Black-owned start-up Kokojoo is celebrating the diversity of the cacao fruit. When one thinks of cacao, chocolate instantly comes to mind, explained founder and CEO Dayog Newende Kabore at SIAL. But Kokojoo is working with the cocoa shell to produce a dairy-free ‘refreshing’ chocolate drink.
“Until now, only around 20% of the cocoa fruit are processed. In order to fight against this industrial waste, we have been committed since 2018 to valorise every single component of this natural resource that is full of potential,” notes the start-up.
Kokojoo’s Original offering – made from cocoa husk – has been described as ‘cocoa lemonade’. The carbonated drink contains theobromine and is an infusion of cocoa bean shells (up to 92%), sweetened with agave syrup, and contains just 2.58g sugar per 100ml. It is low in calories, while being rich in antioxidants and vitamin B12, we were told.
An ‘energize’ version contains caffeine, while other products in the Kokojoo range include Kokojoo Concentrate (to mix with hot or iced water), Kokojoo Cocoa Juice for cocktails and long drinks, and a cocoa jam product.
The start-up sources its main raw materials directly from partner producers in West Africa, where at least 50% of its production process takes place.