Updated: the wicked bad & wicked good lists

Updated: the wicked bad & wicked good lists

New and Improved! Renamed and updated! Now easier to use than ever to follow.

My ultimate goal by presenting this information in this way is to encourage skeptical, critical, thinking, not blind acceptance. I want readers to become vigilantly critical and to view claims that appear on product labels and marketing skeptically until otherwise demonstrated to be true.

the blacklist
There are many attempts to generate and maintain “whitelists” of ethical chocolate companies. This is not one of them.
The guide to the selection criteria for The Wicked Bad List can be found in this post.

In pursuit of this goal I carefully and deliberately chose to use loaded language in a way I thought would call attention to the irony of my word choices. However, some listeners and readers were not open to my ironic usage and suggested I could make the points I wanted to make using less polarizing language.

So I have.

I chose wicked because of the fact common usage has both negative – wicked bad – and positive – wicked good – connotations. That made me smile.

caveats & disclaimers

These lists represent my personal opinion of the named companies and individuals based on my assessment of the criteria I set out in the above-referenced post where those criteria are set forth.
If you believe there is an error of attribution or misattribution, please communicate about it in the comments section, with reasons for why you think there is an error, so there is a public record of the exchange.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Wicked Bad


April 25th, 2022 – added in the “unrequited” companies in section 2; those companies getting an orange or red bunny in the Be Slavery Free 2022 Chocolate Scorecard.

April 9th, 2022 – added in section 8; based on work done by the Yale School of Management.
There is no argument from silence to be inferred from an entity being absent from mention on any of the following lists.
1 :: Seen in Court – see tables following for lists of subsidiaries and brands
Barry Callebaut
Cargill, Incorporated
Hershey Company, The
Mars, Inc
Mondelēz International
Nestlé SA
Olam International
Rainforest Alliance
2 :: Booted and Unrequited (Updated April 25th)
Tony’s Chocolonely; removed in 2021 from SlaveFreeChocolate.org’s list
Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Cémoi, Fuji Oil (Blommer’s), Orkla, Pladis, Puratos, Ritter Sport, Touton, Unilever, Valrhona / All received an orange bunny in the 2022 Be Slavery Free Chocolate Scorecard
Daito Cacao, Glico (TCHO), Godiva, Itochu, Kellog’s, Meiji, Morinaga, Stollwerck / All received a dread red bunny in the 2022 Be Slavery Free Chocolate Scorecard
Sources: Be Slavery Free Scorecard
3 :: “Belgium’s ‘Finest’”
Belcolade (Belgium, subsidiary of Puratos Group)
Chocolove (USA) – uses Barry Callebaut extensively
Galler (Belgium)
Godiva (Turkey, subsidiary of Yildiz Holdings)
Guylian (Belgium)
Jacques Torres (USA) – uses Belcolade extensively
Leonidas (Belgium)
Marcolini (Belgium)
Mary (Belgium)
Neuhaus (Belgium)
Resources: TL;DR see CHOPRABISCO for many other entries
4 :: Incomplete and/or Disingenuous Supply Chain Disclosures and Marketing Language
Every entity that takes advantage of mass balance
1-800-Flowers.com Inc.
Blue Stripes Cacao (US); uses Callebaut, Hershey is an investor
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli
Tony’s Chocolonely – post-hoc rationalization of its relationship with Barry Callebaut; though they use RA cocoa, they eschew mass balance
Mid Day Squares – uses Mass Balance FT cocoa; “Made with Real ...;” “First...”
5 :: Subsidiaries / Brands
See the Subsidiaries & Brands by Company tables following
6 :: NGOs / Initiatives
Fairtrade Licensing Organization (FLO)
Fair Trade USA
Rainforest Alliance / UTZ
7 :: Gaslighters / Apologists
Barry Callebaut
Cargill, Incorporated
Fairtrade Licensing Organization (FLO)
Fair Trade USA
Hershey Company, The
Mars, Inc
Mondelēz International
Nestlé SA
Olam International
Rainforest Alliance / UTZ
8 :: Business as Usual-ish, Much? in Russia (updated April 9, 2022)
AB InBev – major investor is also majority owner of Tony’s Chocolonely
Barry Callebaut
Ferrero S.p.a
General Mills
Groupe Savencia – see Subsidiaries and Brands table
Mondelēz – parent company of Cadbury & Green & Blacks, among many others
Nestlé SA – see subsidiaries and brands table below
Olam Group
Resources: Yale School of Management
Companies divesting themselves of/suspending business operations in Russia include: Fazer, Grainpro, Haribo, Krispy Kreme, Lindt & Sprüngli, Starbucks – visit the Yale SOM website for the up to date lists

