You may have heard the term zero-waste being used in the context of fashion and beauty products, but probably not for chocolates. That’s exactly the USP of Kocoatrait, the world’s first zero-waste, bean to bar craft chocolate brand being produced in Chennai. Launched in Amsterdam earlier this year by the husband-wife duo and professional chocolate tasters L Nitin Chordia and Poonam, Kocoatrait is first a range of 12 innovative flavours. Choose from options like Red Rose (mildly bitter with a flavour of rose that closes a bite), Masala Chai Chocolate (a hit of masalas that makes an unforgettable cuppa), and Lavender and Lemongrass (a subtle mixing of the two). Eleven of the 12 chocolates are vegan and gluten-free.
But Kocoatrait is more than that – it is the first zero-waste craft chocolate. It employs organic cocoa beans of Indian origin, primarily from Kerala, along with non-refined organic Khandsari (Muscovado) sugar. Natural flavours such as sukku coffee, masala chai, lavender, pink rose, lemongrass, and coconut milk, among others, are used. The bars are placed in sustainable, paper-free boxes, made from cotton that is mixed with the husk of the cocoa beans from the roasting process. Additionally, the packaging has been reduced to the millimeter, bringing down transportation volume, shelf space, and of course, carbon footprint. With this, the packaging effectively becomes recyclable, compostable, and bio-degradable.
It was an idea that came to Poonam. As the first people to be certified chocolate-tasters in India (by Martin Christy, a world leader in fine chocolate and cacao tasting), the couple provides bean to bar and taster certification courses under the name Cocoashala. “We have trained 118 students till now. What we were constantly asked, particularly by Indian students, was why we did not have a brand of our own. So, with some deliberation, we launched Kocoatrait, and Poonam conceptualized it,” explains Nitin.
They put all their cocoa know-how into it, but at the same time, wanted it to be an eco-conscious thought. So every detail looks at the sustainability aspect. For example, the duo realised that once you opened the box wrapper, there was no real need to keep it. To change this, the wrappers now have an added element to make them useful. Printed on the inside are Mandala designs you can use, health trackers you can fill in, and QR and barcodes that can give you nutritional information, and more.
“We wanted CSR to be an integral part of our chocolate creation. The wrapper designs are printed at V-Excel educational trust that fosters the inclusion and independence of individuals with special needs. The process is manual and each wrapper is printed individually,” adds Nitin.
Kocoatrait chocolates are shipped all across the country, and will soon be available in Chennai at nearly 20 retail stores. Guilt-free bingeing just got a whole new meaning