Christmas 2021: Chocolate gifts

Are you looking gift some chocolate this Christmas, but don’t want people far-off to suffer so your friend can have a treat? Perhaps you’ve heard that around 20% of the chocolate on sale in New Zealand this Christmas will be made with cocoa produced by kids who are kept out of school to work? You don’t want to support that, but you’re still looking for something nice to give.

Fortunately, this year there are heaps of options that are certified free of both child and slave labour. We’ve gathered together all the ones we’ve spotted, but there are likely more. If you see anything that has one of the following marks on it, even if it’s not on our list, it’s fine.

certification marks for UTZ, the new Rainforest Alliance, WFTO, Fairtrade and the Fairtrade cocoa programme

(Click here for more information on the certifications referred to. UTZ is currently transitioning to a new logo, so the logos on either side of the arrow mean the same thing.)

Read right through to see all the options we’ve found or click on the table of contents to jump to the section you’re looking for. Also available as both a summary flier and a table.

For further information on slave-free options check out our Christmas meal post - it includes sections on drinks, snacks, desserts, baking ingredients and seafood.

chopped dark chocolate

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Estimated read time: 13 minutes. Too long? Check out the summary pdf or our table of products.

Santas, tree baubles and Christmas coins

Kitkat is making 29g UTZ-certified Santas; these are available at The Warehouse and supermarkets for around $1 each.

All Kmart’s own brand chocolate is UTZ-certified. That includes own-brand Santa and reindeer sets, made up of a plush toy and a set of 6.5g milk chocolate santas or reindeer for around $6.

Also from Kmart, there’s a UTZ-certified 4-piece milk chocolate set that includes four santas in a Christmas star you can hang on the tree; 32g total weight for $2.50.

Kmart has ’reindeer treats’ in a box you can hang on the tree. 8 pieces of chocolate (52g) for $2.

Lastly, Kmart also has 80g UTZ-certified milk chocolate gold coins for $2.50. Check out Kmart’s other own brand Christmas chocolate too, if you’re in a store: it wasn’t clear from the website whether their whole own brand range is UTZ-certified and they’re yet to answer our email on the topic.

The Warehouse and Kmart have 110g bags of mini Santas made by Kinnerton. We haven’t seen these in person to check whether they have the Rainforest Alliance logo on them, but if you see them have a look - Kinnerton products are generally Rainforest Alliance certified.

Chocolates

Whittakers

Whittakers chocolates are now made with Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa. Their bags of 18 squares are a good choice for Christmas - widely available for about $10 a bag.

Royal Thins (mint and mango thins)

The Warehouse is stocking both mint and mango dark chocolate thins made with Fairtrade certified cocoa. $5 for a 200g box.

Waikato Chocolates scorched almonds

Waikato chocolates are currently transitioning to Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa. At this stage their scorched almonds and fruit and nut are made with Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa. They come in:

  • milk chocolate scorched almonds
  • caramel chocolate scorched almonds
  • white chocolate scorched almonds
  • fruit and nut

Exclusive to The Warehouse; $4 for a 200g box.

Countdown

Countdown has a 191g box of cocoa dusted Belgian truffles for $4, UTZ certified. Also available at Super Value.

Countdown is also stocking boxes of pralines by Excelsium - around $4.50 for 180g, UTZ certified.

Kmart

Kmart own brand milk chocolate Christmas balls and milk chocolate truffles are both UTZ-certified. The balls are $6 for a 250g bag; the truffles are $2.50 for pack of 5.

Trade Aid

Trade Aid have a limited edition dark chocolate dipped mango, 150g for $12.99. Organic and sold in home-compostable packaging. As with all Trade Aid products, it’s certified fair trade through the World Fair Trade Organisation.

Trade Aid milk chocolate coated cashews and dark chocolate coated almonds

Year-round Trade Aid sell 130g boxes dark chocolate coated almonds and milk chocolate coated cashews, both of which are delicious. The almonds are grown by small-scale farmers in Palestine; the cashews by members of the Fair Trade Alliance in southern India; the cocoa is grown by a co-op in the Dominican Republic which is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation; and the sugar by farmers in Peru who are also WFTO members. Awesome all round! They retail for $8.99.

You can buy the whole Trade Aid range direct from either their shops or online, plus a number of supermarkets and health food shops stock their products.

Vegolino

packet of vegolino pralines

Vego does Fairtrade certified vegan chocolate hazelnut pralines (around $15 for a 180g bag): look for them in vegan and whole food stores.

