The food of the gods. The privilege of kings.
When I first heard Dr. Bronner’s was going to be making chocolate, my response was, “Wait, what now?” Likely you thought this, too. I figured this was another one of my brothers’ super fun ideas that had no direct connection with anything we were already doing. Like the time we bought a firetruck (at 0:24).
Was I ever wrong. Our making of chocolate couldn’t be more complementary to our soap making and our efforts towards regenerative organic agriculture, which brings healing to our depleted and misused Earth. It is the most logical next step, and it makes me wonder why every soap company isn’t also making chocolate.
But even the best chocolate origin story would be pointless if the chocolate itself didn’t taste good. Could we be true to our Cosmic Principle #2 of doing right by our customers and promoting their general well-being without ending up with chocolate that tasted, well, healthy?
I knew I’d be biased towards our chocolate, so early on, I had my husband help me with a blind taste test. Blindfolded, I tried various high-end brands as well as Dr. Bronner’s. I was blown away. What came to be christened Magic All-One Chocolate was so full of flavor and complexity, it made the others taste like wax. It was utterly transportive.
And so here we have it. A rich, 70% dark chocolate that’s a blend of Ghanaian and Ivory Coast cocoa, Indonesian coconut sugar, Congolese cocoa butter, and vanilla from Madagascar. It’s certified vegan, organic, fair trade, kosher (made on equipment that also processes dairy), non-GMO, and from a company that is certified B-Corp. But most importantly, it tastes amazing, a perfect balance of rich, nutty, pure cocoa flavor that fills the senses.
Here are the seven flavor varieties – all made with 70% cocoa:
- Cool Peppermint Cream
- Smooth Coconut Praline
- Salted Whole Almond
- Salted Almond Butter
- Crunchy Hazelnut Butter
- Roasted Whole Hazelnut
- Salted Dark Chocolate
Cool Peppermint Cream
The classic combination of sweet mint & rich chocolate! The peppermint enlivens while the cocoa mellows, creating a sophisticated experience that lingers on the palate.
Best for: The meal finisher who says, “I just need a little something to wrap things up and send me on my way.”
The favorite of: Me! I have to add this bar to own list of favs. I love how the flavor stays with me for a while.
Other than eating straight: Amazing dissolved in hot chocolate or chopped up into a gooey pan of brownies. It is the classic finishing touch to any meal.
Ingredients: Fair trade organic cocoa beans, fair trade organic coconut sugar, fair trade organic cocoa butter, organic sunflower oil, organic peppermint oil, fair trade organic bourbon vanilla
Smooth Coconut Praline
Rich chocolate covers a sweet praline center that thrills coconut-lovers and chocolate-lovers alike. Clearly, we have many such folks in our midst.
Best for: The skeptic who says, “I don’t like dark chocolate.”
The favorite of: All three of my kids, my brother David Bronner (Dr. Bronner’s CEO – Cosmic Engagement Officer), Christina Volgyesi (VP of Marketing), Gina Coccari (Senior National Sales Manager), Ryan Fletcher (Director of Public Relations), Darcy Shiber-Knowles (Director of Operational Sustainability & Innovation – OSI), Kim D’Amico (All-One Chef, joining me for a Facebook Live to bake with the chocolate)
Other than eating straight: Pair it with a smooth unsweetened cup of coffee or espresso.
Ingredients: Fair trade organic cocoa beans, fair trade organic coconut sugar, fair trade organic coconut, fair trade organic cocoa butter, fair trade organic coconut milk powder, organic sunflower oil, fair trade organic bourbon vanilla bean
Salted Almond Butter
A thick layer of smoothly blended salted almond butter lies just beneath the dark chocolate coating for a creamy, nutty cocoa experience.
Best for: The finished working who says “Give me something mellow and smooth. I’m ready to relax.”
The favorite of: Gero Leson (VP of Special Ops), Marc De Rosa (Director of Sales)
Other than eating straight: Melts beautifully for S’mores and other gooey creations. Drop a cube in hot chocolate or coffee for extra richness.
Ingredients: Fair trade organic cocoa beans, fair trade organic coconut sugar, organic almonds, fair trade organic cocoa butter, sea salt, organic hazelnuts, fair trade organic bourbon vanilla bean
Salted Whole Almond
The classic combination of whole almonds alongside smooth deep chocolate deliver a meal’s worth of flavor and satisfaction.
Best for: The afternoon snacker who says, “I need something substantive to get me through the day.”
