Apparently, sourcing ingredients for natural soap and ethical chocolate are more similar than you might expect.

By Mike Pomranz
June 01, 2021
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Not that companies can't have diversified portfolios, but soap and chocolate are very different products: One is a thankfully-retired form of childhood punishment whereas the other is a lasting childhood treat. So an announcement that Dr. Bronner's—yes, the soap company—will be launching a new line of Dr. Bronner's Magic All-One Chocolate may sound a bit wild, but the explanation is very much grounded in reality.

By Dr. Bronner's own account, they make "the top-selling natural brand of soap in North America." What does that have to do with chocolate? On the surface, not a whole lot. But ethical chocolate brands have seen increasing interest in recent years, and as Dr. Bronner's explains, their commitment to an ethical supply chain for their soap comes with plenty of contacts in the cocoa world.

Dr. Bronner's Chocolate bars in assorted flavors
Credit: Dr. Bronner's

"When we learned that many of the 800 farmers who supply our Regenerative Organic Certified Serendipalm project in Ghana also grew cocoa, it was a perfect opportunity to grow our partnership with fair trade farmers by developing these cocoa beans and other ingredients—all sourced to the highest standards possible—into a rich, delicious dark chocolate that elevates soil and community health, as well as quality of life for everyone in the supply chain," David Bronner, the so-called cosmic engagement officer at Dr. Bronner's, said in the announcement. "Dr. Bronner's is making magic through regenerative organic agriculture and its many benefits: dynamic agroforestry, biodiversity, soil fertility, better livelihoods for farmers, and delicious, rich, dark chocolate!"

Set to launch at grocery stores nationwide on August 1, Dr. Bronner's Magic All-One Chocolate—which will be sold in 3-ounce bars with a suggested price of $5.49—arrives in six varieties: Roasted Whole Hazelnuts, Crunchy Hazelnut Butter, Salted Whole Almonds, Salted Almond Butter, Salted Dark Chocolate, and Smooth Coconut Praline.

Despite the different flavors, all of the bars have the same base: a "blend of Ghanaian and Ivory Coast cocoa, Indonesian coconut sugar, Congolese cocoa butter, and vanilla from Madagascar" resulting in "notes of complex dried fruit, caramel, and a long-lasting roasted cocoa finish." Additionally, all the bars feature a laundry list of certifications – USDA Organic, Fair Trade, Vegan, Kosher, and Non-GMO Verified – along with an outer wrapper "made from 100 percent recycled paper with a minimum of 80 percent Post-Consumer recycled fiber."

"Our recipe is simple: perfectly balanced delicious ingredients sourced from fairly paid farmers implementing regenerative organic practices, that fulfill chocolate's promise as an expression of love, elevating it to be the pure and ethical indulgence it is meant to be," said Michael Bronner, the company's president. And no, you shouldn't use it as soap. I assume; they never explicitly state that because, hopefully, they shouldn't have to.