Anyone who knows me just the teeniest little bit will know that I am an absolute chocoholic. Guess I always have been… one of my favourite childhood memories is of Easter at home when our kitchen was turned into a chocolate bunny making factory (or so it seemed). One day I will tell you all more about this too.
However for today the topic is a young Swiss chocolate brand that I have just discovered called ChobaChoba. It is the one brand that really is making a difference in the cocoa farming industry and which I consider to be a real chocolate revolution.
This week I also had the pleasure of interviewing one of the founders of ChobaChoba, Christoph Inauen. Today’s post tells you more.
Keep reading to find out more about ChobaChoba the Real Chocolate Revolution – Interview with Co-Founder Christoph Inauen.
ChobaChoba the Real Chocolate Revolution – Interview with Co-Founder Christoph Inauen
Christoph, Switzerland already has so many chocolate brands. What made you decide to create the brand ChobaChoba?
Prior to ChobaChoba Eric (my friend and co-founder) and I worked for 8 years in the chocolate industry. We were in charge of buying cocoa and the sustainability strategy – including the support of the farmers. One day the Farmers (who had become friends over the years), came to us and brought it to home that the sustainability programmes in place were “no real change”.
This was the catalyst. Eric and I then quit our jobs and founded ChobaChoba together with 36 farming families in the Peruvian Amazon.
2. What is the main difference between the ChobaChoba sustainable chocolate initiatives and those of other companies?
The driver is the main difference.
Most of the companies in the chocolate industry are driven by creating profits for their shareholders. Sustainability is a “CSR activity” and often ends up in nicely designed communication brochures – but with little impact for the farmers.
At Choba Choba the main driver is to improve the livelihoods of the farming families. This motivation is translated into concrete action – for example that the farmers own 22% of the capital of our company.
3. I have heard you are making a big impact in Peru. Can you highlight a few of your success stories?
- First of all, we are able to track systematically the impact we make. For this we have set-up a state-of-the-art impact measurement system.
- Empowerment and change of self confidence in the cocoa Farmers themselves.
- Full transparency: consumers can meet the farmers every year in Switzerland or even travel with us to Peru.
- We have discovered over 100 ancient cocoa varieties which we are saving from extinction – you must try one of our Nativo chocolate bars which is made from these ancient cocoa varieties.
- And for sure we know every farm and farmer personally and can ensure that there is no child labour.
4. Why do you focus on producing chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa?
Thanks to our set-up with our own farms we have a great quality of cocoa beans- with fantastic flavors. In our pure dark chocolate bars (we only use 3 ingredients for them!) you can best discover the pure taste and the real flavor of cocoa – and this quality makes us unique. To put our beans into a milk chocolate bar is a kind of a crime – because the main taste of a milk bar is the milk…
Another reason of course was also the market trend – dark and premium chocolates are a fast growing market segment.
5. What has been your biggest challenge since starting ChobaChoba?
Building up a brand in a shrinking market. Did you know that chocolate consumption in Switzerland has been going down?
6. What has been your biggest achievement since starting ChobaChoba?
For me it has been 2 things:
- The wonderful customer feedback about the quality. We even have people converting from milk chocolate to dark because they enjoy ChobaChoba chocolate so much. This is only possible because at Choba Choba we have a vast expertise – from planting the cocoa tree until the final chocolate.
- To see the farmers self-confidence increase and taking more and more ownership over our company
7. Do you have any exciting plans for 2020?
Smile – those who love to bake should be prepared for something super exciting. We are also working on making ChobaChoba chocolate more available via bigger distribution and a bigger product range.
Find out more or order your very own tasting box here
Be prepared next month for an exciting new recipe created by me exclusively for ChobaChoba!
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The comment section is at the end of the post, I love reading all your comments.
“ChobaChoba the Real Chocolate Revolution” was written in collaboration with ChobaChoba but all opinions are my own.
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