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.
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
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.
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
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- Social Inclusiveness
The wrapper design is entirely printed at V-Excel Educational Trust aiming to support & foster inclusion & independence of individuals with SPECIAL NEEDS.
- Use of Technology
QR Codes have been used to educate consumers by providing information about REUSE & RECYCLING of packaging material.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
We are trying to Save the planet, one chocolate bar at a time !! Kocoatrait is a Vegan Ecofriendly Sustainable Chocolate brand. Kocoatrait is the Worlds 1st Zero Waste, Planet Friendly (Plastic & Paper free) Bean to Bar chocolate operating in the Sustainable Luxury market. Since showcasing our efforts to the fine chocolate community in Amsterdam at the beginning of 2019 and our launch in India during the 2nd half of the last year, Kocoatrait has helped prevent 50 Kgs of single use chocolate wrappers from polluting landfills! Our Up-cycled cocoa husk wrapper is our small contribution towards the planet and our chosen parameter to measure our success/impact. Kocoatrait offers 12 chocolate variants. WE ARE PROUDLY INDIAN. Press Release can be viewed at: bit.ly/PR11thDec The Video link of the journey of a Humble Cocoa Pod at a Cocoa farm to Zero Waste Kocoatrait chocolate is: https://youtu.be/0srVqupalpQ
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 removed 1 kg of carbon dioxide from the air! Hence helping us to remain carbon positive! 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 & going!
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.
Press Contact: L Nitin Chordia; +919600064846; firstname.lastname@example.org