Vegan trends

Vegan trend becomes unstoppable with small cocoa brands leading the way

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Ombar chocolate has been winning fans and plaudits for pursuing an ethical and vegan-friendly approach to its products. Pic: Ombar Chocolate
Ombar chocolate has been winning fans and plaudits for pursuing an ethical and vegan-friendly approach to its products. Pic: Ombar Chocolate

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Companies such as Cambridge producer Ombar Chocolate, with its 100% vegan bars, have been recognised for their ethical credentials as well as the health benefits in their products.

With the link between animal farming, the climate crisis and a global pandemic making daily headlines, the vegan trend continues to grow in 2021, said Toni Vernelli, Veganuary’s Head of Communications.

We expected Veganuary 2021 to be the biggest yet but it exceeded all of our expectations. We applaud everyone who took part and encourage them to continue eating vegan food as often as possible. And we’re grateful to all of the businesses embracing Veganuary and making it easier for more people to eat more plant-based food more often. Together we are making an enormous difference for animals, the planet and human health​,” she said.

Veganuary, a global organisation encouraging people to try vegan in January and beyond, has released its final figures for the 2021 campaign and report that 582,538 people signed-up, compared to 400,000 in 2020, far exceeding the group’s 2021 target of 500,000. 

Gut health

Writing in a in a blog published on Ombar​ chocolate’s website, Phoebe Liebling, a qualified nutritional therapist, said gut health is important because it contains 70-80% of our immune system, it is incredibly responsive to exposure to trauma and stress, and  said “anything that supports this integral component of our health is something we should absolutely dive headfirst into right?​”

She writes that a recent study shows an increased diversity of plant-based foods within someone’s diet can positively influence the microbiome (the collective name for gut bugs) in just four days.

Cocoa, a product consumed since 600 BC, has been attracting increasing interest because of its antioxidant properties, which are mainly attributed to the content of flavonoids such as epicatechin, catechin and procyanidins along with its regulatory effect on the immune cells.

What people fail to link sometimes is that our skin is a major detoxification organ and so if we don’t have the capacity to get rid of all our metabolic waste through our digestive tract then we can often pop it out as pimples. A more diverse plant centred regime wholly improves our digestive function, plus we are adding in armfuls of antioxidants to neutralise potential problem causers and unsurprisingly that then links to clearer complexions! More antioxidants will also protect all our tissues from the ageing process so extra plants can also fend off wrinkles in the long term too​,” Liebling writes.

Ombar chocolate

Ombar Chocolate is 100% vegan and therefore taps right into cocoa’s purest essence, with none of the bad ingredients added.

The Cambridgeshire chocolate producer also came joint third out of 109 brands in Ethical Consumer’s recent review​ of popular chocolate brands, achieving the highest score out of all UK chocolate producers included in the ranking.

The review took into consideration product sustainability, environment, people, and company ethos. Amongst other ‘best ratings’, Ombar received best Ethical Consumer rating for Supply Chain Management, accredited to the fact that Ombar pay higher than the Fairtrade recommended price for their cacao.

Ombar’s founder, Richard Turner, said: “We’re delighted to be recognised for our good ethical practices and will continue to go above and beyond in supporting the farmers who grow our cacao. We’ve got exciting sustainability-focused projects in the pipeline too, which are a huge step in the right direction for our business.​”

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