The favorite of: Sharla Pierick (VP of Finance), Darcy Shiber-Knowles (Director of OSI), Lilia Vergara (Director of HR), Les Szabo (Director of Constructive Capital)
Other than eating straight: Break up into a trail mix with dried fruit. And if there’s such thing as a breakfast chocolate…
Ingredients: Fair trade organic cocoa beans, fair trade organic coconut sugar, organic almonds, fair trade organic cocoa butter, sea salt, fair trade organic bourbon vanilla bean
Crunchy Hazelnut Butter
Nutty, creamy, and crunchy – this bar has it all and allows the deep cocoa flavors to roll around with the thick layer of warm nuttiness.
Best for: The savory-phile who says, “I don’t like things too sweet.”
The favorite of: Marc De Rosa (Director of Sales), Bertine Kabellis (Director of Engagement), Darcy Shiber-Knowles (Director of OSI)
Other than eating straight: Chop and stir into brownies before baking. Pairs amazingly with tropical fruit.
Ingredients: Fair trade organic cocoa beans, fair trade organic coconut sugar, organic hazelnuts, fair trade organic cocoa butter, fair trade organic bourbon vanilla bean, organic almonds
Roasted Whole Hazelnut
You had me at roasted. This extra step amplifies the crunch and gives a full flavor that stands toe to toe with the complex intensity of the dark chocolate. There’s also something about the plain dark chocolate in this bar that calls to the heart of the chocolate lover.
Best for: The texture lover who says, “Give me a little bit of smooth and a little bit of crunch!”
The favorite of: Me! Also my brother David (CEO), Kim D’Amico (All-One Chef)
Other than eating straight: Chop up for recipes when you need both chocolate and nuts. Pairs both with vibrant flavors as well as the mellowness of black teas.
Ingredients: Fair trade organic cocoa beans, fair trade organic coconut sugar, organic hazelnuts, fair trade organic cocoa butter, fair trade organic bourbon vanilla bean
Salted Dark Chocolate
Just the right amount of salt elevates the rich flavor of the dark chocolate and brings out the complex notes of dried fruit and sweet caramel.
Best for: The purist who says, “No additions. Just give me chocolate.”
The favorite of: My mom Trudy Bronner (Dr. Bronner’s CFO), my brother Mike Bronner (Dr. Bronner’s President), Edwin Gomez (Director of Operations), Safianu Moro (Serendipalm’s Managing Director)
Other than eating straight: Chop it into chunks as a “chip” replacement in baking. Grate it for espresso drink toppings. Use in savory dishes like mole.
Ingredients: Fair trade organic cocoa beans, fair trade organic coconut sugar, fair trade organic cocoa butter, sea salt, fair trade organic bourbon vanilla bean
So why is a soap company making chocolate?
Our Magic All-One Chocolate is testament to the interconnectedness of all things. Since 2009, Dr. Bronner’s sister company Serendipalm in Assoum, Ghana has supplied Dr. Bronner’s and others with ethical palm oil from the world’s first commercial certified organic, fair trade, and now Regenerative Organic Certified™ palm oil project. Part of why this palm project flourishes is that the farmers have embraced a technique called Dynamic Agroforestry (DAF), which in short is farming like nature intended.
What does farming like nature look like? Always in diversity. To support the growth of the oil palms, the farmers grow many other crops: tall timber trees to provide shade to the medium height oil palms, which in turn provide shade to the shorter cocoa and cassava trees, which hover over the ground-covering legumes, turmeric and garlic. In fact, if you see a mature DAF farm, you can hardly tell it’s a farm. It looks like a forest.
Not only does this intercropping strengthen each of the species, but also it leads to higher yields and provides the farmers with additional crops to sell, giving them greater financial stability from fluctuations of crops or market prices. The diversity also eliminates the need for chemical pesticide input because the varieties protect and support each other. It increases biomass, nutrients, and water in the soil and sequesters carbon out of the air. I strongly believe this dynamic agroforestry can save the world, and it has been the cornerstone for why we are now producing chocolate.
The farmers with all these additional crops to sell were selling the cocoa to some of the world’s finest chocolatiers. Season after season we watched these high quality crops head off to other manufacturers, and we finally figured, “Hey, why don’t we produce the chocolate ourselves?” And so the Magic All-One Chocolate was born.
