New Zealand chocolate brand Whittaker’s has released its first-ever plant-based Oat Milk chocolate.
Made with 42 per cent Ghanaian cocoa and locally sourced oats, the latest addition to its permanent range is a result of two years of perfecting the recipe – with a bit of Kiwi ingenuity, the confectioner explains.
Megan Sinclair, product development manager for Whittaker’s, said the Oat Milk Chocolate would appeal to customers who prefer plant-based options – and anyone who loves to try something new.
“We think Whittaker’s Oat Milk has a distinct and moreish flavour that will broadly appeal to chocolate lovers in general,” she said. “It’s made with the same attention to quality as all of our delicious chocolate.”
According to the chocolate brand, it has found a way to use existing factory equipment to grind locally-sourced Harraway oats to create the chocolate, rather than importing ground oats.
Like Whittaker’s, Dunedin-based Harraway’s has been New Zealand-owned for more than 150 years.
“We’re biased, of course, but we think people will love the subtle toasted oat flavours of Whittaker’s Oat Milk chocolate,” said Henry Hawkins, CEO at Harraway’s.
While using oat milk is more sustainable than dairy, cocoa has gained recent controversy, and the world is running out of chocolate.
The Washington Post reports that people are consuming more cocoa than farmers can produce, and a global shortage isn’t far off.
Cocoa farmers usually clear tropical forests to plant new cocoa trees rather than reusing the same land. Regarding supply, 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa is produced in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, but dry weather in West Africa has greatly decreased production.
According to the company, as with its entire range, the Oat Milk chocolate is made from a more sustainable “beans-to-bar” process at its single factory in Porirua and is Rainforest Alliance certified.
“We’re delighted to have been able to produce a plant-based chocolate created from the best New Zealand oats, just as our milk chocolate is created with all New Zealand dairy products,” added Sinclair.