Chocolate fanatics have another reason to celebrate this year, thanks to efforts by the ‘Vegan Willy Wonka’. While most cocoa enthusiasts have likely already marked World Chocolate Day in their calendars (July 7th in case you missed it), there’s now another noteworthy date to look forward to – and it’s coming up soon.
World Vegan Chocolate Day will be celebrated for the first time on January 31st, giving vegans and chocolate lovers a reason to look forward to the last day of Veganuary.
Lifelong vegan and CEO of Plamil Foods (the UK’s first certified producer of organic vegan chocolate), Adrian Ling, has been dubbed the ‘Vegan Willy Wonka’ for creating indulgent chocolate according to the strictest vegan standards.
Ling stated that he wishes to extend the compassion that vegans share for animals, to encompass environmental concerns, and consider the value and fair treatment of the people who produce the cocoa.
We want to celebrate and enjoy cocoa, but not at the cost of farmers. It seems a no-brainer that we should recognise the value of farmers’ wellbeingAdrian Ling, CEO of Plamil Foods
He continues by saying that he believes that vegan chocolate should be grown within certifications that promote and encourage, the rights and benefits of farmers, citing the Rainforest Alliance as an example.
As the Veganuary movement continues to gain popularity, the British public say that the thought of giving up chocolate poses the biggest barrier to them making the leap, according to research conducted by Vegan (a lifestyle magazine) & vegan chocolate brand NOMO.
Meanwhile, global research on the consumption of plant-based confectionery, carried out by Barry Callebaut, supports the idea that there is a growing demand for vegan alternatives. Their results show that 60% of Millennials and Gen Z (aged between 18-44) expected food brands to offer a plant-based option, vs only 43% in older generations.
Chocolate brands are taking notice, and we expect many new plant-based cocoa snacks to make an appearance this year. Last week, Tony’s Chocolonely, released their ‘Inhuman’ bar, a vegan dark chocolate with lemony caramel and cocoa biscuit, as part of their Conversation Bars stunt.
Cargill has also jumped on the trend, by releasing their latest ‘ExtraVeganZa’ chocolate range, which comprises chocolate made with what they call, plant-based ‘power ingredients’.
With the issues of sustainability and nutritional health expected to garner further attention in 2022, the launch of the first-ever World Vegan Chocolate Day could be a sign of things to come, as people look for healthier and more sustainable alternatives to their everyday indulgences.