Gil Horsky: “Cocoa replacements could cost less and are easier to mimic” | Bloomberg

A California startup making cocoa-free chocolate to sidestep the volatility of commodities markets has raised $52 million in a funding round. Voyage Foods’ chocolate is made with blended vegetable oils, sugar, grape seeds, and sunflower protein. It also makes a peanut-free spread with a mix of seeds, sugar, legumes, and palm oil and produces a hazelnut-free Nutella-style spread and bean-free coffee.

Gil Horsky, founding partner at Flora Ventures and the former head of Mondelez International’s venture capital arm, highlights the potential of cocoa replacements. “Unlike meat, the price of cocoa is getting so high that there’s an opportunity for a replacement to actually cost less,” he said. Horsky points out that chocolate is simpler than meat and easier to mimic. The goal isn’t to replace chocolate completely but to fill the gap between supply and demand. While Flora Ventures hasn’t yet invested in a chocolate alternative, Horsky is hopeful about the prospects and aims to invest in this promising field soon.

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