Good for health and respectful of the planet, Elix, a new cold drink, was launched by Zurich-based company Barry Callebaut on Thursday.
Hot chocolate had better beware: a new cold drink was launched on Thursday, good for health and respectful of the planet, made from parts of the cocoa fruit that had previously been thrown away. The drink, named Elix, is intended for consumers concerned about their health and the environment, according to its creator, the Swiss group Barry Callebaut. This supplies cocoa and chocolate-based preparations to the food giants Unilever, Nestlé or Mondelez, as well as to pastry professionals.
Typically, 70% of the cocoa tree fruit, including the skin, pulp and juice, is discarded when making chocolate. This is the latest innovation from the Swiss group to harness the benefits of the whole fruit, and not just the seeds that are roasted to make chocolate. The drink “has a very nice tangy and fruity flavor,” Dutch CEO Peter Boone told AFP before the product’s launch in Amsterdam.
Elix is first marketed in Europe. The European Food Safety Authority has already recognized its benefits for blood circulation thanks to cocoa flavanols, substances naturally present in beans. The company will then turn to the United States, where approval by the American regulator (FDA) is expected “in spring 2022”, says Peter Boone.
The Zurich-based company has launched several new products in recent years to appeal to consumers in developed markets, where chocolate consumption is declining, and to expand into emerging markets. In 2017, Barry Callebaut launched the marketing of a pink-colored chocolate, known as ruby, and in 2019 touted a new process for making chocolate using all the fruit of the cocoa tree, and not just the beans.
The chocolate industry is regularly singled out for the waste and resources it uses, as well as for its participation in deforestation, especially in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the main producers. The new drink is part of the Swiss group’s efforts to do better in the fight against global warming, said Peter Boone, who took over from Frenchman Antoine de Saint-Affrique in September at the head of the company. “We started to recycle waste and ultimately generate more value for farmers, but also to do something good for the environment,” said Peter Boone.