Tony’s Chocolonely moves deeper into US market with fresh investment and expansion

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Tony's Chocolonely expands its presence in the US. Pic: CN
Tony's Chocolonely expands its presence in the US. Pic: CN

Related tags Tony's Chocolonely Child labor Cocoa Chocolate

Tony's Chocolonely has significantly impacted the US market since launching in 2022, attracting fresh investor interest and an expanded retailer presence.

The Dutch ethical chocolate company, with a mission to end cocoa exploitation, said it had seen a remarkable increase in revenue and distribution points in the last two years, signalling a growing appetite for ethical chocolate options among American consumers.

In the past four years the company has nearly quadrupled its business in the US, and over the next year, it will be available in 20% more stores than the year prior due to a new national retail partnership with major US retailer Walmart, adding to its existing distribution with Whole Foods, Target, Safeway and CVS.  

"We are incredibly proud of the strides we've made in the US market," said Douglas Lamont, CEO of Tony's Chocolonely. "Our expanded retail presence, coupled with strategic investments in production and our exciting new investment partnerships, are all part of our larger ambition to end exploitation in the cocoa industry. “  

New shareholder

The expansion comes as Tony's Chocolonely welcomes Howard Schultz, Starbucks former chief executive officer and chairman emeritus, as a shareholder, who recently took a minority shareholding in the company. 

This investment follows a 2023 funding round that was raised from existing majority shareholder, Verlinvest, and JamJar Investments. 

Tony’s commits to paying a living income for all its cocoa, and tackles child labour and deforestation issues with full transparency.  As a result, the rapid US growth it has experienced directly benefited more than 18,000 small holder farming families last year.  

As Tony’s Chocolonely has expanded its shareholder base, it has entered in to a unique Mission Lock legal structure to ensure its ambitions to end exploitation in the cocoa industry are locked in for the long term with oversight from an independent set of  Tony’s Mission Guardians, led by US impact entrepreneur Seth Goldman.

On the investment by Howard Schultz Lamont Lamont said: “We are proud to welcome Howard Schultz as an investor in the company, and we are looking forward to drawing on his extensive experience of building a global consumer brand and company.

“Tony's rapid revenue growth, rising popularity with US consumers and increased investor interest demonstrates that building a company that balances shareholder returns with its impact on people and planet is not only right thing to do but the smart thing to do for companies today."

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