Cargill has partnered with Voyage Foods, a California-based food tech company that creates allergen and dairy-free spreads and cacao-free chocolates.

Courtesy of Cargill, image credit Noel Barnhurst

Sweets & Snacks

Cargill and Voyage Foods Partner to Upscale Confectionery Without Cocoa, Nuts, and Dairy

Cargill has announced a commercial partnership with Voyage Foods — a California-based food tech company that creates spreads and chocolates free from cocoa, nut, and dairy — to offer sustainable alternatives to popular sweet favorites. With demand for sustainable global confectionery products expected to rise, and as the cocoa crisis continues to deepen, Cargill will be the exclusive B2B global distributor for Voyage Foods, expanding its existing chocolate offerings with a new range of sustainable chocolate alternatives for the first time. The commercial partnership will also provide food manufacturers with allergen- and dairy-free nut flavor spreads for recipe formulation in the bakery, ice cream, and chocolate confectionery categories. Inge Demeyere, Managing Director, Bakery, Ice Cream and Chocolate Confectionery Europe at Cargill, shared, “This partnership is …

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Nukoko raises funding to scale cocoa-free chocolate

© Nukoko

Investments & Acquisitions

Nukoko Raises $1.5M to Scale “World’s First” Cocoa-Free Chocolate Made From Fava Beans

UK-based company Nukoko has raised $1.5 million in seed funding to scale up its technology to produce cocoa-free chocolate from fava beans. The round was led by Oyster Bay Venture Capital, with participation from SOSV and The Mills Fabrica alongside a grant from Innovate UK. Due to climate change, cocoa has seen a supply deficit in recent years, causing prices to rise by a huge 89% in 2023 and double again in the first months of 2024. Cocoa production is also associated with deforestation and significant carbon emissions. Nukoko claims to have developed the first chocolate made from fava beans, a nitrogen-fixing crop that can be grown within the UK. Using a fermentation process similar to traditional cocoa fermentation, the company transforms the beans into …

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Image: REWE/Planet A Foods

Sweets & Snacks

REWE Group Launches Own-Label Products Made With ChoViva Cocoa-Free Chocolate

Germany’s REWE Group says it has become the first European retailer to use ChoViva cocoa-free chocolate in its own-label products. ChoViva is produced by German startup Planet A Foods, and is made from locally-grown ingredients such as oats and sunflower seeds. The concept originated when the founders realised that most of the flavour of chocolate comes from the fermentation and roasting process rather than the taste of cocoa beans. REWE launched its first products containing ChoViva this month, under the brands ja! and REWE Beste Wahl at REWE stores and the COVO, Granola, and Chocolà brands at PENNY. By using the cocoa alternative, REWE hopes to become more ecologically responsible, as ChoViva requires far fewer resources than conventional chocolate production and is not reliant on …

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Planet A Foods founders

Drs. Max and Sara Marquart. © Planet A Foods

Investments & Acquisitions

Planet A Foods Raises $14.5M to Fuel Mass-Market Expansion for Cocoa-Free Chocolate

German food tech startup Planet A Foods has raised $14.5 million in Series A funding to fuel the international expansion of its cocoa-free chocolate, ChoViva. The round was led by leading climate venture fund World Fund, with participation from Omnes Capital, Cherry Ventures, Mudcake, and more. Some of the funding has already been used to scale up production at Planet A’s factory, allowing the company to produce 750kg of ChoViva per hour. This will help to make the chocolate alternative — which is already very affordable — even cheaper. The funding will also be used to propel Planet A’s mission of becoming a leader in the chocolate alternatives market. It comes after the company secured a partnership with Lindt last year to launch a limited-edition …

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LIndt partners with cocoa-free chocolate brand ChoViva

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Sweets & Snacks

Lindt Partners With Cocoa-Free Chocolate Brand ChoViva to Launch New Vegan Bar

Swiss chocolatier Lindt has partnered with ChoViva, a cocoa-free chocolate brand owned by Germany’s Planet A Foods, to launch a limited-edition vegan chocolate bar. Part of Lindt’s HELLO range, the Soft & Creamy Hazelnut bar features a hazelnut, oat cream, and oat cookie filling containing ChoViva’s cocoa-free chocolate. The outer layer is made from Lindt’s regular dairy-free chocolate. Local and sustainable ChoViva’s chocolate is made from oats and sunflower seeds, which can be grown locally in Germany. The ingredients undergo a special fermentation-like manufacturing process to give them a chocolatey flavour. After being roasted and ground, they are combined with sustainable plant-based fats, sugar, and either milk powder or oat flour. According to ChoViva, the oats provide a naturally sweet flavour, which reduces the amount …

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Foreverland cocoa-free pralines

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Sweets & Snacks

Italy’s Foreverland Launches Pralines & Panettone Made With Cocoa-Free Chocolate

Italian food tech startup Foreverland has launched Freecao, a brand of cocoa-free chocolate made from Italian carob. Carob is a legume that was historically eaten in challenging times when cocoa was not available. Despite having a similar taste to chocolate, carob production does not have any of the issues associated with cocoa production, such as slavery, deforestation, and child labour. Additionally, carob has health benefits such as a low glycemic index, high antioxidant content, and high levels of nutrients such as fibre. It is free of caffeine, gluten, and all major allergens. Italy is the world’s second-largest producer of carob, a resilient crop that can grow in very dry conditions. Produced using innovative technologies, Freecao is said to generate 80% fewer emissions and require 90% …

