Taste Radio Episode 223

Tony's Chocolonely: Ynzo van Zanten


You might recognize Tony’s Chocolonely by its quirky labels and comic font logo. Behind the Dutch brand’s playful vibe, however, is a profound mission to end the use of child labor within the cocoa industry.

Founded in 2005, Tony’s has emerged as a popular international chocolate brand sold throughout Europe and the United States. Led by its purpose-driven strategy, the company is grounded in fair-trade business practices, deep relationships with its sourcing partners and measurable goals for social impact. In an interview included in this episode, Ynzo van Zanten, Tony’s Chief Evangelist, spoke about how the company has navigated the development of a premium brand while staying focused on its overarching social mission, how to build a purpose-driven team and how to attract investors when “money is not a goal.”

In this Episode

0:40: Interview: Ynzo van Zanten, Chief Evangelist, Tony’s Chocolonely — Taste Radio editor Ray Latif spoke with van Zanten about the genesis of Tony’s, how his work experience led him to the company and why he believes that being financially successful and socially responsible should not be viewed as “two opposite ends of the spectrum.” He also discussed how Tony’s promotes its mission on packaging versus through digital content, how consumers rank the brand’s attributes and how the company evaluates margin and profitability when pricing its products. Later, he explained how the company measures social impact via a proprietary system, how Tony’s won over private equity firms Verlinvest and Jam Jar, the strategy for expanding retail placement and distribution internationally and how other CPG companies can support the brand’s mission.

Also Mentioned

Tony’s Chocolonely, Patagonia