Over the weekend of 25th and 25th November, 2023, the Bare Team had a busy yet joyful time at the Indian Cacao & Craft Chocolate Festival held at the Bangalore International Centre.
The festival is a wonderful initiative aimed at fostering the craft chocolate community in India to educate consumers on Indian cacao and chocolate.
India, with its diverse landscape and intercropping system, produces high quality chocolate. The brand works to educate and raise awareness around Indian-origin chocolate by bringing the farms and the chocolate makers closer to their consumers.
Well, we’re not chocolatiers, so what were we doing there?
We LOVE to eat chocolate but unfortunately that’s not enough to call ourselves chocolatiers. Our presence at the festival was driven by our commitment to source ethically from local farmers and vendors, with a strong emphasis on employment of women.
Our relationship with suppliers, such as Kerehaklu, a green haven, tucked away in Chikmagalur, from whom we source waste coffee grounds for our soaps, is testament to our sustainable sourcing practices. A proud Indian company, we incorporate native ingredients like Annatto and Turmeric into our soaps.
Our key supplier, Mason & Co., not only provides us high quality raw materials but is also a wonderful chocolatier. Operating as the first organic, single origin chocolate business in India, their chocolates are based on a bean to bar method in Auroville, India. Extra brownie points for empowering underserved women as their products handcrafted by an all women team.
Did you know that we have collaborated with Mason & Co. to create not one, but two amazing products? We have developed two products - Dessert Dry Shampoo and Mason & Co. Lip Balm, which uses non-alkalised organic cacao powder and cold-pressed cacao butter, respectively. By supporting fellow social enterprises, we are ensuring that our raw materials are sourcing ethically.
Talks and workshops featured as an integral element in the festival, boasting an incredible like up of esteemed entrepreneurs, chefs, chocolatiers, artisans and more. This offered an exciting learning opportunity to delve into diverse topics ranging from storytelling with chocolate to the art of pairing chocolate with wine and cheese to cacao in your daily life. There are endless possibilities of cacao! [FYI: This was also a topic!]
We’re biassed and we’re coming clean here. Personally, the highlight for us was the session featuring our Founder & CEO, Sahar Mansoor, alongside Mansi Reddy from Mason & Co. and Kuruvilla Louis from Kuruvinakunnel Farms.
Focussing on conscious collaborations, the discussion was steered around the importance of partnering with experts in specific fields. To help illustrate, Mason & Co., not being an expert in personal care, collaborated with Bare Necessities, leveraging our expertise in personal care. Our Mason & Co. X Bare Lip Balm initially launched as a seasonal offering, but was cherished so much by our customers that we have continued it for five years now.
Another exciting collaboration with Mason & Co. was highlighted by Kuruvilla, from Kuruvinakunnel Tharavadu Farms. The venture resulted in the launch of a co-branded cacao juice concentrate at The Indian Chocolate & Craft Festival.
Cacao is known to be a versatile ingredient, with each element offering diverse possibilities. The landscape of the single origin, bean to bar concept of chocolate has significantly broadened with more single chocolatiers working to raise awareness.
Meaningful collaborations enable brands to tap into like minded audiences and drive innovation. With more customers seeking traceability of ingredients, collaborations build intimacy with suppliers, thereby emphasising transparency.
Our Founder, Sahar Mansoor shed some light on the unique qualities of cacao. It has a subtle fragrance when boiled and pairs well with other ingredients. It’s a great material to work and play with, making it great for products like moisturisers, lip balms and soaps. An added benefit is that it is not only nature derived but also works as a vegan alternative to beeswax.
To make things more exciting, we added an element of experimentation. With the launch of our new moisturiser, Rainforest, we seized the opportunity to gather feedback for it. We asked our customers to react to its scent, texture, feel, name and anything else that it reminds them of.
We had several customers taking a trip down their memory lane as they shared that it reminded them of orange cream biscuits they would have when they were in school. We were the only brand at the festival, with no edible item, but trust us when we say that everyone wanted a bite of this moisturiser!
We’d love to share these reactions with you too! Head on over to this link here, to watch our customers candidly talk about our new moisturiser
The Indian Cacao & Craft Chocolate Festival was a vibrant space to showcase chocolate, celebrate conscious collaborations and support artisans. And now that the festival is over, we continue to be busier finishing up all the delectable chocolates all at once.