Daily Management Review

Nestle Uses Cocoa Pulp To Replace Sugar In Its Chocolates


The global food giant Nestle is set to launch a chocolate sweetened with cocoa fruit pulp and has been named “Incoa” bar even as confectionery companies are trying to find ways to reduce added sugar in their products.
Through this venture the company has made use of the cocoa fruit pulp which is generally discarded for flavouring products and helping in reducing sugar while also cutting food waste while and increasing the income of cocoa farmers as they can now “upcycle” their cocoa by selling both the pulp and the beans.
That is beneficial for both the environment and the health conscious.
“This is a big launch, we give it to all the customers who want it and don’t limit supplies,” Alexander von Maillot, Nestle’s global head of confectionery, said earlier this week.
The new product form the company that does not have any added sugar is set to initially launched in supermarkets in France and the Netherlands and then in other markets in Europe,
While initially sourcing the raw material from cocoa farms in Brazil, Nestle is also in talks with its cocoa suppliers in West Africa and is reviewing whether cocoa farmers there could fulfil its demand for the cocoa pulp.
If cocoa farmers also sold their pulp, it could boost their income by 20-40%, said Von Maillot.
He hadn’t yet been asked to sell cocoa fruit pulp, Lamine Keita, a cocoa farmer in Duekoue, Ivory Coast, said in an interview with Reuters. “If we can sell more than the beans to increase our income, that’s all we can ask for because beans alone are not enough to get us out of poverty,” he said.
He’d gladly sell more, but at the moment there was only demand for beans, said Jerome Koffi, who cultivates cocoa on four hectares of land in Soubre, in an interview to Reuters.
But the cost of fruit pulp is also not as cheap as one would think. The retail price of Incoa bars on Dutch retailer Albert Heijn’s website would be 50% more than other dark chocolates.
While the higher price would suggest that it was not feasible to use pulp to replace sugar in mainstream products, Von Maillot said that there could be more uses of the cocoa fruit chocolate, for example in baking.
Limited editions of cocoa fruit chocolate were also launched by Lindt & Spruengli and Germany’s Ritter Sport which were a fast sold out. Once enough cocoa fruit was available, the products are planned to be launched on a larger by both the companies.
Lindt and Felchlin source cocoa fruit pulp from Swiss-Ghanaian startup Koa koa-impact.com, which uses solar-powered mobile units to process fresh pulp from 1,600 small farmers. Koa is able to process 250 tonnes a year but wants increase its capacity 10 fold within the next two years.