Chocolate is almost a favorite of everyone’s taste, a sweet key to memories of happiness. Brazil, the 6th largest cocoa producer in the world and the largest in South America, has seen its heyday of cocoa production decline in the 70s, yet a new breed of chocolate artisans and cocoa producers are working hard to usher the country back into the leadership of the most beloved fruit in the world – holly and healthy cocoa.
One of these entrepreneurs is the crew behind Dengo Chocolates, a brand that has reimagined the future of cocoa production and artisanal chocolate, working exclusively with small independent makers and farmers, craftsmen and a youthful crew of designers and creatives to brand and deliver a unique chocolate bar.
Dengo means a “sweet gift” or a “kind gesture of care” in Brazilian Portuguese, nothing short of perfect to a brand that wants to go beyond bar and connect the consumer with the heritage and craftspeople behind the melting deliciousness of their chocolate – a tree to bar experience.
Farmers are mainly based in Bahia, a paradise state, where Brazil was ‘born’ as the country we know. Music and the arts have a strong heritage from Bahia, and it was here that the first chocolate farming started. Sustainability, community cooperation and conscious development are some of the pillars of the brand’s enterprise here.
Design of bars and packaging spirited from forms and nuances of Brazilian nature and the myths connected to cocoa – spiritual rituals, natural energy and tropical exotic flavors and textures. The brand was awarded a gold medal in Food Design at the A’Design Award & Competition 2020.
Animal inspired prints created the storytelling of the bar packaging whilst the chocolate bars themselves were designed to mimic the forms of the mountains of Bahia and its valleys, bringing elements of the Atlantic forests, such as dry leaves, foliage, and trees, creating an interesting textured bar. The aesthetics is also influenced by Brazilian art, such as painter Tarsila do Amaral and Lasar Segall – two of Brazil’s leading Modern Artists.
A glossy chocolate bar is known to tell a lot about its quality, hence the shape was designed in order to treat the light as something tangible, explored on the surface of the bar that results from a combination of 3D and 2D lines, creating volumes and shapes that portray elements from the Atlantic Forest, where Dengo’s cocoa is harvested.