Kerala-Based Chocolate Brand makes a Record; Wins Silver at International Chocolate Awards

There is hardly any person who doesn’t like chocolates, even if it is chocolate in any kind. Chocolate always finds a way to comfort us and fulfill our sweet desires, at the same time it brings us closer to our loved ones. Over the years, we have been able to love chocolates from our favorite brands, whether national or international.

But did you know that? In the huge market of the chocolate industry, an Indian chocolate brand – Paul & Mike – has established itself as the first Indian brand to be honored at the International Chocolate Awards World Final!

Now, this may come as a surprise to many of you because as not everyone knows India’s journey in artistic chocolates.

Paul And Mike, an artisanal Kerala-based ‘bean to bar’ chocolate maker is savouring the taste of success.The company recently took over their Instagram to break the news of it has become the first Indian company to win a silver in the International Chocolate Awards (2020-2021 world final) for its ‘64 Percent Dark Sichuan Pepper and Orange Peel Vegan Chocolate’.

They growing their own cocoa beans to making a final chocolate product out of it is done by the company itself.

Explaining Vikas Temani, Head of Business and Founder of Paul & Mike, says; “We are experimenting with flavours and this particular indicator has been targeted in the Chinese market. Since Sichuan pepper is widely used in Chinese and South-East Asian cuisine, we thought this variation would be perfect for their palate. There is chocolate vegan. That candied orange peel is used to enhance texture.”

Paul And Mike launched the award-winning chocolate in May 2019. When company officials visited the International Chocolate Fair in Shanghai in December 2019, they introduced this special variety and it went on sale within a few days. They found that the combination of hot and sweet was doing well in the Indian market as well.

“Chocolate has warmth and sweetness. There is a tingling sensation on the tongue and people enjoy it. The one-bar price is ₹250. From the beginning, our idea was to sell fine, artisanal chocolate at affordable prices. Even Massively produced European brands cost more, “says Vikas.

‘Bean to Bar’ Chocolate makers have won bronze awards in the Asia-Pacific finals and have been sending their products to the world finals for the past two years.

There is an interesting story behind this brand name:
The best flavoured cocoa comes from South America, while Africa is the largest producer of bulk grade cocoa. To understand the cultivation and fermentation of fine cocoa, a team visited a few South American countries about four years ago.

Vikas says; “We met a number of farmers and cultivators there and they assured us that Kerala would be the best place to grow fine cocoa. Among them were Paul and Mike, two friendly farmers who went out of their way to help us understand the process and how get the best out of cocoa beans. We had decided to name the brand ‘Paul And Mike’ in their honour. In addition, consumer feedback suggests that the name hit a melody with them.”

Paul and Mike are based in Kochi and grow their own fermented and dried cocoa on their farmlands in Kochi and Coimbatore. As per the company, they get wet cocoa beans from select farmers in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. They handle all post-harvest processes and utilise only authentic fruits, nuts, spices, and pure floral distillates for their chocolates products. “Since we have the support of Synthite, a company with natural food ingredients, we get the best spices and natural extracts for our chocolate.”

Paul And Mike have also a wide variety of flavours for the Indian consumer in their chocolate palette such as; Sitaphal (custard apple), Jamun (java plum), Thandai to more new flavours like Jamaican rum, Dark Peppermint Gelato, Alphonso Mango and so many chocolates.

“Jaggery, for instance, is sourced from two brothers in Pune who approached us for new options in jaggery. They wanted to know if we could make chocolate with jaggery. Similarly, we have decided to use Indian fruits like Jamun, Mango, Custard Apple, and Rasbhari (golden berry) instead of Blueberry, Cranberry etc. In fact, for many Indian consumers, these were the first types of Paul and Mike they bought.Thandai, which is popular in northern India, reached the market during Holi last year and was a huge success.”says Vikas.

The three-year-old company has 36 varieties of chocolates on the market and plans to expand the brand’s consumer base with 100 varieties this year.

In an Instagram post, Paul and Mike also mention the trivialities of their journey and the fact that they are “extremely fortunate to have been so much loved” by people so far.

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