After years of delicious research, we partnered with a generations’ deep Swiss chocolatier and went on a treasure hunt for ingredients around the world. The result is that every ingredient in the bars carries a compelling story. For example, we source the coconut sugar from Aliet Green, an award-winning woman-owned cooperative in Indonesia whose products are certified organic and fair trade. We chose to use coconut sugar because it subtly sweetens the chocolate without interfering with the rich cocoa flavor. Further, coconut sugar comes from trees rather than the more environmentally disruptive annual crops of cane or beet sugar. Plus, coconut sugar is said to have a more extensive nutrient profile and lower glycemic index compared to cane or beet sugar.
We didn’t set out to tackle one of the world’s most troubling luxuries, but I am glad that one step after another, we have arrived at this point. I am glad that we can undermine the excuses big chocolate manufacturers give for why they don’t correct abuses rife in the cocoa industry. I am glad that by purchasing cocoa beans through our partnerships with farmers, we improve the farmers’ livelihoods and encourage them to continue these practices that benefit themselves, their communities, and the land they tend. And I’m glad to have chocolate that is as delicious as it is regenerative to the soil and environment.
For even greater detail about our chocolate journey, read “Dr. Bronner’s Path to Regenerative Cocoa” by Gero Leson, our VP of Special Ops, who has been our feet on the ground in Ghana and elsewhere. The article is a summary from his book, Honor Thy Label , which tracks all of our fair trade projects around the world.
Our Magic All-One Chocolate is available on our webstore or use our Store Locator to find it in a store near you. Enter your zip code, then use Filter, Select Product, and choose a chocolate flavor. (The blue pins on the map indicate stores that carry it.)
Would like to know if your Bronners chocolates have been tested for lead and cadmium?
Hi Cher – Yes, we closely monitor the quality of our cacao, including regular screening for the presence of heavy metals such as Lead and Cadmium, to ensure our products meet safety standards. Heavy metals are less prevalent in cacao grown in West Africa, where we source ours from Fair Trade operations, compared to other cacao growing regions. Dr. Bronner’s chocolate is safe to enjoy.
I saw your chocolate at our local food co-op last week and gave a few varieties a try. LOVE! As a heavy chocolate eater, I was also concerned about all the claims regarding heavy metals. Unfortunately, some of the chocolate that you’d think were the healthiest brands are not! Thank you for your sincere response to Dave below. I’d hope that if the tests change along with the quality you’ll pull them from the shelves and production and let the public know.
Sounds delicious! Wonder if Dr Bronner’s will come up with cassava chips?
Hi Yanni- Every new product begins with a suggestion! I’ll share this request with our team.
These chocolates are definitely for Dark chocolate lovers! If you want something a little sweet but not too sweet. I think this is something you can get on. I don’t have a major sweet tooth so it works for me! I’m bummed my mom is allergic to dark chocolate and I can’t share with her 😭 but it’s nice to have a chocolate that doesn’t overload you. I’m not a fan of hersheys andi think this is wayyy better!
would like to know IF the new magic chocolate bars are LOW in cadmium and lead??!!
Hi Cherlathan- While we don’t release our testing results for heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, we do closely monitor impurities of our materials and in finished products which include the presence of common heavy metals.
I read your comment about testing for heavy metals. It does not directly answer the question posed in 2022. So I’ll ask directly: does this delicious chocolate contain heavy metals?
Hi Doug – I apologize for my lack of clarity. Trace amounts of heavy metals are naturally occurring in soil and can make their way into crops. However, heavy metals are less prevalent in cacao grown in West Africa, from where we source our cocao, compared to other cacao growing regions. Dr. Bronner’s sources our cacao very carefully from West Africa and closely monitor its quality, including regular screening for the presence of heavy metals such as Lead and Cadmium, to ensure our products meet safety standards. This means any heavy metal levels are significantly lower than the safety and regulatory standards relevant to the Chocolate industry. Please rest assured, Dr. Bronner’s chocolate is safe to enjoy.
After the consumer reports discovery of heavy metals in chocolates, Dr. Bronner’s will need to release their heavy metals results otherwise consumers will not be comfortable to buy at all. If the levels are low or non detectable, Dr Bronner should be proud to publish henceforth.