Chocolate biscuit sampler boxes

Griffin’s

Griffin’s has recently transitioned to using Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa for all their chocolate biscuits except cameo cremes. They ordered their sampler box packaging before this change so you won’t see the logo on the boxes, but all the biscuits in their sampler boxes is made with Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa.

Lambertz

Most of the Lambertz biscuits for sale in New Zealand this year are made with Fairtrade cocoa, but check for the logo (clearly displayed on the front of the box) just in case - we have seen one exception.

We have seen 500g boxes of chocolate biscuits at both The Warehouse and New World as well as a 1kg box of chocolate biscuits at The Warehouse. Packets range from $6 to $20.

Bahlsen

Smith and Caughey’s is stocking UTZ-certified chocolate biscuits and chocolate waffle rolls, $6.50 each for a 100g box.

Chocolate blocks

Tony Chocolonely

Tonys Chocolonely are the only slave-free brand we’ve seen that have brought out special chocolate blocks for Christmas. They are a Dutch company on a mission to make 100% slave free chocolate and they also have Fairtrade certification. For Christmas they’ve brought out a dark chocolate peppermint candy block and a milk chocolate gingerbread one, both of which have a Christmas tree shape in the block. Buy online or from health food shops. Faitrade certified, around $10 for a 180g block.

6 colourful blocks of Tonys Chocolonely chocolate

They also have the following 80g bars available year round:

  • White Chocolate Raspberry Popping Candy
  • Milk Chocolate Hazelnut
  • Extra Dark Chocolate
  • Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt
  • Milk Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Dark milk pretzel toffee

Order online or buy from New World, Farro or specialist European grocers. Around $8 per block.

Whittakers

All Whittakers chocolate blocks except their Nicaraguan single-origin block are made with slave-free cocoa. Most are made with Rainforest-Alliance certified cocoa from Ghana; the remainder are made with Samoan cocoa, which is also slave-free. Their speciality blocks would make particularly nice Christmas gifts.

Trade Aid

Trade Aid 100g chocolate bars

Trade Aid sells 100g blocks of delicious chocolate for $4.99. My favourites are dark raspberry and mint crisp, but they also do salt toffee crisp, hazelnut, milk, dark and extra dark chocolate. The milk and dark varieties are also available as 200g blocks for $6.99. The wrappers are home-compostable and all but the milk and hazelnut flavours are vegan. The cocoa is grown by a co-op in the Dominican Republic which is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation, and the sugar by farmers in Peru who are also WFTO members. Awesome all round!

You can buy the whole Trade Aid range direct from either their shops or online, plus a number of supermarkets and health food shops stock their products.

Wellington Chocolate Factory

a selection of Wellington Chocolate Factory chocolate blocks

Wellington Chocolate Factory sources beans from around the world and crafts them into chocolate at their Wellington Factory. All their products are Fairtrade certified. You can buy their products in pre-set gifting bundles, design your own bundle, or buy them individually. They do 75g bars in the following flavours for $10 each:

  • salted caramel milk
  • coffee milk
  • raspberry milk
  • original milk
  • coconut milk
  • salted caramel dark
  • Peru single-origin (dark)

They also currently two Karen Walker limited edition 85g bars for $15:

  • lime and coconut
  • smoked nibs and chilli

and a limited edition 75g hibiscus and blackberry bar for $12.50.

The whole Wellington Chocolate Factory range is certified Fairtrade and organic, and many of their products are vegan :-)

You can buy WCF chocolate direct from them either online or from the factory in Aro Valley; they are also stocked by high-end supermarkets and organics shops.

Bennetto

a selection of Bennetto chocolate bars

Bennetto Natural Foods make delicious vegan, organic chocolate using cocoa from a Fairtrade co-op in Peru. They do 100g bars in:

  • amaranth and sea salt
  • salted caramel in dark
  • raspberry in dark
  • toasted hazelnut
  • mint and cacao nibs
  • orange with chilli
  • coffee in Madagascar
  • original dark (supporting Bird of the Year)
  • intense dark
  • exceptionally dark

They also have mini bars, discussed under ’stocking stuffers

Bennetto chocolate is available at organic and health food stores as well as many New World, Four Square and PakNSave supermarkets, where the 100g bars sell for around $8. You can also purchase their chocolate by the carton direct from Bennetto. Note that only their bars are Fairtrade certified, not their hot chocolate.

