The company claims to be the first chocolate company in the UK to use yacón as a natural sweetener after it was approved as an EU novel food in 2014.
'Fudge-like texture to the chocolate'
Adam’s Fresh Chocolate’s co-founder Mark Claydon told ConfectioneryNews that yacón is a species of perennial daisy grown in Peru, and its naturally sweet roots are the source of the sweetener.
“We’ve used yacón for more than a decade. It was one of the many South American superfoods Adam came across whole eating a raw food diet,” Claydon said. “It gives a fudge-like texture to the chocolate.”
Adam’s Fresh Chocolate believes that, even though there is still a great deal to learn about the plant as a confectionery ingredient, “yacón is the natural sweetener of the future.”
Since all the products from Adam’s Fresh Chocolate are made with raw cacao, yacón is also used to temper the bitterness of the cacao, Claydon said
A study published by the US National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, found that syrup obtained from yacón roots is a good source of fructooligosaccharides, and its long-term consumption produced beneficial health effects on obese pre-menopausal women with insulin resistance.
Investment and expert advice
Adam’s Fresh Chocolate recently won the Seed Fund 2016, a philanthropic fund founded by branding and marketing consultancy, The Collaborators, to help fuel the growth of startups.
It has earned a prize estimated to be worth over £100,000 ($122,000) and Adam’s Fresh Chocolate’s founders, Adam Farag and Mark Claydon, will be enrolled in a 12-month program with the organization, which includes access to expert business, branding and communications resources.
Farag had made raw chocolate at home for more than 10 years before he decided to start a business. As an old school friend of Farag’s, Claydon said they both like the idea of working together, and hope to give consumers the ability to choose a 100% plant-based product.
Pioneering in using yacón as natural sweetener
Adams Fresh Chocolate currently offers four flavors of raw chocolate items: goji and pistachio, hazelnut and blackcurrant, coconut and banana, and mint. All the products are mainly stocked in the Bristol area, and are available online at the company’s website.
According to the chocolatier, its products are free from refined sugars, dairy, gluten and soy.
Increasing production with new premises
Clayton said a big challenge for the startup had been scaling up production. “But [another challenge is] also getting our message out to the masses," he said.
Adam’s Fresh Chocolate will up capacity by mid-November this year as it waits for its new plant to be fully operational.
“Our new premises are currently just a shell. We want them completely kitted and pumping out chocolate as soon as our oompa lumpas will allow,” Claydon said.
Adam’s Fresh Chocolate has been in business for less than a year and is hoping to achieve a 400% sales increase in Q4 this year compared to Q3.
“This target runs side by side with our objective to educate consumers on making nutrition based choices, and to continue to spread our message,” Claydon said.