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Dutch chocolate company Tony’s Chocolonely is bringing its powerful mission, ‘to make the chocolate industry 100 percent slave free,’ to Ireland this month. According to global analysts Euromonitor International, Irish people are the third biggest chocolate eaters in Europe, spending an average of €139.70 each on chocolate in 2016. 

Tony’s Chocolonely believes Ireland can send a powerful message to the chocolate industry by refusing to buy products from those who benefit from modern slavery and child labour.

The B-Corp certified company, which has become the bestselling chocolate brand in the Netherlands, launched eight 180g bars and four 50g bars into leading Irish retailers, including Brown Thomas, Eason, Mace, Spar, and Fresh.

Tony's Chocolonely was founded in 2005 by investigative journalist Teun van de Keuken (‘Tony’) who discovered the world’s largest chocolate companies were buying cocoa from plantations in West Africa, where the worst forms of child labour and modern slavery occur. He decided that things had to change within the industry, so he set up his own chocolate company to lead by example. The company’s Chief Chocolate Officer is ex Innocent employee Henk Jan Beltman.

From the startlingly colourful wrappers that explode off the shelf to the unequally divided chocolate bars within to reflect the social inequality of the chocolate industry, Tony’s Chocolonely Fairtrade bars spread its message in its purest form: things can be done differently.

Speaking on the launch, Ireland & UK Marketing Manager, Nicola Matthews said: “At Tony’s Chocolonely, we are crazy about chocolate but serious about people. We aren’t just a chocolate company; we are an impact company that exists to make 100% slave free the norm in chocolate. Ireland is a country of chocolate lovers; we’re hoping to become serious friends with people that share our passion for delicious, ethically-sourced chocolate.

"We want to show choco fans and other chocolate companies that there is a way to produce slave-free chocolate and still be a successful business.”

Through direct, long-term relationships with cocoa farmers and cutting-edge technology, Tony’s has created a completely transparent and traceable bean-to-bar process. They pay a higher price for cocoa beans to ensure farmers can earn a living income, provides business and agricultural training to help partner farmers increase productivity on their farms and work together with cooperatives in which farmers are united and stand stronger together. Furthermore, one per cent of Tony’s Chocolonely net revenue is donated to the Chocolonely Foundation, supporting projects to eradicate modern slavery in the cocoa chain.

By launching to the Irish market, Tony’s aims to raise awareness of the scale of illegal child labour and modern slavery involved in making one of the country’s best-loved foods, and to encourage consumers and the big industry players to join its mission to make 100 percent slave free the norm in chocolate.

Tony’s Chocolonely bars are currently available in Ireland for €3.99 for 180g large bars and small bars are €1.50.

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Our chocolate dreams have come true. Lindt have finally opened their very own Irish store and we cannot wait to visit.

The Swiss choclatier has officially opened the doors of their Kildare Village store, much to the delight of shoppers.

Queues formed from early morning with visitors travelling from counties far and wide to get the first glimpse of the store.

The pop up-shop which will run for a limited time, offers an array of premium confectionery favourites from Lindt including assorted bars, sharing boxes and beautifully packaged gifts.

We cannot wait to pop in and create our own personalised box of Lindt chocolates (a gift for ourselves, obviously.)

Lindt-lovers are in for a real treat as the store also features a designated Pick and Mix area including a selection of exclusive and limited-edition flavours as well as all of the classic Lindt favourites, allowing guests to create their own personalised box or bag of Lindt chocolates.

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If anyone is looking for us we'll be in the Lindt store in Kildare Village, surrounded by chocolate wrappers and living our best lives.

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When The 1975 played their incredible headline set at Reading and Leeds Festival over the weekend, many fans noticed that there was one notable person missing from the crowd.

Frontman Matty Healy has reportedly been dumped by long-term girlfriend Gabriella Brooks as a result of his party-boy lifestyle, according to The Sun.

The stunning model recently moved out of the pair's North London home. The former couple went public in 2017 at the Brit Awards but fans reckon they've been dating for four years.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gabriella Brooks (@gabriella_brooks) on

Gabriella stuck by Matty after he underwent treatment for heroin addiction in rehab two years ago, but has decided to end things for good.

Gabby has been getting support from her pal Anais Gallagher, the daughter of Oasis rocker Noel Gallagher, since the heartbreaking split.

A source said: “Matty is great when he’s on form but he isn’t the easiest person to be with and leads a very unconventional life"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“There has been a lot of strain on their relationship, not helped by him being on tour a lot this year. He parties a lot at home when he’s there and Gabby had just had enough. She doesn’t want to lead her life like that.”

The band released their punk new song People last week in which he sings: “I’m just gonna get girls, food, gear. I don’t like going outside, so bring me everything here.”

He opened up about his battles with heroin in 2018, saying that Gabby was “incredibly wise and incredibly beautiful” he had “still risked it” despite knowing how much he had to lose.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The group will spend September performing throughout Asia, Australia and New Zealand before heading  on tour across America in November and December.

The 1975 are set to release their fourth collection, Notes On A Conditional Form, in February. He sounds fairly booked up, but we'll see him on Saturday at Electric Picnic to cheer him up.

Feature image: Instagram/@mattyugh

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Chocolate is one of the most celebrated and addictive foods on the face of the earth.

It has the mysterious ability to cure menstrual woes, break-up blues and even Mondays. In summary: It's powerful stuff.

Recently a fight to the death took place to finally decide which chocolate bar Ireland would lay down it's life for, and the results didn't take us by surprise.

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Over 7,000 votes were cast to discover the nation's favourite chocolate bar in a survey undertaken by CraicPack (famed for their Hangover Boxes and hampers).

32 of the country's most popular choices were pitted against one another, and it almost got ugly. Unsurprisingly, Cadbury's Dairy Milk came out victorious, with Galaxy Smooth Milk as the runner-up.

