TCHO, a chocolate company based in San Francisco, recently announced that it will become 100% vegan by 2023. All of the fair-trade chocolatier’s retail chocolate goods will now be made with plant-based recipes, and dairy will be removed from all of its production sites. The company stated that in order to prioritize sustainability, dairy-based goods must be replaced with vegan-friendly alternatives.
“Reducing our reliance on dairy is one of the quickest ways TCHO can lighten our impact on the environment. While this will not be an easy transition for us, we know it’s the right one…From the beginning, TCHO has been committed to working with our farming partners in the field, improving farming techniques, bettering soil conditions, and doing what we can to help minimize deforestation—all of which speaks to a plant-based model,” stated Josh Mohr, Vice President of Marketing at TCHO.
TCHO presently offers a number of vegan chocolate options, but the company is working to replace its dairy-based options with new flavors. The transition period will last until the end of 2022. Six new vegan varieties will be introduced by the vegan chocolate company, including:
- Aww Nuts!: Dark chocolate filled with almond butter
- Born Fruity: Single-origin Peruvian chocolate bar with fruity flavors
- Choco Latte: Coffee truffle bar filled with oat milk chocolate and organic coffee beans
- Dark Duo: Dark chocolate bar mixing a Holy Fudge outer shell and the Born Fruity filling
- Holy Fudge: Ghanaian dark chocolate flavored to taste like crispy brownie edges
- Toffee Time: Cashew butter base, coconut sugar, oat milk, and cacao sprinkled with sea salt and vegan toffee pieces
Several vegan chocolate products are already available from the California-based chocolate company, and they will continue to be available during the company’s new rollout. Hawt Chocolate drinking chocolate, Sweet & Sassy bittersweet baking chocolate, Super Powder cacao powder, Crush This roasted cocoa nibs, and Dark & Bitter unsweetened baking chocolate are among the current chocolate offerings.
TCHO was founded in 2007 with the goal of ensuring the chocolate industry’s long-term viability. The company wants to improve the global chocolate industry’s ethical and sustainability standards by improving production techniques and ingredient sourcing across the board. The TCHO Source initiative is run by the chocolate company to invest in better infrastructure and training while also encouraging higher, more equitable salaries at the chocolate source.
Vegan chocolate confections are growing in popularity around the world as consumer demand for plant-based cuisine, especially desserts, rises. According to Grand View Research, the vegan chocolate confection industry will increase at a 14.8 percent rate from 2021 to 2028, reaching $1.4 billion. TCHO’s choice to eliminate dairy reflects a shift away from classic milk chocolates.
TCHO said that its foodservice line, which is delivered to bakeries and restaurants across the country, will be 100% vegan by early 2022, before the company’s retail assortment fully changes to vegan recipes. To accompany the vegan transition, the company wants to introduce compostable and environmental packaging.
Three years of research and development went into the vegan products, which were overseen by the President of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association. TCHO’s Chief Chocolate Maker, Brad Kintzer, experimented with new recipes and formulas to reinvent the company’s chocolate choices without jeopardizing the company’s flavors or reputation. Kintzer guarantees that chocolate made using alternative dairy products will be equivalent to TCHO’s distinctive goods.
“This was an exciting opportunity to make chocolate that further reflects our values…The spirit of TCHO is rooted in the idea of accepting challenges and trying to bring them to life. Taking out dairy and focusing entirely on plants opened up a whole new world for us. We’re proud of the unique flavor profiles we’ve created. Our alt-milk is an entirely new cacao experience,” Kintzer said in a statement.
With the popularity of vegan chocolate on the rise, customers are increasingly looking for plant-based dessert options. According to another Grand View Research report, the vegan confectionery market will be worth $995 million in 2020. Companies such as Mondelez and Nestle have begun to promote plant-based alternatives to traditional chocolate and desserts.
Tate’s Bake Shop in New York recently debuted two new plant-based cookies, one of which is vegan chocolate chip. Other confectionary heavyweights, such as Hershey’s, are pushing the chocolate industry even further into plant-based terrain, while more enterprises across the country, such as TCHO, are adopting more comprehensive sustainability reforms to keep pushing the market standards.
Source: “This Chocolate Company Is Removing All Dairy to Be 100% Vegan” by The Beet.