For Kocoatrait, every step spells sustainability— from fermentation of cocoa to packaging of chocolates.
About 30 years from now, chocolates will be extinct, claim scientists. A study by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found that cacao plants will most likely be extinct by 2050. The good news: There is still hope, as chocolate brands like Kocoatrait (formerly Cocoatrait) are creating a loyal community of planet-conscious chocolate lovers.
Although conceptualized in 2018 as an artisanal chocolate, Kocoatrait shifted its focus towards sustainability and launched itself as a responsible chocolate brand after a news story on American explorer Victor Vescovo made global headlines. Vescovo, during a record-breaking submarine dive into the Mariana Trench, the world’s deepest oceanic pocket, found tonnes of candy wrappers at the bottom of the sea.
“We love our oceans and forests and we decided that this should be the greatest problem area to which we must find a solution. The impact of chocolate wrappers and chocolate as a product on the environment is quite alarming. We felt that chocolate is one of the key areas we should invest our time in. This is a product everyone loves and buys impulsively, so we decided to establish a sustainable operation and product,” says Nitin Chordia, Founder-Director of Kocoatrait.
Today, Kocoatrait has succeeded in being a sustainable, planet-friendly and zero-waste chocolate brand, intent on fighting climate change and contribute positively to the environment by reducing landfill waste.
“Kocoatrait is a clean label product and uses no artificial flavouring or ingredients. We have saved over 200Kg of single-use plastic from being used. This is the impact of our efforts and contribution towards climate change and the circular economy. Most chocolate brands do not operate with the same objective as ours, and any brand who does so, is naturally not considered our competition but our partner in our effort to save the planet,” he says.
Kocoatrait is built on three attributes: Inclusiveness, transparency, and planet consciousness. This is reflective in the brand’s packaging as well as digital assets.
“At Kocoatrait, we acknowledge that merely offering a planet or environment-friendly product is not sufficient to become the first choice for conscious consumers. We work with disadvantaged communities for our printing and gifting boxes. We demonstrate price and process transparency and publish details on our website, including detailed cost breakup of each chocolate bar, and we are a plastic- and paper-free chocolate! In short, we do not intend to harm any person and/or cut a tree to run our operations,” says Chordia.
On the brand’s current challenges, Chordia says that every obstacle is seen as an opportunity so long as they look at it from a planet-friendly perspective.
“The traditional challenges of transportation, packaging, increasing input costs are all negated if you set your focus on saving the planet and then things fall in place quite easily. We do not overthink or overanalyse a problem, but we do our best to address it logically. We operate in this very safe zone,” he says.
Highlighting the trends in artisanal chocolate consumption, Chordia says that an average Indian consumer does not differentiate between a sugar and a chocolate craving. They buy chocolates when they crave sugar.
Kocoatrait has some healthy flavours like Jaggery Bean to Bar Dark Chocolate, which is made using Indian Origin Jaggery, and Kocoatrait Bean to Bar 64% Sukku Coffee Dark Bean to Bar Chocolate, which is infused with herbs and spices, which are considered an effective home remedy in Tamil households.
“The Indian consumer is easily impressed and taken for a ride by products that claim they are ‘artisanal.’ They also buy dark chocolate thinking they are all healthy. They have no idea about the amount of sugar they are consuming in a 50% dark chocolate,” he says.