Dragons' Den pick Raw Chocolate Co moves into private label

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

The Raw Chocolate Company moves beyond its own brand after moving to larger factory
The Raw Chocolate Company moves beyond its own brand after moving to larger factory

Related tags Chocolate Cocoa butter

UK firm The Raw Chocolate Company is to move beyond branded goods to offer bulk chocolate and serve private-label customers.

It comes over a year after the firm appeared on TV show Dragons' Den, the UK equivalent of Shark Tank.

The company provisionally agreed to sell a 10% equity stake for £72,000 ($82,500) to holiday business tycoon Deborah Meaden in July last year after appearing on the show. However, the investment deal was never completed due to disagreements over the company name. The business is today 100% held by Swedish owner Linus Gorpe.

Expanding raw chocolate’s mainstream vibe

“We believe it ​[private label] will work in tandem with our branded portfolio, broadening raw cocoa's appeal by underpinning raw’s everyday/mainstream vibe,” ​Allan Large, Raw Chocolate Co’s deputy MD told ConfectioneryNews.

He said in a release that everyday chocolate is in a “bit of a hole”​ due to sugar scaremongering.

“There’s a real opportunity to extol the nutritional integrity of raw choc - packed with essential nutrients and superior taste notes - that haven’t been cooked off in traditional heat treatments,”​ he said.

Chocolate covered nuts and berries

The company is currently talking to supermarkets, airlines and food service outlets predominantly in premium health channels, but it is open to mainstream business.

Most enquires are coming for the firm’s enrobed almonds, mulberries, golden and goji berries, which are coated with Peruvian cocoa.

Large said the cocoa was grinded three times more than raw peers “to counter the tiresome ‘bitty/gritty’ criticisms often levelled against raw cacao”.

Factory move

The company’s private-label expansion comes soon after it shifted production from Blacklands Farm in Sussex to a larger site in Small Dole, a village Sussex.

The new factory is three times the size of its previous facility, which the company said had “eased the suffocating production pressure” ​of four years of double-digit growth domestically and in export markets.

“We needed to expand and build a factory allowing us to grow and hit our growing number of accreditation criteria,”​ said Large.

The firm recently became Kosher-certified, adding to its existing accreditations: Soil Association, Vegetarian Society, fairtrade, free-from and vegan.

The Raw Chocolate company was founded in 2006 in Sussex, England, by Linus Gorpe. The company has 15 employees, according to its website.

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