brands take advantage of the loopholes. Coming to the topic of this article, what is the difference between Cacao and Cocoa? Lets dive in!

In almost every consumer interaction I have had in the recent past, i have been asked a question about the difference between Cacao and Cocoa. To start with, the botanical name of the tree on which cocoa pods grow is Theobroma Cacao. It is the bitter seed of this fruit which is processed into chocolate starting from from Bean to Bar. The cocoa pod are first carefully harvested (cut from the tree) and then the pulp which coats the seeds is removed from the pods and put together in the fermentation box for fermentation for 5-7 days and then usually sun dried.

Untill this stage, most of the processes are natural and happen at the farm (except drying using artificial dryers in case of rains) and the beans are referred to as cacao beans. However, once the beans travel and reach the chocolate processing unit, the chocolate maker starts by grading and sorting the beans and roasting them. This is usually the 1st artificial step that is administered on the beans. Till before the roasting stage, the beans are referred to as Cacao beans. Once the beans are roasted, they are usually referred to as cocoa beans. Cocoa usually means beans that have been processed. Post roasting, cocoa (or chocolate) liquor is made by refining the beans and is then pressed to separate cocoa butter and the resultant powder. This liquor is NOT referred to as Cacao liquor, it is referred to as cocoa liquor because it is made from processed (roasted) beans!

As next steps, commercial chocolate manufacturers treat (alkalise) cocoa to get rid of the acidity and bitterness of low quality or mass produced cacao beans that are used. Alkalised cocoa is famously called as Dutch processed cocoa !!! With us being clear about the usage of the term cocoa, let us understand what cacao refers to! Cacao is used as a term for a product that is less processed than other products. To take an example of cocoa powder, if the powder is alkalised, it is called as cocoa powder. However, if it is not alkalised, it can be called as Cacao powder.

However, your insight and inquisitiveness should not stop here! Many health and nutritional experts refer to the usage of cacao as a superfood and in many of their recommendations and recipes without really expanding or explaining on what is the exact product they are referring to! It is researched extensively and believed that Cocoa contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods. However, most of the antioxidants are available in non processed cacao and the benefits reduce as they are further processed. This means RAW beans contain most of the benefits that have been researched! Roasting and alkalising it results in the most loss of antioxidants. However, we must remember that cacao also contains a lot of fat (50% by weight!). Hence it is useful to press out the fat from it. When pressed, the resultant product is powder. If the beans are not roasted (to retain antioxidants) and powder is pressed, the resultant product is RAW cacao powder and is believed to retain the most antioxidants and the most healthy! Hence it is best to use RAW cacao powder or RAW cacao nibs if the aim is to accentuate health benefits from cacao.

Bakers must also note that baking soda causes an increase in pH and subsequent destruction of flavanol compounds and antioxidant activity. Hence it is best to avoid baking soda in your healthy bakes.

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Team Building session with chocolates. Now Virtually!

Team building session with chocolates. Please click here to access the presentation on how HR/Project managers can engage their teams virtually for a team building activity during this pandemic. Link: Click Below are a few testimonials from our clients.

We reached out to Nitin for a team session on appreciating Indian bean to bar chocolates. The team enjoyed the bonding over the session and learnt a lot about making, eating and enjoying chocolates. Nitin engaged with many of them and answered all their queries which made it very interactive. Whilst initially a two hour session, we went on for nearly three hours. All thanks to Nitin and his wonderful chocolates!

– Yash J Ashar, Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Mumbai

Given the continued WFH, we were looking for a fun and informative virtual session that would help the team interact. Some of the other options we considered were stand up comedy or concert, but we felt with Nitin’s knowledge and credentials and the excellent Kocoatrait chocolates, a chocolate appreciation session would be more interactive and engaging. We were not disappointed – the session was excellent and everyone really enjoyed it. We would highly recommend it.

– Prashant Gupta, Partner and National Practise Head (Capital Markets), Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, New Delhi

The chocolates that we are going to Taste, savour and appreciate and special too! They are planet friendly, Zero Waste, Single Origin Bean to Bar Chocolates. The video below describes the journey of Kocoatrait chocolates from bean to bar!

The Journey fo Planet Friendly Kocoatrait chocolates from Bean to Bar

You could also choose to include a zero waste sustainable and planet friendly chocolate gift box (options available in reusable TIN and Plam leaf). This box lends itself very well to the overall virtual chocolate appreciation experience. The box is available to view at: https://cocoatrait.com/product/zero-waste-gift/

From an HR perspective, the top 10 benefits of virtual team building are listed here: https://www.teamtactics.co.uk/blog/2020/04/03/top-10-benefits-of-virtual-team-building/

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Bake Better: Chocolate couverture made with Desi Khandsari a.k.a Muscovado Sugar

Why should you be baking with Khandsari Sugar and care if the baking chocolate you are using is sweetened with it? Read on..

