Koa Switzerland AG has partnered with Lindt & Sprüngli to introduce a chocolate bar naturally sweetened with cocoa pulp powder.

Koa, a Swiss-Ghanaian startup, uses the pulp of the cocoa pod, thus reducing food waste and providing cocoa smallholders with an additional income. With 42 employees in Ghana and Switzerland, the company is dedicated to boosting value creation in cocoa-growing regions and  developing innovative and pioneering processes. 

After Koa’s success with cocoa fruit juice, the startup has launched a gently dried cocoa fruit pulp called Koa Powder. The tropical-fruity powder opens up new opportunities for chocolate and bakery products, whether it's to replace conventional refined sugar, to create new flavor experiences or to demonstrate what sustainable value creation in the cocoa-growing countries really means.

With natural cocoa fruit products, Koa brings a previously unknown taste to the European market and opens up new possibilities for both the food and beverage industry as well as for gastronomy. 

“2021 will be the year of the cocoa fruit,” said Anian Schreiber, Koa co-founder and managing director. “Using the cocoa pulp is key to sustainable, healthy and delicious chocolate.”
Until now, the pulp that surrounds the cocoa beans couldn't be processed in cocoa-growing countries due to a lack of infrastructure and technology. In conventional cocoa processing, only a small part of the white pulp was used for fermentation. Koa has found an innovative way to gently process the cocoa fruit in close cooperation with 1,600 smallholders. 

“This is how we enable Ghanaian cocoa farmers to increase their income by up to 30 percent while boosting value creation in rural Ghana,” said Daniel Otu, Koa’s Ghana operations director.

Koa’s first application comes through Lindt & Sprüngli. The Swiss company is launching a new Lindt EXCELLENCE bar with 82% cocoa and 18% Koa Powder. With EXCELLENCE Cocoa Pure, Lindt & Sprüngli offers an innovative and sustainable cocoa experience.

Lindt & Sprüngli launched its own sustainability program, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program in 2008. A voluntary premium is paid per tonne of cocoa beans purchased, which flows into the program and its elements. Cocoa beans for the new EXCELLENCE Cocoa Pure bar come from the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program. 

EXCELLENCE Cocoa Pure will initially be available in February/March 2021 in limited quantities in selected Lindt shops in several countries and in the online shop at lindt.com. 

The cooperation with Lindt & Sprüngli is a milestone for the start-up. 

"As young entrepreneurs, we are particularly proud to cooperate with the renowned Lindt Maîtres Chocolatiers and to share the same goal," Schreiber said. 

By 2030, Koa wants to establish a partnership with 80,000 smallholders, and thus, transform cocoa farming in a sustainable way.