Amsterdam — Verlinvest and JamJar have together taken a minority share in Tony’s Chocolonely, a leading chocolate bar brand in its native Netherlands.
In addition to international growth, the funding will be used to develop Tony’s Chocolonely Chocolate Circus in Zaandam, The Netherlands. The site will house a chocolate factory and visitor’s center, complete with rollercoaster, that is expected to draw 500,000 chocolate fans annually, according to the company.
Verlinvest is the investment vehicle for the Belgian family shareholder of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, which has a track record of funding sustainable brands including Oatly and Vita Coco. JamJar is the private equity fund of the founders of smooth and juice maker Innocent Drinks.
“With the investment of Verlinvest and JamJar, we shall accelerate in achieving our goal of making all chocolate worldwide 100 percent slave-free. To accomplish this, it is important that we can continue to grow internationally so that more and more people — farmers, consumers, retailers, big chocolate companies and governments alike — can be involved in our mission,” says Henk Jan Beltman, chief chocolate officer of Tony’s Chocolonely.