It’s been said since the dawn of time that if you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. I imagine this was not so much a goal for the Founder of Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC), as it was an inevitability. Created by a passion for crafting premium chocolate and promoting wildlife conservation, ESC was founded in 1993 and continues to bring its products to the market with real, responsibly sourced, health-conscious ingredients and no mysterious sweeteners or additives.
“We're all about authenticity. Never wavering on our quality and sustainability practices, our products not only taste good but make a true impact on global conservation,” said Whitney Bembenick, Director of Marketing and Innovation. “In fact, since 2016, ESC has donated over $2.1 million to its Give Back Partners who focus on wildlife conservation.”
Increased competition in the specialty chocolate sector is an ongoing challenge, but it has pushed ESC to be more creative with innovative offerings that will win shelf space. Increasing that shelf space exposure and grabbing the attention of consumers is something the company is always focused on, making it a force to be reckoned with at retail.
“Our entrepreneurial spirit remains strong within our culture and each of us remains steadfast in fulfilling our mission,” Whitney continued. “Because of our size and focus, we are nimble and believe a collaborative 360 approach internally allows us to deliver relevant products in the right places to reach consumers looking for real, delicious chocolate.”
ESC’s original chocolate line, which consists of 72 percent and 88 percent vegan dark chocolates, are offered in both smooth (plain) and inclusion forms such as sea salted almonds or fresh forest mint. These naturally flavorful offerings communicate the company’s value proposition to consumers, laying the foundation of its success. These original flavors remain some of ESC’s best-selling items today. In addition to this line, the company has since rolled out new offerings to target a larger shopper demographic.
“We’re constantly evolving to stay ahead of trends and keep providing the premium products our customers expect from us,” said Whitney. “One example of this was through the introduction of our newest product line which offers alternatively better chocolate by incorporating creamy oat milk with our chocolate. This delicious combination in our Oat Milk Chocolate line (bars and chips) not only tastes amazing but provides a vegan chocolate option with less sugar and no mystery additives that some of our competitors use when developing low/reduced sugar chocolate bar options today.”
Ever since the founding of ESC, the company's mission has been to give back 10 percent of its annual net profits to conservation efforts. Everything ESC does goes back to this mission—from the ingredients sourced to the packaging used. Creating authentically real, delicious chocolate is ESC’s platform for raising awareness of conservation efforts, growing its impact on the world and building long-term sustainably sourced partnerships.
“Everything we do—from innovation to distribution—drives us to reach our goal to give $1 million back to conservation organizations annually. While we’re halfway there, we continue to look for innovative ways to get us there faster,” Whitney concluded. “The release of new products like our Premium Oat Milk Bars and Oat Milk Chips in 2020 not only give consumers new innovative options but contribute to our overall long-term mission.”
What’s next for Endangered Species Chocolate? Stay tuned as we at Deli Market News report.