Subsidiaries and Brands

The following (alphabetically ordered) lists are incomplete and in flux – keeping up with mergers, acquisitions, sales, and new formations in an industry that numbers many thousands of companies globally is no small task.
1-800-Flowers.com Inc.
1-800-Baskets.com, Alice’s Table, Bloom.net, Cheryl’s Cookies, Design Pac, Fruit Bouquets, Harry & David, Moose Munch, The Popcorn Factory, Shari’s Berries, Simply Chocolate, Stock Yards Wolferman’s Bakery, Vital Choice
Source: 1-800-Flowers.com
Barry Callebaut
American Almond, Bensdorp, Caboosse Naturals (Wholefruit, Evocao), Cacao Barry, Callebaut, Caprimo, Carma, Chocovic, Gertrude Hawk, IBC Belgium, La Morella, Le Royale, Mona Lisa, Satro, SICAO, Stewart & Arnold (UK), Van Houten, Van Leer
Sources: Barry Callebaut Wikipedia
Cargill, Incorporated
Ambrosia, Diamond Salt, Genuine, Gerkens, Merckens, Peter’s, Truvia, Wilbur, Veliche
The above brands are associated with Cargill’s global cocoa and chocolate operations. Cargill owns many other brands in other food sectors (including plant-based meat analogs, supplements, aninmal nutrition, pharma, meat and poultry, and more). Maintaining a comprehensive list is beyond the scope of this endeavor.
My obervation is that it would be extremely difficult to live a 100% Cargill-free life.
Source: Cargill, Wikipedia, Investopedia
Groupe Savencia / Savencia Group
Gourmet: Adamance, Chocolatree, Norohy, República del Cacao, Sosa, Valrhona/La Maison du Chocolat, Weiss
Cheese & Dairy: AFP, Au Bouchon, Armor, Bresse Bleu, Corman, Dorothy’s, Elle & Vire, Epoisses Berthaut, Esquirrou, Etorki, Fauquet, Holland Master, Lescure, Rogue Creamery, Roquefort Papillon, Savencia Fromage & Dairy Argentina
Source: Groupe Savencia Website
Hershey Company, The
5th Avenue, Almond Joy, BarkThins, Brookside, Cadbury (US/Caramello, Creme Egg, Dairy Milk, Fruit & Nut, Roast Almond, Royal Dark), Dagoba®, Extra Dark®, Goodbar, Heath, Ice Breakers, Jolly Rancher, Kisses, KitKat, Lily’s, Milk Duds, Mr Goodbar, Mounds, One, Paqui, PayDay, Pirate’s Booty, Reese’s, Rolo (US/Nestlé), Skinny Pop, Skor, Symphony, Twizzlers, Whathamcallit, Whoppers, York
Sources: The Hershey Company Wikipedia
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli
Ghirardelli, Lindor, Lindt, Russell Stover, Whitman’s (manufactured by Russel Stover)
Source: Wikipedia
Mars, Inc. / The Wrigley Company
Altoids, Big Red, Bounty, Celebrations, Cocovia, Dove, Doublemint, Eclipse, Ethel M, 3 Musketeers, Galaxy, Hubba Hubba, Juicy Fruit, Live Savers, M & Ms, Maltesers, Marathon, Mars, Milky Way, Skittles, Snickers, Starburst, Twix, Wrigley’s
Mars owns many other brands in other food sectors (including pet food and veterinary health). Maintaining a comprehensive list is beyond the scope of this endeavor. My obervation is that it would be extremely difficult to go 100% Mars-free.
Sources: Mars, Wikipedia
Mondelēz International
Belvita, Cadbury (some products manufactured in USA under license by The Hershey Company), Chiclets, Chips Aboy, Côte d’Or, Dentyne, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Freia, Fry’s, Green & Black’s, Halls, HU Kitchen, Kraft, LU, Marabou, Milka, Oreo, Peek Freens, Ritz, Sour Patch Kids, Tate’s Bake Shop, Toblerone, Triscuit
Source: Wikipedia
Nestlé SA
Food: Abuelita, Acqua Panna, Aero, After Eight, Blue Bottle Coffee, Buitoni, Cailler, California Pizza Kitchen, Carlos V, Carnation, DiGiorno Pizza, Frigo, Garota, Haagen Dazs, Hot Pockets, Kit Kat (outside USA, manufactured in USA by Hersey), Lean Cuisine, Les Recettes De L’Atelier, Milkybar, Milo, Nescafé, Nespresso, Nesquick, Nestea, Orion, Ovaltine, Perrier, Quality Street, Rowntrees, San Pellegrino, Smarties, Stouffer’s, Taster’s Choice, Starbucks (license), Terrafertil (Essential Living Foods), Toll House, Tombstone Pizza, Vittel
Other product categories: Healthcare/Nutrition; Instant Foods; Performance Nutrition; Petcare; Seasonings; Yogurt
Shareholder in: L’Oreal (Garnier, Maybelline, Lancôme, Urban Decay)
Sources include: Nestlé Global, Wikipedia
Puratos Group
Belcolade, Carat, Chocolanté, Grand Place, Patisfrance
Source: Puratos Group
Food: Ben & Jerry’s, Best Foods, Bovril, Breyers, Colman’s, Fudgsicle, Heartbrand/Wall’s, Hellmann’s, Klondike, Knorr, Lipton, Magnum, Marmite, Popsicle, Talenti
Personal Care: Axe/Lynx, Dove, Lifebouy, Omo/Persil, Rexona/Degree, Sunsilk
Source: Wikipedia

Wicked Good

The Wicked Good list is under construction

I developed a set of criteria for making it on the wicked bad list, those criteria are in the following post:

the blacklist
There are many attempts to generate and maintain “whitelists” of ethical chocolate companies. This is not one of them.

I don’t think it’s sufficient to assume any entity not on the wicked bad list should automagically be on the wicked good list. I haven’t finished my criteria for inclusion on the wicked good list, but when I do, I will publish them and start adding to this list.

If you have some ideas for criteria and companies that meet those criteria, please share them in the comments.

Under the Gaslight ...

Does it Walk or Talk Like a Duck? Then maybe it’s a duck.

This category has been created to accommodate people and companies that do not fit the wicked bad or wicked good criteria but whose statements and actions, in my opinion, need to be examined critically and viewed skeptically absent that critical examination.

Walks and/or Talks Like an Apologist
Antonie Fountain, VOICE Network
Dr. Kristy Leissle – does not transparently disclose relationships with Nestlé and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF)
Nico Roozen / Solidaridad Network

Made it this far?

How to Support Work on the Wicked Lists

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Original image by Tim Mossholder / Unsplash

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