If you’re craving a bite of British chocolate, take a look at our top picks below. They’ve been selected by us for their fantastic flavours, sustainable packaging and transparent, organic cocoa supply chains.
Chocolate production around the world is rife with exploitation and unethical practices. That’s why it’s crucial to choose ethical and sustainable British chocolate brands that care about their consumers and farmers. Read on to find the most ethical chocolate brands in the UK.
Duffy’s is a small-scale chocolatier. The award-winning company is located in Lincolnshire, where they produce a range of chocolate bars and flavoured chocolate drinks. The brand uses traditional stone grinding to maximise the chocolate’s flavour profile. They also roast, winnow and refine their own cocoa beans into tasty, ethical chocolate.
Duffy’s adheres to a model of business they call “direct cacao”. In effect, they’ve cut out the middlemen of the cocoa chain-of-supply.
The brand instead works directly with cocoa farmers; this gives Duffy’s access to the finest raw cocoa whilst ensuring that farmers receive ethical treatment and fair income for their hard work.
They sell a range of milk, dark and dark milk bars as well as flavoured chocolate bars. The cocoa content of each Duffy’s bar ranges from 40% (sweet, milk chocolates) to 100% (extra bitter chocolates). Current flavoured options include orange, raspberry, dark espresso, and mochaccino.
All of Duffy’s chocolate bars are gluten free, soya free and nut free; a smaller selection of sugar-free and vegan friendly bars are also available.
2. Green & Blacks
Green & Blacks has been producing organic chocolate for over 30 years. The brand was founded by Craig Sams, who opened the UK’s first natural health food shop in 1969.
Unlike other chocolatiers, Green & Blacks has been organic-focussed from the start. In 1994, their “Maya Gold” flavour of chocolate became the first Fairtrade approved chocolate in the United Kingdom.
The brand is best known for their dark chocolates. Their bars range in intensity and cocoa percentage, from 30% in their Organic White flavour to an astounding 85% cocoa solids in their aptly-named Organic Dark 85% flavoured bars.
As well as traditional chocolate bars, a variety of gift sets, hampers, easter eggs and seasonal products are created by Green & Blacks. Uniquely, some of their selections feature bottles of wine, hand-picked to complement their chocolate.
Green & Blacks’ chocolates can be found in supermarkets, petrol stations, corner shops and health food stores across the UK and internationally. Their chocolates can also be purchased online from their official website and their official Amazon store.
Gnaw is a chocolatier based in Norfolk. They create tasty chocolates under the Gnaw brand name as well as fulfilling orders for other chocolate companies and private businesses.
They sell a large range of chocolate products including letterbox bars, which can be posted as gifts with a customised message for the recipient. These are packaged in a 100% biodegradable plastic alternative.
Gnaw makes a range of both vegan-friendly chocolates and dairy-based chocolates.
They sell chocolate gift sets tailored to events and occasions. These include birthday chocolates, Father’s Day chocolates and more.
Four bar sizes are available: snack sized (35g), mini bars (50g) and regular bars (100g). Gnaw also creates easter eggs, hot chocolate products and hampers of varying sizes.
Gnaw is an environmentally-conscious and sustainable chocolate producer. Gnaw’s factory is powered by renewable energy and their product packaging is fully recyclable and suitable for home composting.
Free UK delivery is available on orders over £40. UK and EU orders are fulfilled by DPD; Gnaw chose this courier due to their “carbon neutral policy and ethos”.
4. Conscious Chocolate
Their chocolate bars are packaged in cardboard, which can be recycled or home composted. A protective inner layer is wrapped around each bar, which is made from a sustainable bio-film. Conscious Chocolate doesn’t use any plastic in their products or packaging.
This Henfield-based company produces raw cacao chocolate; this is a health-conscious chocolate product that’s free from dairy, gluten, soya and refined sugars. At no stage does the chocolate’s temperature go over 42°C. This helps to keep the cocoa’s natural nutrients in-tact.
Conscious Chocolate’s kitchen is carbon and energy neutral. Their chocolate is GMO-free, organic and vegan-friendly; coconut butter and coconut blossom are used instead of milk and sugar respectively.
They’ve received accolades from both the Nourish Awards and Good Food Awards.
Two bar sizes are available, 30g and 60g, and they also sell bar bundles, chocolate nibbles and gift sets. Popular Conscious Chocolate flavours include Orange and Tangerine, Pure Dark 100% and Love Potion no.9, which contains rose and maca essential oils. The brand likes to include health food extracts in their chocolate products, including spirulina, goji and chia extracts.
Conscious Chocolate is a certified B-Corp brand and is approved by Soil Association Organic UK.
5. Seed and Bean
For a tasty, bite-sized treat, consider their 25g “mini-bars” which come in four flavours; Coffee Espresso, Orange & Thyme, Extra Dark and Sea Salt & Lime. Seen and Bean’s most popular products are their 85g bars; these come in a large variety of flavours.
