GHANA – Koa, a Swiss-Ghanaian start-up in the cocoa industry, has debuted its first cocoa fruit juice in the Ghanaian market.
Dubbed Koa Natural, the all-natural juice produced from the white, fleshy part that surrounds the cocoa bean has been gently processed, with no added sugars, sweeteners, or additives, to preserve the authentic natural sweet taste of the cocoa fruit, the company said.
The newest addition to the Ghanaian beverage market provides potassium and magnesium for health benefits such as regulating the heartbeat, ensuring proper function of the muscles and nerves, and are vital for synthesizing protein and metabolizing carbohydrates.
Using its innovative technology, the cocoa fruit juice brand is revolutionizing the use of cocoa in Ghana, which has been predominantly for chocolate production.
Working closely with cocoa smallholders, Koa reduces on-farm food waste around the cocoa fruit, generates additional farmer income, and creates new jobs in rural communities.
The beverage is produced from previously unused cocoa fruit pulp, the white cocoa pulp surrounding the bean, providing an additional product created from the cocoa pod, giving an extra income to Ghana’s cocoa farmers.
Koa, a B Corp company, secured US$10 million as growth capital to accelerate its disruptive upcycling business around the cocoa fruit in May 2022.
Koa said at the time that the investments will help it to scale its production capabilities tenfold and thereby allowing the company to cooperate with an additional 10,000 cocoa smallholders in Ghana.
The funds from the debt financing were channeled into building a new production plant in Akim Achiase, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. This second factory for Koa was planned to start its operations by the end of 2022.
“As the food industry is discovering cocoa fruit, we need to grow in line with the demand from our customers. Once fully operational, the new factory will increase our production capacity by tenfold, while generating 250 new jobs in rural Ghana and allowing us to extend our cocoa fruit upcycling to an additional 10,000 cocoa farmers,” Daniel Otu, production & operations director at Koa, explained.
In the same year, the company achieved a B Corp Certification score of 95.7 points in recognition of its socially responsible business and innovative cocoa fruit venture, earning it a B Corp certification.
B Corp sets a minimum score of 80 points on the B Impact Assessment to be certified and repeats the verification process every three years.