Taza Chocolate ‘pushing the envelope’ with its stone ground chocolate
The company, which claims to be the first US chocolate maker to establish a third-party certified Direct Trade Cacao Certification program, maintaining a direct relationship with cacao farmers, makes organic, stone ground chocolate from bean to bar at its Somerville, Massachusetts factory.
In addition to Almond Milk Chocolate, it makes Amaze Bars, Mexican-style Chocolate Discs, Chocolate Covered Nuts, and Dark Bark snacking chocolate.
“Conching mellows out cacao flavor, and that’s not what we’re about,” said Alex Whitmore, co-founder/CEO, Taza.
“We’ve always been about pushing the envelope, going beyond your typical mass-market product, and creating intense, unexpected experiences that change the way you think about chocolate.”
To date, the company has used its signature stone ground process to create chocolate with a distinctive, gritty texture, replacing traditional cane sugar with coconut sugar. Its best-selling bar is 95% Wicked Dark.
Similarly, consumers are looking at treats holistically, added Stephanie Larason, director of marketing and e-commerce, Taza.
“They’re exploring how they can make better choices for their own health and the health of the planet, without sacrificing the indulgent experience,” she said.
“A shift to more plant-based eating clearly has huge upsides, but we saw a gap in the market. There are delicious plant-based choices for dark chocolate lovers, including Taza. But until now, consumers who love that creamy milk chocolate experience didn’t have good dairy-free options.”
The company has launched its Almond Milk Chocolates in re-sealable pouches pouches, designed by co-founder and chief design officer, Kathleen Fulton.
Fulton said she created the packaging based on her own frustration at not being able to put an opened chocolate bar back into her bag without making a mess.
“Chocolate bar wrappers haven’t evolved with our lifestyles. I need a grab-and-go package that I can securely re-seal and not worry about,” she said.
Taza will be exhibiting its Almond Milk Chocolate line at Natural Products Expo West, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California (March 4-6, 2020).