Meet Goodio, the pioneering organic chocolate company founded on transparency and sustainability. Goodio’s roots lay in innovation provided by founder of Jukka Peltola, a former game developer at Rovio, the company responsible for Angry Birds. After a creative career in technology and entertainment, Jukka came to food through a personal journey for better health.
Jukka found his passion in blending natural ingredients and fusing them with unique flavors, such as wild blueberry and sea buckthorn to give you a delicious one-of-a-kind treat. All Goodio bars are made with raw cacao, which is high in antioxidants and classified as a superfood.
Looking for alternatives to heavy sugar and salt-ridden snacks, Jukka did extensive research and found cacao — a superfood that’s often only associated with unhealthy chocolate bars you see in grocery stores and gas stations. By adding raw cacao to his diet and dropping traditional dairy products, Jukka changed his thought process and adopted a new diet and lifestyle.
After changing his diet and lifestyle he began to see amazing results, feeling more energetic, lighter, and rejuvenated, Jukka then set out to share this knowledge with his colleagues, friends, and family. While raw cacao and healthful treats were the focus, the team also wanted to build a company that stood for more than profit.
“There has to be greater transparency in where our food comes from, how it’s sourced, and how it’s treated,” Jukka says.
Below is a quick Q&A with the founder of Goodio, Jukka Peltola
It was 2010 when I started optimizing my wellbeing with nutrition. In a very short time period I got tremendous results which lead to totally a new relationship with food and nature. I was passioned and started experimenting and studying nutrition and found out about amazing nutritional properties of raw cacao, which is one of nature’s most nutritious foods, due to it’s wide array of unique properties.
Cacao is a main ingredient in a chocolate, but I couldn’t find chocolate that was produced in a way I wanted so I started doing my own chocolate at home. It was stunning to realize that you can actually do a favor for yourself by eating chocolate, if it’s just done with right ingredients, way and intention.
I felt so excited about chocolate and was really grateful for finding out what proper nutrition can do for wellbeing so I started thinking why are we suffering so much, why are there so many additives, fillers and other things in our food. I felt disappointed on big corporates’ contribution and also really small, because of the scale of this issue. I remember thinking that somebody should do something about it. Then I thought that self pity doesn’t help and I’m gonna do it for the greater good, no matter what. It still feels kind of crazy, but actually it makes so much sense, it’s just the right thing to do.
That’s how the idea of Goodio was born, not only to make the best possible organic chocolates, but to accelerate the positive change in the world. Later on I found about the dark side of chocolate industry and decided that it’s not only nutrition that needs to be fixed, it’s the way the whole business has developed in the past decade.
Here is a little bitter sweet fact box of chocolate:
The global chocolate market is worth over 100 billions in 2017 and is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of almost 5% by 2020.
Around 70% of world’s cacao comes from West African countries where there’s estimated to be 2.1 million child laborers. Two biggest cacao growers are Ghana and Ivory coast. In Ghana the average income of a farmer is 0.84 $ a day and Ivory coast just merely 0.50 $ a day. Affordable chocolate has it’s price that has just been hidden from us.
Tell us about your cacao beans and the process of making Goodio organic chocolate bars.
We use cacao beans from DR Congo, Ecuador and Peru. Our Maranon Canyon beans from Peru are considered to be the rarest cacao beans in the world. Our Congo Mountains of the Moon beans, that come from Rwenzori mountain range, are certified organic and Fair for Life. Currently we have fine flavor cacao beans from 40-50 different farms in test. The beans are all wild, certified organic or organically cultivated.
We have our own factory in Helsinki where we make our bean-to-bar chocolates. We don’t roast our cacao beans and we stone ground all the ingredients around 72 hours in low temperature to sustain the good nutrients in ingredients.
Our approach to making chocolate is holistic and we are always willing to learn and make our products better. This doesn’t mean that we are changing our recipes all the time. It means we are constantly thinking how to have even bigger positive impact, whether it means biodegradable packaging, supporting small family farms or choosing healthier ingredients.
Why do you personally think the Nordic countries are such leaders in sustainability and innovation?
I think there are multitude of things that has made this possible. Here is my personal reasoning in three points:
Engineer mindset and education system – Our ancestors have lived in harsh environment and just to survive you had to be very practical, especially before electricity and technology. Nowadays we Finns are world famous of our free and high standard education system. There are no tuition fees at any level of education and in higher education you can even get financial aid from the government. Because of this we are generally very well educated.
Our rough past and excellent education have made us logical, good adaptors and problem solvers. We Finns are not known about our small talk or marketing skills but for making great products that only a few know about, not to mention well-known brands like Nokia and Angry Birds.
Nature – Even though we are very tech savvy people we haven’t wandered too far away from our roots, nature. We are 5.6 million people, 71% of the country is forest and we have over 180.000 lakes, 500.000 summer cottages and 3 million saunas. In Finland we have the freedom to roam and foraging is very popular. Especially wild blueberries, lingonberries and many mushrooms are common bounty.
Wellbeing – We are very fortunate to have a high standard of living because of our free education, health care and extensive social security system. These privileges give us the freedom to think. When you don’t have to struggle so much and you have all your basic needs satisfied, you feel that you want to give back. We have ability to do things for greater good and that’s amazing.
What does transparency within an organization mean to you?
I’m fascinated to question general operating models that are just learned without deeper understanding or first principles thinking. Are these models still valid and working for our best? Therefore I like to ask ”stupid” questions. Questions like what if we make all our recipes public or what if we publish our whole business strategy.
Currently our priority is to make Goodio a fully transparent company. Everyone in our company is fully committed and excited about the direction we are going. It’s not only the right thing to do, but actually really inspiring and fun too. I believe that many other companies will follow us in the coming years and in the future it will become a new norm of doing things and it’s all good.