WholeFruit chocolate launches under Evocao label

Dive Brief:

  • The first artesanal WholeFruit chocolate blend, known as Evocao, is now available from Barry Callebaut’s Cacao Barry brand. Evocao was designed by chefs to highlight the flavor and aroma aspects of cacao fruit.
  • The chocolate is being released in limited quantities to top artesans in France, the U.K., Italy, Canada, the U.S., Brazil and Japan. Starting in December, the chocolate will begin rolling out to other countries.
  • WholeFruit chocolate was unveiled in 2019 as the first chocolate made using only the cacao fruit. Traditionally, chocolate has only been made from the fermented cacao beans inside the fruit, and the remaining roughly 70% was thrown away. Barry Callebaut has worked to upcycle the rest of the fruit through not only WholeFruit chocolate, but also its new Cabosse Naturals brand, which makes ingredients from cacao fruit.

Dive Insight:

Since the announcement of WholeFruit chocolate two years ago, consumers worldwide have been waiting to get a taste. Not only is chocolate one of the world’s most loved confections, but WholeFruit aims to bring innovation and sustainability to what’s often considered a treat. It has its own unique taste and backstory as far as chocolate is concerned, and less material is wasted in the product’s manufacture.

“The values associated with this chocolate are a way of understanding life through sustainability, waste reduction, upcycling and a healthier diet to have better care for our planet,” Ramon Morató, creative director of Cacao Barry, said in a written statement. “During the process of creating different recipes, we integrated these values that were somewhat already part of our way of seeing the profession, but that we wanted to make much more visible now to highlight even more our commitment to what we think is the future.”

Evocao was officially launched this week in a 90-minute webcast on Cacao Barry’s website. The live broadcast featured chefs and culinary professionals worldwide talking about the features of the chocolate, demonstrating how they use it and describing its taste. The statement on its release describes the chocolate as having natural acidity and flavor notes reminiscent of exotic fruits, with a defined aromatic profile.

There is a lot to wrap into a chocolate made from all of the cacao fruit. After all, the other parts of the fruit do not have the distinctive taste of chocolate. The juice injects a strong and natural fruity flavor, which tastes a bit citrusy. The pulp, which coats and ferments the beans in making traditional chocolate, tastes of a delicate sweetener. These are all unique flavors to highlight in WholeFruit, spotlighting the natural taste spectrum of cacao. 

Starting Evocao as a limited and artesanal offering gives Barry Callebaut a longer opportunity to scale up the supply chain for the new chocolate. In the traditional way of making chocolate — using only the fermented beans — there is no fresh ingredient that needs to be considered. WholeFruit shifts everything about the supply chain, which is something that Barry Callebaut leadership has said is a significant undertaking in bringing this product to market. Building off of the Cabosse Naturals launch in October, the company has been able to work on the fresh cacao fruit supply. According to Barry Callebaut, the time between harvesting the fruit and turning it into ingredients is now a maximum of five hours.

But Evocao isn’t just an exotic new chocolate to use in high-end confections. It also will be the only coverture chocolate that can bear the Upcycled Certified label that will be implemented this year. This makes it more desired by sustainability-minded consumers, which in turn could make it more popular as an ingredient for manufacturers. Evocao actually fits into several consumer trends, including upcycled foods and exotic flavors. And as the supply chain solidifies, there’s likely to be more of it — as well as other expressions of WholeFruit chocolate, which Cacao Barry said will be available next year.

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