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© WNWN

Sweets & Snacks

Cocoa-Free Chocolate Brand WNWN Launches Globally for Wholesale & Food Service

WNWN Food Labs, a UK-based producer of cocoa-free chocolate, has announced that wholesale packs of its products are now available worldwide to supply food service outlets, bakeries, CPG companies, and more. WNWN already partners with several bakeries and restaurants across the UK and the EU, and recently entered a joint development agreement with leading European bakery and confectionery supplier Martin Braun-Gruppe. The supplier has customers in over 70 countries worldwide. WNWN’s dark and plant-based m•lk choc are now available as easy-melt buttons in 1.5kg pouches, 10kg packs, and pallets; both varieties are free of dairy, palm oil, caffeine, and theobromine. Since the products are made using plant-based fermentation techniques, they also do not contribute to the ethical issues (such as deforestation, child labor, and slavery) …

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WNWN cocoa-free chocolate bars

© WNWN

Sweets & Snacks

WNWN Launches Three Cocoa-Free Chocolate Bars That “Riff on UK Favourites”

UK-based cocoa-free chocolate producer WNWN Food Labs has launched three new bars that pay homage to some of the country’s most popular chocolate bars — both in taste and in packaging. They are: Choc Nut — Combines cocoa-free choc with layers of hazelnut paste. Choc Orange — Orange and grapefruit flavour choc. Vegan M•lk Choc — A classic plant-based milk choc bar. The cocoa alternative used in the bars is made using plant-based fermentation techniques, and is free of caffeine and theobromine. All packaging is either recyclable or compostable. WNWN aims to provide a more ethical alternative to conventional chocolate production, which has been associated with deforestation, slavery, and child labour. About a year ago, the company announced that it would be increasing its production …

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Häagen-Dazs Start-Up Innovation Challenge

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Sweets & Snacks

Cocoa-Free Choc Ice Cream by WNWN Wins Award at Häagen-Dazs Start-Up Innovation Challenge

British company WNWN Food Labs has won ‘Best Demo’ at the Häagen-Dazs Start-Up Innovation Challenge, after showcasing how its cocoa-free vegan chocolate could be used to make ice cream. In the final phase of the competition on June 13, WNWN presented its developments in the category of ice cream with the lowest carbon footprint. The company had developed nine preparations, including three varieties of chocolate hazelnut ice cream — one encased in a WNWN chocolate shell with WNWN choc chips inside, one in a tub, and one in the form of bite-sized pieces. As well as winning the Best Demo award, WNWN has been named as one of three finalists in the lowest carbon footprint category; the others are France’s YUMGO and Denmark’s Agrain. A …

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WNWN founders

© WNWN Food Labs

Sweets & Snacks

Alt Choc Pioneer WNWN Reveals Milk Chocolate Without Either Milk or Cocoa

London-based WNWN Food Labs, the first to bring cocoa-free chocolate to market, today announces that its first “milk” chocolate products are in the pipeline. WNWN’s milk chocolate is free from cocoa and dairy and features oats as well tiger nuts, sustainably sourced from Spain where they are known as chufas, traditionally used in the traditional Spanish drink Horchata. WNWN describes its milk chocolate as “sweeter and creamier than its dark counterpart, with notes of mocha, malt, and hazelnut, and a buttery finish”.  Having raised $5.6 million (£4.5m) to bring its cocoa-free chocolate range to UK retail this February and then going on to create the “world’s first” cocoa-free chocolate Easter egg, WNWN now reports that it has successfully completed the recipe and process for a …

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WNWN debuts the world's first cocoa-free chocolate Easter egg

Image courtesy of WNWN Food Labs

Sweets & Snacks

WNWN Develops the Wegg, “World’s First” Cocoa-Free Chocolate Easter Egg

WNWN Food Labs, a London-based food tech company specialising in chocolate alternatives, announces it has developed the “world’s first” cocoa-free chocolate Easter egg. Dubbed the “Wegg,” WNWN describes the product as a 100g, 15cm high by 10cm wide cocoa-free Easter egg with a malty and “smooth dulce de leche finish,” filled with another cocoa-free choc surprise. WNWN, which claims to be the first to reach the market with cocoa-free chocolate, uses fermentation to transform plant-based whole foods like grains and legumes into delicious, sustainable alternatives to cocoa beans, avoiding issues such as child labour, deforestation, and the carbon footprint related to chocolate production. “Having launched the first cocoa-free chocolate products, we recognised an opportunity to create the first, and currently only, cocoa-free choc egg, to …

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WNWN's caramel bar

© WNWN

Sweets & Snacks

WNWN Raises $5.6 Million to Launch Cocoa-Free Choc in Retailers Across the UK

Cocoa-free chocolate brand WNWN Food Labs announces it has raised $5.6 million (£4.5m) in financing to launch its vegan, cocoa-free chocolate range into UK retail in 2023.  The round was led by PeakBridge, a foodtech VC firm and core member of EIT Food. Other participants in the round included Geschwister Oetker Beteiligungen Group via its subsidiary Martin Braun-Gruppe, Mustard Seed Maze, PINC, Investbridge AgriTech, and HackCapital.  FoodLabs (formerly Atlantic Food Labs) extended its commitment with follow-on investment. “This blend of VCs gives us deep and strategic food tech experience to make a significant positive impact, and with PeakBridge’s partnership and team, we are well on our way to create a tastier, more ethical future of food,” said WNWN’s CEO, Ahrum Pak.  With the newly raised funds WNWN will increase its manufacturing capabilities and hire additional staff …

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