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Why American Cocoa Bean-to-Bar Concept is Getting Popular in India?

Cocoa Bean-to-Bar concept is gaining popularity in India.

Shipra Singh
Cocoa beans on the plant
Cocoa beans on the plant

A concept was launched in South America that benefitted cocoa farmers. Today, it is catching up with cocoa farmers in India. The concept is called “Bean-to-Bar.” It takes into account people involved in cocoa cultivation and helps them add value to their products and sell them to small manufacturers of premium chocolates instead of big producers.  

Benefit of Bean-to-Bar 

This concept helps them receive 20-30% premium for fine-flavor cocoa, instead of selling simple dried and fermented cocoa beans, which may not always fetch them a good price.  

Thanks to the concept, many farmers have started transforming their beans into fine-flavor cocoa. A few farmers have even set up their own units for chocolate production.  

Cocoa production in India 

Cocoa production in India is done mainly in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh. Only in Kerala, cocoa is grown as a main crop. In other states mentioned here, cocoa is grown as an intercrop in coconut, coffee, arecanut, or oil palm.  

Statement by India’s first chocolate taster 

Nitin Chordia is the first chocolate taste of India. He runs Cocoshala, which is a training-cum-incubation center for small chocolate makers.  

He says, “By the end of this year, there could be 40 business-to-business buyers of these fine-flavor cocoa and at least 7-8 farmers could be setting up their own production units.”  

He addes, “The Bean-to-Bar concept is to make growers aware of value-addition to produce fine-flavor cocoa. A lot of care goes during the post-harvest period with growers being guided and trained to store, ferment, and dry the beans.”  


Fermentation is the most important part of cocoa processing. When growers ensure that value addition in cocoa is done properly, they reap in big benefits. And as Nitin Chordia says, “small growers fetch as much as Rs. 280 kg for supplying fine-flavor cocoa.”  

So, the next time to delightfully bite on a dark chocolate bar, think about the Bean-to-Bar concept , the cocoa growers, and the chocolate makers. You would value the bar more than ever.  

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