Following on from WNWN Food Labs’ announcement that it secured funding to scale up its cocoa free ‘choc’, international food company Paulig Group announced they have invested in the company.
Paulig’s venture arm PINC has invested in the start-up as part of its overall aim to develop food culture that enables the well-being of people and the planet.
WNWN has developed a scalable process for making flavour-identical, cacao-free and more affordable alternatives to chocolate using traditional fermentation and advanced food processing. According to the company, the cocoa-free product looks, smells, tastes, melts, snaps and bakes like the real thing. As an alternative to traditional cacao, it has received interest for the product particularly for coating and ice cream applications.
“We are thrilled to invest in WNWN and be part of their growth journey,” said Elisabet Ålander, Senior Investment Manager at PINC. “This skilled team has succeeded to create a delicious, cocoa-free, alternative to chocolate with a clear B2B value proposition, using traditional and efficient production methods with no regulatory hurdles. In addition, as a sustainability frontrunner, we are also helping the transition of the food system.”
Ingredients being used for the product, such as British barley and carob, are widely available ingredients and the production method straightforward.
“WNWN is creating a win-win situation for food producers, consumers, and the environment,” said Ahrum Pak, CEO of WNWN. “Our cocoa-free alternative to chocolate can have a positive impact on the food and beverage industry’s sustainability, and PINC’s investment helps make it possible to scale up our production, expand on our B2B and B2C markets and increase the company’s research and development efforts.”
“We’re not anti-chocolate, far from it. We’re against the strain the conventional cocoa supply chain places on the planet, and we aim to alleviate the pressures on the system by creating a viable and delicious alternative,” added Dr Johnny Drain, CTO of WNWN.
The product, according to the company’s own calculations, about 80% less CO2 and uses 86% less water during the production process compared with conventional chocolate.