It’s good news for chocolate lovers that have sustainability on their minds: yesterday, a London-based startup called WNWN Food Labs announced the launch of one of the world’s first alternative chocolate products.
Barley and carob are the primary ingredients in the alt-chocolate. The product is vegan, caffeine-free, gluten-free, lower in sugar than comparable products. As for environmental benefits, WNWN’s chocolate releases around 80% fewer CO2 emissions than conventional chocolate does.
Chocolate is one of the most consumed foods in the world, but there is a dark side to the chocolate industry. WNWN has highlighted the problems that come with the chocolate production industry, such as child labor, slave labor, deforestation, and the carbon footprint of conventional cacao.
How is alt-chocolate made?
The chocolate alternative is made by applying traditional fermentation techniques to plant-based ingredients. “Using fermentation we’re able to create a suite of the same flavor compounds found in cacao. We can dial up certain aromas and even adjust the acidity to bring out notes found in premium single-origin chocolates”, said WNWN Chief Technology Officer Dr. Johnny Drain.
Dr. Johnny Drain and co-founder Ahrum Pak have developed their exclusive process to transform sustainable ingredients into alt-chocolate that tastes, melts, snaps, and bakes exactly like chocolate.
Where to purchase?
WNWN’s alt-choc will be available beginning May 18 exclusively on the company’s website. Each box sells for £10 GB (about $12.50 U.S.), on a par with premium chocolate.
The company doesn’t want to stop with just chocolate. They aim to explore how other foods can be futureproofed such as coffee, tea and vanilla which each have supply chains mired in unethical and unsustainable practices.