Californian artisanal chocolate maker TCHO goes 100% plant-based
TCHO (“cho”), a pioneering artisanal chocolate maker based in Berkeley, Calif., is replacing its milk chocolate-based bars with plant-based dairy alternatives and introducing a complete packaging overhaul. Six new bars have joined the TCHO line, gradually replacing TCHO’s remaining milk chocolate bar offering, such as Caramel + Sea Salt and classic milk. The company’s colorful and fun new packaging will debut across the retail product line to highlight the shift to plant-based ingredients, with a commitment to make the entire product line animal-free by 2023.
“Reducing our dependence on dairy products is one of the fastest ways for TCHO to lessen our impact on the environment. While it’s not been an easy transition for us, we know it’s the right one,” said Josh Mohr, vice president of marketing at TCHO. “From the beginning, TCHO has been committed to working with our agricultural partners on the ground, improving farming techniques, improving soil conditions and doing what we can to help minimize deforestation – it’s all about ‘a plant-based model.’
Now, the entire line of TCHO products is Fair Trade Certified, Certified Organic, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Kosher, and 100% Plant-Based. TCHO’s professional baking line, used in restaurant kitchens and bakeries nationwide, will be factory installed in early 2022. The company also recently achieved Certified B Corp status through its work to improve lives. of its workers, customers, suppliers and the local community.
TCHO’s six plant-based chocolate bars debuted on TCHO.com in early December and in new square-shaped packaging ($5.99/2.5 oz bar):
- caramel time — Made with a meticulously crafted non-dairy base of cashew butter, coconut sugar, oat milk, and cocoa, this alternative milk chocolate bar is sprinkled with sea salt and vegan caramel pieces.
- Oh nuts! — A dark chocolate bar filled with finely ground small batch California almonds in a crunchy almond butter with a hint of Pacific sea salt.
- Choco Latte — A bold, rich coffee truffle filled with plant-based oat milk chocolate and organic coffee beans from Blue Bottle Coffee. Creamy, caramelized and energizing.
- Holy Fudge — A single-origin organic Ghanaian dark chocolate bar reminiscent of the crispy edges of brownies with a dense, melty center.
- born fruity — A single-origin organic Peruvian dark chocolate bar with deep fruity notes and a sweet, crunchy finish.
- Dark Duo — An outer shell made with chocolatey cocoa from Holy Fudge, filled with the lush fruity cocoa from Born Fruity.
The plant-based bars join five existing retail bake bags that have been renamed and redesigned as part of the rebrand: Hawt Chocolate drink chocolate, Sweet and sassy sweet and sour pastry chocolate, dark and bitter unsweetened pastry chocolate, Super Powder cocoa powder and crush that roasted cocoa nibs. These baked goods were already naturally dairy-free.
Since its founding, TCHO’s priority has been to produce excellent fair trade and certified organic chocolate products. In September 2021, TCHO achieved Certified B Corp status through its sustainability efforts under the TCHO Source program and strives to improve the lives of its workers, customers, suppliers and the local community. As of November 2021, all TCHO cocoa is 100% fair trade and fully traceable back to its source. It’s all part of TCHO’s ongoing goal to set higher standards for itself and for the chocolate industry.
In line with its mission to manufacture sustainable chocolate, TCHO has transformed its packaging to be as environmentally friendly as possible. The easy-to-open and close paper carton is fully recyclable, and the chocolate is wrapped in layers of 100% post-consumer paper and certified compostable film.
A new tagline, “Chocolate. Fair & Square,” alludes to TCHO’s commitment to bringing dignity to the cocoa supply chain through its TCHO Source program, which invests in infrastructure, training and higher and fairer wages at the source TCHO’s seamless sourcing of high-quality, fair-trade and organic ingredients are brought together in a gourmet, award-winning square chocolate.
Everything about the new packaging has been designed to enhance the customer experience. The square box opens to reveal three individually wrapped servings instead of the previous single bar. These one-size-fits-all portions are meant to make the chocolate easier to share or store for later. Once the bars are removed from the packaging, a QR code is revealed, which redirects consumers to a page providing cocoa tracking information for each bar.
Founded in 2007, TCHO Chocolate makes award-winning, imaginative chocolate by collaborating directly with cocoa farmers in flavor labs around the world to cultivate better, more consistent cocoa beans to create authentic artisanal chocolate to inspire chefs. , home bakers and chocolate lovers around the world. . Like wine or coffee, cocoa’s inherent flavors vary depending on where it’s grown, as well as key processes, like fermentation or roasting, that influence flavor development.
Since not all cocoas are created equal, TCHO created TCHO Source, a one-of-a-kind sourcing and education partnership with farmers, cooperatives and agronomists around the world. By installing TCHO Flavor Labs in key cocoa production sites, creating cocoa sensory analysis standards for the industry, organizing sensory training, developing standardized fermentation and drying processes, improving the infrastructure and by sharing information across the world of cocoa, TCHO has transformed its suppliers into co-creators. From there, TCHO hand-selects every ingredient used to make its award-winning chocolates for an unforgettable experience from first sight to last bite. In 2021, TCHO achieved Certified B Corp status, which brings transparent standards to the company’s longstanding sourcing practices and offers a new way to quantify and improve its social and environmental impact.
TCHO’s professional range is used by top chefs nationwide and includes couvertures, drinking chocolate, cocoa powder and roasted cocoa nibs. In 2021, TCHO enhanced its position as an exemplary chocolate maker by becoming officially SQF Level 2 certified, a rigorous, globally recognized food safety standard administered by the Safe Quality Food Institute. TCHO products are manufactured in Berkeley, California. Learn more about TCHO on tcho.com.