Cocoa Sustainability Guide: Portfolio Starting Points

Cocoa Horizons label

Cocoa Sustainability Guide: Portfolio Starting Points

Whatever your goal for sustainably-sourced cocoa, most manufacturers do not switch over everything in one go. Therefore, it is good to identify where you can make the most meaningful impact in your portfolio. Food & drink brands, manufacturers looking to build sustainability into their portfolio have a range of opportunities to consider. Below are some of the most effective ones.
Premium Chocolate Garam Masala Dark Biscuit

Premium Portfolio

If you are already trading up consumers with premium positioning, you are more likely to be able to cover the investment in sustainability. Premium chocolate consumers also value sustainability and associate it with high quality ingredients, so it can elevate the perception of your premium products. 

Sticks Chocolate and Crunchy Crepe

Hero Cocoa Products

For confectionery, this can be your dark chocolate products, where consumers understand there is more cocoa in the ingredients. For segments like ice cream or cookies, it might be your double-chocolate variant, which has the most chocolate in your range. Communicating cocoa sustainability where it is most relevant for consumers, means it is focused, and you can test-and-learn before rolling out more broadly. 

Museli Bar

Lifestyle Range

Consumers who follow lifestyles such as plant-based and paleo typically have a holistic approach to food and drink, so they want products that are tasty, and good for themselves, but also good for people and the planet. Adding sustainability to your lifestyle range can strengthen the appeal of your proposition, with consumers that seek out products that they can feel good about. 

Ruby Box

New Innovation Launch

This is a fantastic place to start your sustainability journey, as you can build in the cost of sustainable cocoa upfront. Innovation also usually comes with a launch campaign to communicate to consumers the new product, so this is also a great place to build-in sustainability storytelling, and test new messaging for your brand.


Plant-based cacao pudding

Your Own Brand

Whether you are a retailer with a private label brand, or a co-manufacturer with your own brand, it is good to start your sustainability journey where you have control and can lead by example to encourage your suppliers or customers to follow suit.

Wholefruit Crunchy Pate D Amande and cacao fruit jelly praline

Product Pitches as an Add-on

Even where sustainability isn’t requested in an RFP or brief, it can be advantageous to include it as an optional upgrade. The recipient might not have considered sustainability in their initial project scoping, but might be surprised at the affordable options available to be able to claim sustainable cocoa relative to other product claims, and the ability to demand a higher price point. You can help your customer take a pioneering step on their sustainability journey, which can become a long-term source of growth, company pride and employee engagement.


If you are a brand, retailer, or manufacturer requiring support with your sustainability journey, check out our Cocoa Sustainability Guide: Getting Started, or contact your local Barry Callebaut representative.

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