Muscovado, also khandsari and khand, is a type of partially refined to unrefined sugar with a strong molasses content and flavour made from thickened sugar cane syrup. It is neither bleached nor contains harmful chemicals and additives and hence considered a less processed substitute to white sugar. It is dark brown in colour usually. Khandsari and Gur (jaggery) are the most popular forms of the traditional sugars in northern India.

Khandsari sugar is usually darker than other sugars

The largest producer and consumer of khandsari is India. The English name “muscovado” is derived from a corruption of Portuguese açúcar mascavado (unrefined sugar).The Indian English names for this type of sugar are khandsari and khand (sometimes spelled khaand). Nearly two thirds of the total sugarcane produced had been used for manufacturing of the traditional sugars in 1930’s. However, after introduction of sugar refinery mills and their significant growth and increased demand for white sugar associated with increase in per-capital income among the population, the demand for the traditional sugars declined. By 2000, only 32.5% of the total sugarcane produced in India was used for manufacturing of Gur and Khandsari.

Muscovado a.k.a Khandsari sugar sugar is unrefined cane sugar that contains natural molasses. It has a rich brown color, moist texture, and toffee-like taste. It’s commonly used to give confections like cookies, cakes, and candies a deeper flavor but can also be added to savory dishes. This is the reason why Kocoatrait chocolate couvertures have a deeper and unique toffee like note. This helps bakers add a slightly unique flavour to their final products. This is perhaps the main reason you should be Baking with Khandsari Sugar.

The use of khand in India in making sweets has been traced to at least 500 BC, when both raw and refined sugar were used. Along with gur, khandsari unrefined sugar is India’s traditional sweetener,[28] commonly used in traditional recipes for masala chai (spiced Indian tea), eating with roti by mixing with melted ghee, traditional Indian sweets that require sugar such as kheer (Indian rice pudding), gur or khand chawal (sweetened rice) or laddu. Khandsari (muscovado) is used in traditional Ayurveda medicine to aid blood purification, digestion, bone health and the lungs.

Having said the above, our verdict is as follows: While it is true that khandsari has more nutritional value than white sugar.  But let us be real.  One should not be eating sugar for the vitamins and minerals! The fact is that khandsari is minimally processed and has a unique flavour profile which makes it interesting to work with. This should be the reason you should consume it. Further, there has always been a debate about bone char being used to refine sugar. We just could not get around proving that, so we decided to avoid the problem instead of solving it ! We do not encourage the health claims associated with khandsari. However, using minimally processed and safe ingredients is always something we are eager to do Thats why we buy only USDA organic certified khandsari sugar for use in Kocoatrait chocolate products.  

https://www.longdom.org/open-access/alternative-and-supplementary-health-model-on-traditional-sugars.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscovado
Michael Krondl, Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert, Chicago Review Press, ISBN 978-1556529542, pp. 34–35

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Kocoatrait Chocolate Flavours

Kocoatrait Bean to Bar Chocolate India
Kocoatrait Bean to Bar Chocolate India

55% Dark Milk Irish Cream Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This chocolate bar is our treat to the coffee lover who can’t live without chocolate! The Irish cream flavour adds to the comfort!

64% Dark (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This is our signature plain dark single origin chocolate made with Indian cacao. We have strived hard to enhance the rum & raisin notes of this chocolate bar. Makes us proud!

64% Sukku Coffee Dark Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
Sukku Coffee, a popular drink in Tamilnadu is used to aid in digestion. It is a combination of dry ginger, coriander seeds, and other flavorful spices. We aim to recreate the popular Sukku experience with chocolate!

65% Pink Rose Dark Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
Organic & very aromatic Pink Rose from Rajasthan provides the subtle rose flavour to enhance the experience of love! Perfect gift for your loved one.

65% Masala Chai Dark Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
The masalas that trigger freshness have been perfectly roasted and incorporated in this chocolate bar made of Indian origin cocoa beans!

65% Coconut Milk & Cinnamon Dark Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
The creaminess of coconut milk and a pinch of cinnamon helps enjoy the bar while being vegan!

66% Dark Banana (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This dark chocolate bar is made with Indian Bananas for a balanced and delightful fruity experience!

66% Dark Lavander (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This dark chocolate bar is made with Kashmiri Lavander flowers for a creamy dark experience!

65% Red Rose Dark Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
Organic Red Rose from Rajasthan is used to flavour this bar! With less on aroma but higher (than pink rose) on flavour, this bar is a way to please your pallete!

70% Dark (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This is our deep and rounded plain bar! Cocoa in its purest form!

70% Dark Jaggery (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This is our deep and rounded plain bar sweetened with jaggery to a familiar treat! Cocoa in its purest form!

66% Dark Lemongrass (Brand: Kocoatrait)
Lemongrass is long associated with food preparation! Here we use real lemongrass of Indian origin to create a deep connection with cacao. Enjoy this South American combination!