Ola Pacifica

Ola Pacifica sells almond, orange and coffee-flavoured chocolate blocks in cartons online, 12x80g blocks for $70. Individual blocks are also available at a wide range of stockists, mostly in the North Island. They are made with Samoan cocoa, which is always free of child and slave labour. Ola Pacifica’s products are also vegan-friendly, carbon-neutral and sold in paper packaging.

Stocking stuffers

Nestle

Nestle 'fun packs' of smarties, kit kats and milky bars

If you want stocking stuffers or other small gifts, one good option is Nestle ‘fun packs’: bags containing 11 small packets of either smarties, kit kats or milky bars for around $3.50-$5. Smarties and Kit Kats are made with Rainforest-Alliance certified cocoa and milky bars are cocoa free! You should be able to find Nestle fun packs in any supermarket.

*check the back to make sure that’s true - there’s a chance you’ll find imported ones that aren’t. You’re looking for either a Rainforest Alliance logo or the old UTZ logo, or a statement saying that Nestle works with Rainforest Alliance or UTZ.

If you’re concerned about Nestle’s ethics, see here for why we are happy to recommend their products.

Kit kats, milky bars, pixie caramel, chokito and aero bars

Another option, also from Nestle, are their various chocolate bars. All varieties of KitKats should be Rainforest Alliance certified (check the back to be sure), as are Pixie Caramels, Chokito bars and Aero bars. Milky bars are cocoa free.

Trade Aid

milk and dark 50g chocolate bars from Trade Aid.

Trade Aid sells 50g bars of both milk and dark chocolate for $2.49. As with all Trade Aid products, they are certified fair trade through the World Fair Trade Organisation. Buy online, from their physical shops or some health food shops.

Bennetto

Bennetto sells three flavours of Fairtrade certified vegan organic chocolate in 30g bars:

  • coconut
  • raspberry
  • coffee bean

These are available online in boxes of 21-23 bars for about $63-$66, or singly from health food stores, RRP $3.50.

Wellington Chocolate Factory

retail box of Wellington Chocolate Factory Solomon Islands 25g bars

Wellington Chocolate Factory sells 25g Fairtrade certified chocolate bars in the following flavours:

  • Peru (vegan, gluten free, certified organic)
  • Raspberry milk (gluten free, certified organic)
  • Salted caramel (gluten free)

They retail around $4; look for them at organic shops and cafes. You can also buy them singly or in cartons online.

Hot chocolate

hot chocolate mixes as discussed below

Just Kai’s cocoa guide has a great many hot chocolate options. The ones most suitable for gifting are:

  • West Coast Cocoa (Rainforest Alliance-certified). Buy directly from them online or see here for stockists. They are $3.50 for 50g, $12.50 for 250g, $23 for 500g, $49.45 for 2kg. West Coast Cocoa comes in the following flavours:

    • deluxe
    • dark deluxe
    • peppermint
    • caramel
    • mayan chilli
  • Trade Aid drinking chocolate (WFTO certified): buy from their own shops, online or from health food shops. $5.99 for 300g, $24.50 for 2kg or $55 for 5kg.
  • Kokako drinking chocolate (Fairtrade certified) is available online, or see here for stockists. $9.50 for 250g or $48 for 2kg.
  • Devonport Chocolates (Fairtrade certified) hot chocolate mixes can be purchased online or from their stores in Devonport and Queens Arcade in Auckland. $13.90 for a 250g tin. It comes in ’classic’, ’dark and decadent’ and ’spiced‘.
  • Wellington Chocolate Factory sells Fairtrade certified hot chocolate online, from their physical store in Aro Valley or through many higher-end retailers. $12.50 for a 250g bag - organic, vegan and in home-compostable packaging.

Toiletries and cosmetics with cocoa butter

Not exactly chocolate, but toiletries and cosmetics contain cocoa butter surprisingly often. Here are some options with slave-free cocoa.

a bath bomb decorated with a holly sprig dissolving in foamy water

LUSH make a wide range of toiletries and cosmetics which are all handmade. Many of them are packaging free or come in re-fillable packaging; all their products are vegetarian and many are vegan. This year they have a Christmas range including cinnamon bubble bath, a Santa sleigh bath bomb and varioius gift sets.

Many of their products contain cocoa butter, and in the vast majority of cases this cocoa butter is Fairtrade. However, a few of their products are made with regular cocoa butter, so always check the ingredients list to be sure: if it’s Fairtrade it will say :-) None of their other cocoa is Fairtrade, so avoid products with cocoa liquor or cocoa powder.

Find your nearest LUSH store here.