Californian company Dr. Bronner’s is best known for its organic soaps and personal care products. With that in mind, it may seem strange that it has just launched a range of vegan chocolate bars.
But soap and chocolate have one thing in common — they are both made with ingredients that typically aren’t ethically produced, namely palm oil and cocoa. And having already found a socially and ecologically responsible way to source palm oil, Dr. Bronner’s has turned its attention to chocolate.
The chocolate industry is notorious for its mistreatment of workers and environmentally damaging practices. So when Dr. Bronner’s discovered that many of the farmers who supply its palm oil also grow cocoa, it seemed like a perfect opportunity. The cocoa beans are grown using dynamic agroforestry, an organic method that promotes biodiversity while simultaneously improving yields.
But entering the vegan chocolate industry isn’t just smart from a social and environmental point of view — it’s also a great business move. Earlier this month, a report predicted that the vegan chocolate market would be worth $1.41 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 14.8% over the forecast period.
Conventional chocolate manufacturers are beginning to wake up to the potential of this market, with brands like Mars and Lindt launching dairy-free options. Meanwhile, exclusively vegan chocolate brands such as LoveRaw and Moo Free are seeing sales surge.
A move away from extractive capitalism
Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-One Chocolate is now available in six flavours — Roasted Whole Hazelnuts, Crunchy Hazelnut Butter, Salted Whole Almonds, Salted Almond Butter, Salted Dark Chocolate, and Smooth Coconut Praline. It contains 70% organic, fair trade cocoa and is sweetened with coconut sugar.
“The true cost of chocolate production has been externalized and paid by cocoa-producing communities in the service of profit for a few at the expense of many — leading to wide-spread ecological destruction, climate instability, poverty, worker exploitation, child labor, and even slavery,” said Gero Leson, Dr. Bronner’s Vice President of Special Operations. “We want to model a move away from extractive capitalism to a truly constructive model. This thinking is at the foundation of Dr. Bronner’s decision to bring our magic chocolate to market.”