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  • Writer's pictureRayki Goh, MSc

Cocoa-free Chocolate Company is on a Mission to Save the Planet.

The cocoa-free chocolate company, which raised US$1.5 million in seed funding, is on a mission to save chocolate and the planet.

Team Nukoko, Founders Kit Tomlinson, Dr. David Salt, and Ross Newton

Dear Food People,

By now, you should have heard all the talk about meat-free meat and bean-free coffee, but what about cocoa-free chocolate?


Introducing Nukoko, a pioneering UK-based company that recently announced it has successfully raised US$1.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by Oyster Bay Venture Capital, with participation from SOSV and The Mills Fabrica, and supported by an Innovate UK grant to scale up their technology.


Founded by Kit Tomlinson, Dr. David Salt, and Ross Newton, Nukoko stands at the forefront of innovation and environmental stewardship, and they are on a mission to save chocolate and the planet. The founders' extensive experience in the chocolate and food industries informed the company's bold move away from traditional cocoa-based chocolate production. Their combined expertise has led Nukoko on a journey to produce cocoa-free chocolate, not just as an alternative, but as an essential step towards a sustainable future for chocolate and the planet.


At the heart of Nukoko’s innovative approach is the development of chocolate made from faba beans. This represents a significant shift, aligning with the company's goals of indulgence and sustainability. This method not only addresses the environmental and ethical concerns associated with cocoa but also promotes a more sustainable and equitable food system. Nukoko’s chocolate, mirroring traditional flavours and textures, can potentially reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90%, offers a healthier choice with less sugar, and includes enhanced nutritional benefits like protein, fibre, and antioxidants from faba beans.


In tackling sustainability, it's crucial to consider water usage, a global concern. Producing 100 grammes of traditional chocolate can consume up to 2,000 litres of water, primarily because cocoa trees are water intensive. In contrast, faba beans demand less water, contributing to Nukoko's efforts to mitigate water scarcity and reduce environmental impact.


The chocolate industry's water footprint is remarkably high compared to other snacks. By addressing this, Nukoko isn't merely creating a new chocolate variety; it's challenging industry standards and advocating for broader sustainable practices.


The decision to use faba beans as the foundation for Nukoko's chocolate innovation is based on their environmental and nutritional benefits. These legumes enhance soil health, require less water, and can adapt to various climates, reducing dependence on distant cocoa supplies and the carbon footprint of traditional chocolate production. This approach addresses the environmental issues related to cocoa cultivation, such as deforestation and high-water use, and avoids the ethical concerns of child labour and exploitation prevalent in the cocoa industry.


Faba beans (also known as Fava) are highly nutritious, providing significant amounts of protein, fibre, folate, manganese, and other important vitamins and minerals. Their unique nutrient profile offers various health benefits, from supporting brain function to improving heart health. They are also high in the amino acid L-dopa, which can help with Parkinson's disease symptoms, and rich in soluble fibre, which can help lower cholesterol levels.


Nukoko’s initiative is a forward-looking solution to the pressing challenges of the chocolate industry, embodying a proactive strategy. The founders' vision goes beyond introducing a new product; it is a call to action for the industry, urging a shift towards more responsible and sustainable practices.


In creating cocoa-free chocolate, Nukoko isn't merely offering an alternative; it's redefining what chocolate can be. This endeavour demonstrates the transformative power of innovative thinking and a commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Through their work, Kit Tomlinson, Dr. David Salt, and Ross Newton are not just preserving the joy and tradition of chocolate but ensuring its ethical integrity and sustainability for future generations. Nukoko’s journey from concept to creation symbolises a wider movement towards a more sustainable and conscientious food industry, showcasing the potential for positive change through innovation and commitment. We look forward to the launch of their range of cocoa-free chocolate products in the near future. Till then, stay tuned!


And hey, feel free to drop us a message at if you've got something to say or a question to ask. Let's keep the conversation going and make food sustainability a part of our daily habits together.


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Further Reading:

1. China Water Risk. (2024). Water In: Beer, Crisps & Chocolate. [online] Available at:

2. Food Dive. (2024). Future chocolate: Cacao-free? Voyage Foods thinks so. [online] Available at:

3. Food Navigator. (2024). Nukoko: Cocoa-free chocolate made from faba beans. [online] Available at:

4. (2021). The Impact of Chocolate: Environmental and Social Analysis of Our Favourite Treat. [online] Available at:

5. (2024). Sustainability | Free Full-Text | Sustainability Assessment of Cocoa Production in Ecuador: Current Situation and Future Perspectives | HTML. [online] Available at:

6. Mongabay. (2022). Delectable but destructive: Tracing chocolate's environmental life cycle. [online] Available at:

7. (2023). Chocolate is running out across the globe, says expert, but new fava bean alternative could save the day. [online] Available at:

8. (2024). Climate-ready faba beans for the Nordic and Baltic region - NordForsk. [online] Available at:

9. (2024). Chocolate Spot in Faba Beans - Saskatchewan Pulse Growers. [online] Available at:

11. (2024). Nukoko - SOSV. [online] Available at:

12. Tasting Table. (2024). The Massive Amount Of Water Needed To Make A Chocolate Bar. [online] Available at:

13. (2024). Faba Beans - True Seeds. [online] Available at: (Note: This reference appears twice in the original list. It is included once here in the alphabetical arrangement.)

14. (2024). Nukoko Raises $1.5M to Scale "World's First" Cocoa-Free Chocolate Made From Fava Beans - vegconomist - the vegan business magazine. [online] Available at:


The information provided in our articles is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The content on our website, including articles, is not meant to endorse or promote any specific medical treatments, products, or procedures. The information provided is based on general knowledge and research at the time of writing. Medical practices and knowledge are constantly evolving, and what may have been accurate at the time of publication may not be current or applicable today.


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