Making raw chocolate mainstream

New Food’s Grace Galler speaks to Kris McGowan about the birth of The Raw Chocolate Company and its mission to create chocolate that is “better for our tummies, better for farmers and better for the environment”.

Chocolate, in its many different varieties, is a sweet treat that is consumed all over the world. But for something that tastes so sweet, chocolate production has caused concerns in recent years, particularly regarding nutrition, sustainability and ethical sourcing.

One company that peels back the wrapper on these concerns is The Raw Chocolate Company, founded by Linus Gorpe and Kris McGowan in West Sussex, England. Since launching in 2006, the 100 percent vegan brand has turned heads in supermarket aisles by promising consumers “better chocolate” that is made from sun-dried cacao.

After speaking about the importance of the organic label at Food Integrity Global, Grace Galler, New Food’s Assistant Editor, spoke to McGowan to find out more about how The Raw Chocolate Company is creating a new kind of chocolate.

From humble beginnings

Taking things back to the start, New Food spoke to McGowan about where the idea behind starting The Raw Chocolate Company came from and the answer was a heartwarming one.

“Some 20 years ago, Linus and I were raising our young sons. We were interested in eating more healthily and maxing out nutrients. We used to make smushed up dried fruit, nut and seed balls for the kids. These were great, but they were much better coated with chocolate,” began McGowan.
“We knew that chocolate could be great, but nearly everything we looked at was super high in sugar and massively processed. So, we set about trying to work out how to make better chocolate…better for our tummies, better for farmers and better for the environment. Then The Raw Chocolate Company was born.”

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So what makes The Raw Chocolate Company different? What about its mission sets it apart and satisfies consumers beyond the taste element? Well, McGowan explained that while the company is “filling the primeval need for yummy stuff”, it acknowledges that the “yummy stuff” in question is “quite often detrimental to our longer-term health and fitness goals, plus quite often is not too great for the farmers and producers.”