Hi Nadia – Although it was surprise to many chocolate consumers, the connection between these heavy metals and dark chocolate with 70+% cacao has been known and accepted for years. We closely monitor the quality of the cacao used from our approved suppliers, including the quarterly screening for the presence of heavy metals-Lead and Cadmium, to ensure our products meet relevant safety standards. Additionally, all 7 Chocolate SKUs are tested routinely for Lead and Cadmium. The levels detected are under that of the relevant safety guidelines set forth for the chocolate industry. Dr. Bronner’s would never use ingredients or sell product with unsafe levels of heavy metals.
it is concerning that you won’t release more info on the lead and cadmium levels you have found, particularly as you say you ARE doing testing. i would love to buy your products, but I am a breastfeeding mama, and also want to comfortably feed your chocolate to my older children as well.
i am sure you agree with the idea that the consumer must be empowered to make their own assessment that the ingredients and other substance such as metals, are appropriate for their specific body and nutritional needs and safety, which is why companies like your must be transparent and provide all relevant info.
i’d love to buy your chocolate if you can be fully transparent about your testing results. what does it even mean that “are under that of the relevant safety guidelines set forth for the chocolate industry.” what are these safety guideline and levels?
Hi Anna – Thank you for your patience while I gathered more information to share with you. While sharing the results of the tests we conduct on every batch of chocolate we make is not feasible, I thought this further background would be of help in alleviating your concerns.
First, understand that the federal Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) has not adopted specific health and safety thresholds relating to the presence of heavy metals in chocolate products. However, there are other standards that do bear on this topic. Namely, California’s Prop 65, or officially the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. This law requires “any person in the course of doing business” to provide “clear and reasonable warnings” prior to exposing persons to certain chemicals, including those commonly found in cocoa. Prop 65 also establishes daily exposure limits, or safe harbors, for certain chemicals below which a warning is not required. Determining the average person’s exposure relative to these safe harbors requires information not only on the concentration of a chemical in a product but also, for food products, data on the amounts and frequency by which the food is consumed. It is important to note that the standards for Prop 65 warnings are distinct from food safety standards. In fact, they are far more rigorous, imposing a 1,000-fold margin of safety, making them often the most stringent standards in the world.
Several years ago, prior to Dr. Bronner’s introduction of its Magic All-One Chocolate, a non-profit consumer advocacy group called As You Sow (“AYS”), which is dedicated to (among other things) the protection of the environment and the promotion of human health, identified the presence of Lead and Cadmium in chocolate products supplied by numerous chocolate industry leaders. AYS alleged that the levels of these heavy metals resulted in exposures to consumers above Prop 65 thresholds and therefore required companies to place warnings on their products. AYS’s claims were resolved through settlement in February 2018 whereby it and the industry agreed on minimum concentrations of Lead and Cadmium in chocolate products above which a Prop 65 warning is required. If a company adheres to the terms of the settlement, it is in compliance with the requirements of Prop 65. The settlement was reviewed by the California Attorney General’s office and approved by a California state court which determined that it is in the public interest.
Like nearly all chocolate products on the market, Dr. Bronner’s dark chocolate products contain trace levels of heavy metals attributable to their presence in the environments in which cocoa is grown and harvested. However, Dr. Bronner’s can confirm that these levels are substantially below the thresholds established in the As You Sow settlement, below the stringent standards of Prop 65, and therefore do not require Prop 65 warnings.
I do hope this background helps with your concerns.
I love that this is how Dr. Bronner is expanding. I’ve used the soap for years. The chocolate bars are made with the same care. And, with them being made with coconut sugar, I can eat all six without getting an upset stomach.
Hi, love your soap, and these chocolate bars look wonderful. I have celiac disease, so unfortunately have to ask all the gluten-free questions. Do the bars contain any gluten, and are they by any chance certified GF? Are they made on GF production lines/facilities to avoid any chance of cross-contamination with gluten? Thank you!
Hi VL- Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-One Chocolate recently achieved gluten-free certification for current and future production runs. Chocolate in retails stores now (September 2021) was produced and distributed prior to us achieving gluten-free certification so it doesn’t carry the gluten-free certification seal. Chocolate produced since achieving gluten-free certification will carry the seal – look for the GF certification seal on Magic All-One Chocolate packaging later this year and into the future.
Lisa, That’s great, thank you for the GF certification reply! Are the bars made in a gluten-free facility or are any other products with gluten, run on the production lines? (Another thing that some sensitive folks with celiac need to know). Thank you so much.
Hi VL- Apologies for not providing more clarification. Our chocolate is made on dedicated gluten-free equipment. There is gluten-containing material on a separate line, in the same facility. An established Gluten Free Manual is followed and audited which is based on a frequently-reviewed Hazard Analysis for potential cross contamination.
The Hazelnut bar is DELISH. No dairy, THANK YOU!
Brilliant idea, thank you! Health Nuts in NYC has an introductory special, and once I saw the coconut sugar sweetener with low glycemic levels and high quality organic ingredients, I bought all three flavors they had, Smooth Coconut Praline, Salted Almond Butter and Salted Whole Almond.
