LIFULL makes Ecolate with cocoa waste


Anything can become edible with the right technology and enough creativity. LIFULL proved this point with their new product Ecolate – an eco-friendly chocolate made from cocoa shells, tree bark, and tree leaves. Now, purchasing a bar of chocolate is no longer just a guilty indulgence, but also a noble contribution to environmental sustainability.


Ecolate – an eco-friendly chocolate


lifull ecolate - cocoa fruit
Image credit: Ly Le Minh

In cocoa production, farmers usually extract only the cocoa beans within the cocoa fruit for further processing. This leaves behind many unutilised materials from the cocoa trees, such as the tree bark, leaves, and the cocoa shells.

lifull ecolate - ecolate on groundImage credit: LIFULL

LIFULL has created an edible chocolate that’s made from these unused materials. Called “Ecolate”, which combines the words “eco-friendly” and “chocolate”, this new product aims to reduce food waste and make sure that every inch of land dedicated to cocoa production is worthwhile.

lifull ecolate - ecolate products(From left to right) Ecolate Carre and Ecolate Tablette.
Image adapted from: LIFULL and LIFULL

The materials used to make the Ecolate are sourced from Indonesia. There are 2 types of Ecolate products, and both chocolate bars are approximately 140mm x 230mm x 12mm in size.

lifull ecolate - ecolate carre
Image credit: LIFULL

If you’re wondering how chocolate made from tree bark and leaves tastes like, consider the Ecolate Carre (¥2,200, ~USD20.25). It comprises 3 types of chocolate made from different parts of the cocoa tree. 

lifull ecolate - 3 types of ecolate(From left to right) Dark brown block, golden block, and leaf-like block.
Image credit: LIFULL

The dark brown block contains 50% cocoa shells, the golden block contains 20% tree bark, while 30% of the leaf-like block consists of a mixture of cocoa shells, tree bark, and leaves.

lifull ecolate - ecolate tablette
Image credit: LIFULL

The other product is the Ecolate Tablette (¥1,760, ~USD16.20), which comprises 33% cocoa shells.


LIFULL’s Earth Cuisine Project


Ecolate is the latest addition to LIFULL’s Earth Cuisine Project. It is a project that began in 2018 with the mission to find new sources of sustainable ingredients to create edible products. LIFULL has since released several products.

bamboo galette
Image credit: LIFULL

There’s the Bamboo Galette (¥1,290, ~USD11.89), which is made from damaged bamboo. 

eatree cakeImage credit: LIFULL

There’s also an Eatree Cake (¥3,670, ~USD33.82) that’s made from wood. 

bamboo sweetsImage credit: LIFULL

Several desserts and pastries are also rolled out under the Bamboo Sweets series. These bamboo sweets, like the Bamboo Galette, are also made from damaged bamboo.


LIFULL opens preorders for Ecolate products


Pre-orders began on 15th April 2021. If you’re living in Japan, you can pre-order your Ecolate here. Do note that a shipping fee of ¥1,000 (~USD9.24) applies for all regions nationwide except for Hokkaido and Okinawa Prefectures. For these regions, the shipping fee will be ¥1,500 (~USD13.86) instead.

You can also check out LIFULL’s other Earth Cuisine Project products here.

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Cover image adapted from: LIFULL and LIFULL

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