Many of their chocolates feature two complementary flavours. Hazelnut & Almond Milk, Mandarin & Ginger Dark and Coconut & Raspberry are among their most popular flavours.
They sell individual bars and a range of selection boxes containing 6 different chocolate bars. Current selection options include the Wild Bundle, Sweet & Salty Bundle and the Complete Dark Collection Bundle, which contains a staggering 12 bars of varying cocoa percentages and flavours.
All Seed and Bean chocolate is made with organic, certified Fairtrade cocoa. Each bar is packaged in 100% recyclable and compostable materials. The foil-like inner wrapper sealed around every Seed and Bean chocolate bar is made from sustainable eucalyptus pulp.
Seed and Bean offers free UK delivery on orders over £25.
6. Lick the Spoon Chocolates
Lick the Spoon has always used renewable energy to power their production line but in May 2022, they took things a step further and became 100% solar-powered.
The chocolate salami is one of Lick the Spoon’s more novel items. Weighing 280g and coming in two flavours, Peanut Caramel and Original Brandy and Rum, these salami-shaped chocolates mimic the appearance of an authentic, foil-wrapped salami.
They also produce chocolate sticks which are match-sized snacks; their Humbug Chocolate Sticks won a Taste of the West award in 2019.
Lick the Spoon’s chocolate bars come in flavours including Salted Caramel and Blackforest Dark, containing pieces of real sour cherry. Most of their chocolate contains milk solids except for their vegan option, Vegan Salted Caramel Crunch.
They package orders in recyclable, FSC-certified cardboard that’s sealed using recyclable tape. For orders that need added protection, white protective bubbles are used – these are made from sustainable recycled potato peelings and are suitable for home composting. UK orders are fulfilled by DPD local.
Montezuma’s is a British chocolatier based in Chichester. The brand was launched by two former lawyers, husband-and-wife team Simon and Helen in 2000. They were inspired to launch their own chocolate company after immersing themselves in South-American cocoa production in the 90’s, setting up their first store in Brighton.
They have physical stores across Southern England as well as an online shop. To keep-up with increasing demand, Montezuma’s now uses a production line to produce their chocolate bars.
Their darkest chocolate bar is the Absolute Black bar, a 100% dark chocolate bar that contains nothing except cocoa. It’s not for the faint-hearted due to the intense, bitter flavour of raw cocoa. Montezuma’s also sells variations of the Absolute Black bar featuring ingredients including mint, peanut butter, almonds and hemp extract.
Montezuma’s sells organic chocolate and vegan-friendly chocolate named Like No Udder, containing a milk substitute made from coconut, vanilla and rice products.
All of Montezuma’s chocolate bars are packed in 100% recyclable material. The company was recently shortlisted for the 2022 Sustainable Packaging Initiative FDF award.
NOMO is a nut-free brand of British chocolates produced by Kinnerton, an experienced confectioner. Since 1999, the brand has been producing allergen-free, vegan-friendly chocolates from a dedicated factory in Norfolk. The brand was previously known by the trade name “Just”.
In 2020, NOMO’s caramel chocolate bar was voted the UK’s best vegan chocolate by Vegan Food UK. As well as being nut-free, NOMO’s chocolate is 100% free from dairy, gluten, egg & nuts. Most of their chocolate, except their Deliciously Dark flavour, are also free from soya.
Uniquely, NOMO sells an imitation nut flavoured bar. This allows people with nut allergies to still enjoy the unique taste of nutty chocolate; their Hazelnot bars use rice krispies, cocoa nibs and nut-free flavouring to simulate the taste and texture of real nuts.
As a business, NOMO hasn’t sent any waste to landfill in more than 8 years. They’re committed to sustainability and ethical conduct, sourcing their cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms. 1% of final-year profits are donated to a chosen charity
Despite not containing dairy, their chocolate has been described as silky, smooth and creamy in taste.
Located in Norwich, Booja-booja is a chocolatier producing ethical chocolate truffles and vegan ice cream. They launched in 1999 and won their first award within a year for their Hazelnut Crunch truffles.
Their chocolates are entirely vegan and are free from dairy, gluten, soya and palm oil. No preservatives, stabilisers or additives are used in the production of Booja-booja’s delicious organic chocolate truffles. Coconut oil and coconut powder are used in place of traditional dairy solids.
The brand is a living-wage employer and they have a sustainable supply chain of organic cocoa, which is sourced from Ecuador. In 2006, Booja-booja was voted “The nation’s favourite organic brand” in the Soil Association’s Best of Organic Markets awards.
Booja-booja is perhaps best-known for their ethical, vegan chocolate truffles. These come in packs of two, twelve, sixteen and twenty – the truffle selection varies depending on the product. Flavour options include Honeycomb Caramel, Toffee Strudel and Cherry Cognac.
Dylan Kitson is a freelance writer and researcher based in Brighton, England. He’s a passionate promoter of all things health, working with supplement companies, health & fitness blogs and consumer review websites.