Upcycling with Gudrun’s pralines


Chocolate producer Gudrun, located in Lier, developed a chocolate delight based on cocoa fruit pulp, the pod of the cocoa bean. The Cacaofruit Bites is a great example of circularity, in which the residual product is being incorporated into the final product. Gudrun thereby reduces waste flows and combats food waste.

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Tasty yet sustainable

“In order to continue enjoying chocolate together, it's essential to develop more intelligent approaches to integrate the raw materials”, states Sofie De Lathouwer, CEO of Gudrun Group. And so they did. In developing their latest creation, the chocolatiers took a closer look at the various components of the cocoa fruit. Spotted: the pulp of the cocoa fruit.

Whereas traditionally only 30% of the fruit is being processed in chocolate – exclusively the cocoa beans –, Gudrun recognizes potential in the pulp surrounding the cocoa beans. That unique, fruity ingredient gets a second life as a flavourful filling of the Cacaofruit Bites. Gudrun introduced the praline in two flavours: cocoa and orange. The orange flavour is obtained from orange peels sourced from the catering industry.

Through this innovation, Gudrun incites suppliers and retailers to collaborate more on circularity initiatives: "Our Cacaofruit Bites demonstrate that innovation, taste and sustainability go perfectly together", concludes De Lathouwer. Gudrun actively looks for ingredients with an 'upcycled' character, so that the complete product - from ingredient to packaging - makes sense. For example, the packaging is made from agricultural waste: leaves and stalks of grain and sugar cane that would normally be lost at harvest are given a second life.


Studies show that less food waste is the best solution in the combat against climate change. In addition to launching its latest praline, Gudrun developed its own upcycling programme. Moreover, they signed the Beyond Chocolate partnership last year and launched a roadmap to work on Sustainable Development Goals.

With these initiatives, Gudrun responds to the younger generation, which is more health and climate conscious. By turning a by-product of the cocoa world into a delicacy, they are taking a step towards a more sustainable future of Belgian chocolate. And it pays off: they secured the second spot in the ISM Innovation Awards with their Uppa Cacaofruit bites.


"Upcycling not only inspires young people in their pursuit of sustainability, but also offers a hopeful vision of the future. A future that is not about less, but about a smart, innovative way of consuming and producing." (Tom Palmaerts, Trend Watcher)

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