I opened the Smooth Coconut Praline first out of curiosity and was so transported that a large part of it became my guilty dinner, along with a cool glass of my favorite Hawaiian Ginger tonic. I look forward to your Hazelnut Butter bar when that arrives too, but I’m not sure if anything will top Smooth Coconut Praline! It tastes just like an almond joy without the nut.
For your next big venture, how about if you develop and improve a low glycemic dairy-free coconut ice cream? I’d tell you my dream flavors! The biggest challenge would be how to omit unhealthy gums that hold it together; they seem to be taking over, with taste and texture affected to the point where it doesn’t even melt.
Hi Joyce- Thanks for giving our chocolate a try and for your “sweet” review. Isn’t the Smooth Coconut Praline something else?!
Wonderful! Where can I buy it in Poland?
Hi Victor- Unlike other products we launch in America that we delay one year before launching in other countries, with chocolate it won’t be for another two years. It is a completely new channel for us, even when working with stores that we’ve sold soaps to for over 50 years. Among other things, we are navigating the logistics involved in transporting it across the Atlantic Ocean from Switzerland, and we want to be sure we understand all the dynamics and challenges before we begin selling to our international markets.
Thank you for the explanation. What a testament to the idea that we are “All One” – and that to farm in a way that supports humans and ecosystems, it requires a bigger vision. And omg the chocolate is the best!
Thanks for reading, Alissa!
When will they be on the website! 🙂
Hi Keith- We will launch on the Dr. Bronner’s webstore later this year. I’ll be sure to post when that happens. Currently, we are getting it out to natural and independent grocers around the country. If you’re heading out, call ahead to make sure it’s in stock.
Where can I find detailed nutritional information such as serving size and carbohydrates per serving.
Hi Victor- I’m sorry to not have the nutrition facts panels ready at the moment. When I add them to this blog post next week, I’ll comment here so you can take a look at them.
Hi Victor- I’ve added the nutrition facts panel for our Magic All-One Chocolate to the bottom of this blog post.
I do not see ingredient listed for any of these chocolate bars. I assume the contain soy lecithin? I avoid soy like it was the plague (that it is.)
Hi Robin- No, our bars do not contain soy lecithin – nor any soy or soy-based ingredients. You’ll find the ingredients listed as the fifth section/bullet under each bar flavor’s photo.
I still remember Dr. Bronner bringing soap bottle for our office staff whenever he made a professional visit to my office. From 1971 until my retirement at end of 1996 I provided urological care for Dr. Bronner.
We are now living in a retirement community in Issaquah, WA and I smile to myself when I see products of Dr. Bronner on shelves of some of our stores.
Hoping that you have good success with sale of the chocolate bars.
All the best,
Frank O. Andersen, M.D.
Hi Dr. Andersen– Thank you so much for sharing this memory and for your care of my grandfather over so many years! I never attended medical appointments with him, so likely our paths did not cross, but I know he did not shirk an opportunity to share his soap with everyone he met! This is how he successfully grew the business, after all. Thank you for your best wishes on the chocolate bars and I hope you get to try them!
So excited to try this once it is available online or in stores throughout Chicago and suburban area. I’ve been trying to find out of your chocolate is processed in a dutched fashion, or if it is non-dutched, non-alkalized, but no response yet. Can’t wait to find out as I avoid dutched chocolates so hoping that yours is not Dutched. Also would love to see the Nutrition Info panel on these to better understand the sugar content.
Thank you in advance for more information!
I have recently changed to Dr. Bronner’s for all personal care and home cleaning uses and couldn’t be more delighted with the changes in my skin and health! I’m a top fan for life!
Hi Christine- I’m glad to hear our products are working for you! The Magic All-One Chocolate is not alkalized/not Dutched. I’ll add the nutrition facts labels to the blog post next week. When they are up, I’ll respond to this comment so you can take a look-see.
Hi Christine- The nutrition facts panel is now at the bottom of this Magic All-One Chocolate blog post.
I guess it’s not for Mr- allergic to nuts, don’t like coconut and have to limit my sodium.
Hi Sherry- We hope there’s something for everyone in our chocolate line. The Smooth Coconut Praline doesn’t contain either nuts or salt – and has just 10mg of sodium. The praline center – which despite the name, isn’t made with nuts – does have a slight coconut flavor, but it’s very light. Coconut sugar, which we use in our chocolate, looks and tastes like brown sugar. It tastes nothing like coconut, believe it or not!