Ethical artisan chocolate: Belcolade unveils sustainably sourced plant-based premium white couverture
17 Feb 2023 --- Belgian chocolate brand Belcolade, part of the Puratos Group, has revealed a new plant-based white couverture. The launch intended for chocolatiers, pâtissiers and other professional chocolate users, responds to consumer demand for plant-based products with a better eating experience. The product is also Cacao-Trace certified, a sourcing program designed to empower cacao farmers.
Belcolade’s Selection W. Plant-Based Cacao-Trace boasts an “outstanding taste profile” and rich, creamy texture. It has applications in pralines, hollow figures, tablets, coatings, mousses, ganaches, dipping and flavoring.
The company hails the product for having “the perfect snap,” along with a clean, white chocolate color. Differentiating itself even further, it is free of coconut, nuts, soy and gluten – allergens that may be found in other plant-based white options.
“Creating this unique innovation consisted of trials of more than 50 ingredients in various combinations,” says Youri Dumont, SBU chocolate director at Puratos.
“Belcolade’s plant-based white couverture boasts distinctively versatile properties and so can be formed into creative products with good taste without compromising on texture, appearance, or quality.”
He adds that the latest innovation is the result of a close collaboration between industry professionals and Belcolade chocolate experts.
The launch adds to Belcolade’s expanding plant-based chocolate portfolio – dark, milk-alike and white.
Meeting premium demands for plant-based
The plant-based market is more inclusive than ever, with vegan, vegetarian and now flexitarian consumers influencing demand.
The number of consumers purchasing plant-based products has grown to 60% from only 36% in 2018, according to Puratos’ Taste Tomorrow research.
The study also revealed that, while many people embrace the concept of reducing their intake of animal-derived foods, one-third of consumers globally would not consider buying plant-based options because of poor taste and texture.
After identifying the customer challenge and consumer demand, Belcolade set out to create a solution that satisfies both parties simultaneously and contributes to the growth of the plant-based chocolate market.
Positively disrupting the market
According to Taste Tomorrow research, much of the plant-based market’s growth can be attributed to perceptions of health and well-being, sustainability, and ethical concerns.
The latest data found that 60% of consumers believe plant-based food has a positive impact on the environment, while 56% perceive it to be healthier than animal-based food.
Regardless of the motivation, the appetite for these products is growing.
Belcolade’s Selection W. Plant-Based Cacao-Trace is Cacao-Trace certified, a sustainable cocoa sourcing program that focuses on premium taste while “creating value for all,” from cocoa farmers to consumers.
It aims to empower farmers to obtain the highest possible income and to manage their plantations with great autonomy.
By purchasing Cacao-Trace-certified ingredients, chocolatiers and pâtissiers help enable bonuses often equivalent to two to five months’ salary for farmers.
Artisan Belgian chocolate with sustainability claims is bringing premium value to the sector. Last year, FoodIngredientsFirst spoke with the first Belgian chocolatier to utilize Barry Callebaut’s upcycled cacao fruit Cabosse in a chocolate filling.
By Missy Green
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