The last few years have seen India’s craft chocolate industry evolve exponentially, giving rise to several new players in the market. Their exclusive offerings are now stiff competition for commercial chocolate brands, and this is just the beginning. If you would like to know more about this industry, and meet the people behind India’s craft brands, head to the upcoming Indian Cacao & Craft Chocolate Festival.
Helmed by Patricia Cosma, a bean-to-bar chocolate consultant and connoisseur from Romania, and Ketaki Churi, a chocolatier, chocolate maker and product developer from Mumbai, it will bring together everyone from cacao farmers, industry professionals, to brands and chocolatiers.
“When I came to India in 2018, I had no idea of the chocolate industry here. I learned about the cocoa farms, and started visiting them and conducting experiments,” says Patricia, who believes the flavour profiles of Indian cacao are “very different” when compared to commercial brands in the West. Therefore, she kickstarted the festival to build a community of craft chocolate in India. “I want it to be similar to the growth trajectory of specialty coffee in India. Coffee and chocolate are similar markets. I also want people to be aware of craft chocolate: its health benefits, how it supports farmers, and ethical production methods,” she adds.
This year, over 33 brands such as Bon Fiction & Farm, Chitra’m, Paul & Mike, Chocolate Philosophy, Nari & Kage, Brightland, Cocoa Town, Kuruvinakunnel Farm, Local Ferment, Rakaudella, Sapa, Subko, Ulo, Plume Delicacies, Naviluna, among others will bring their specialty creations. Also in the works are a range of collaborations between artisanal makers and chocolate brands. “I am excited about Sapa’s collaboration with Anuttama and Bon Fiction, Ulo Ice Cream with Subko Cacao, Kuruvinakunnel Farms and Manam, among others. Via these collabs, we are seeing interesting products that aren’t available in the market,” elaborates Patricia.
As for the workshops, she says the team has tried to bring in more elements this year. For instance, a wine and chocolate pairing session by Trippy Goat Cafe that “people are curious about”. Other sessions include Cacao in Your Everyday Life on its health benefits, Craft Chocolate Flavour Innovation, Storytelling in the World of Chocolate on the importance of brand building, The Alchemy of Fermentation, among others.
Now in its third edition, she hopes to make this an annual event in Bengaluru. “I plan to host smaller festivals in other cities to bring audiences to the main event in Bengaluru every November.”
November 25 and 26, at Bangalore International Center, Domlur II Stage, Bengaluru. For tickets (₹250), and day passes (upwards of ₹4,599) contact 7829018225.