The CraicPack Chocolate Cup asked the public to vote, and Cadbury slayed the competition. Kinder Bueno came in third, and Cadbury Flake rounded out the top four.

Crunchie, Dairy Milk (Golden Crisp), Wispa and Boost were all in the top eight contenders, meaning that six of the top eight were Cadbury's creations.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“We’ve always known that Ireland loves Dairy Milk and we include one in every Classic Irish Box that we send abroad”, said the team at CraicPack, “we now have the proof to back it up.”

It's known all over the world that Ireland has a special relationship with Cadbury's Dairy Milk, with many associating it's delicious Irish smooth milk chocolate with the shores of the Emerald Isle.

Sort of like how Tayto is the national crisp of Irish emigrants? It's all about connection. 

valentines day eating GIF by Laff

Feature image: inews.co.uk

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Easter is almost upon us and you know what that means –  indulging in delicious Easter Eggs.

And now we have amazing news – you can now treat yourself to a mouth-watering Baileys or Guinness Egg.

Luxury or what?

Lovers of Baileys, the iconic Irish cream liquor, have a choice of two stunning creations – the Baileys Salted Caramel Egg and the Baileys Coffee Egg.

The Baileys Salted Caramel Egg (275g) combines a silky, milk chocolate shell speckled with crunchy salted caramel pieces throughout.

Yes, it sounds divine. 

This melt in the mouth egg is presented with six irresistible gold-shimmer chocolates; a crisp milk chocolate exterior filled with an oozing salted caramel centre.

The Baileys Coffee Egg (285g) is ideal for coffee-lovers with its blend of rich roast coffee, chocolate and of course, a touch of Baileys.

This egg is the perfect gift for a chocoholic who enjoys a Baileys coffee.

Any Guinness fans out there?

Then we have the perfect treat for you this Easter Sunday.

The egg balances the creamy notes of Guinness and the sumptuous chocolate – it also comes with eight mini dark and white chocolates with a Guinness flavoured centre, in the iconic Guinness pint shape.

These Easter Eggs are a great gift for Bialeys and Guinnes fans.

The Baileys Salted Caramel Egg (275g) and the Baileys Coffee Egg (285g) and hand-decorated, luxury Guinness Easter Egg are all priced at €13 and are available from selected Tesco, Dunnes, Supervalu, Spar, Eurospar, Londis and Mace stores.

Try a quirkier Easter Egg this Easter.

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Fan of KitKats?

This should brighten up your day.

Not only are KitKat Senses now available as fab single bars but KitKat made with Ruby chocolate goes on sale nationwide from today.

So sweet treats at lunch are sorted.

Nestlé is expanding the range of KitKat Senses, and that means two never-before-seen bars which are: Salted Caramel and Hazelnut. 

So what's in them?

They are the perfect combination of delicious KitKat chocolate and wafer with a thick layer of indulgent salted caramel filling infused with crunchy caramel flakes (Salted Caramel variant) or a layer of sumptuous praline and crunchy hazelnut pieces (Hazelnut variant).

Our mouths are watering.

And then we come onto the ruby chocolate.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It launched in Tesco in 2018 and it was obvs hugely successful so now is being rolled out in retailers across the country from today.

It gets its rosy colour from ruby cacao beans, which have a gorge fruity flavour. 

And it offers a unique tasting experience – intense berry-fruitiness taste that occurs naturally without the addition of any flavour or colour.

Excuse us while we head to the shops for choccie snacks.

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Science has upped it's game.

Most researchers seem to be pretty busy with conducting medical studies and making valuable scientific discoveries for society's gain, but this latest survey really takes it to the next level.

Bloom & Wild have worked with London Metropolitan University to undergo an experiment to figure out when the 'love hormone', AKA oxytocin, is released.

The anti-anxiety and stress reducing hormone is pretty special, the chemicals are made when you're in love, and having some KICK-ASS sex. We heart it. 

The study measured how the brain reacts to receiving certain gifts, and it's led to some pretty interesting, and useful, results. We're not hugely surprised at what topped the list, they're all unreal.

Research also suggests that people in the first three stages of love reported higher oxytocin levels that last for roughly six months to a year. At a chemical level, can presents recreate this high of lovestruck heartbeats?

Scientists reported that the subjects of the study showed an average increase of 73pg/ml in the hormone oxytocin after getting chocolates, and 62pg/ml after receiving flowers. Feeling loved comes in all shapes and sizes, it would seem.

The official top five items or experiences included on the list which trumped having sex were; chocolate winning the number one spot, then flowers, food, shopping and booking a holiday.

Receiving chocolate apparently creates a high increase in oxytocin the same rise in oxytocin comes from sex, so a quick nip down to Butlers could solve your stress issues. 

Flowers can spark the same feeling as love, relationships and sexy times, and a study by Havas Worldwide revealed that 57 percent of millennials think that food is better than sex. Damn.

hungry jennifer lawrence GIF

Retail therapy also made the list, according to the experiment. The neurologist David Linden, in his book The Compass Of Pleasure, explains that the experience of shopping triggers dopamine circuitry in the brain's mesolimbic pathway.

In plain-old-English, the mesolimbic pathway is a key part of how we experience entertainment and happiness, so having a sneaky online shop at ASOS is good for you. Thank God we have a valid excuse to do this now…

Booking a holiday is better than having some intimate. alone time with a partner, according to research. 16% of Brits claim to support this, so those Aer Lingus January sales must have had people feelin' pretty damn euphoric.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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To carry out their research, Bloom & Wild and London Metropolitan University split 30 volunteers into three groups.

Each were to receive a gift of flowers, chocolate, or water, and took saliva samples before the gift arrived, and then again 10 minutes after delivery, and finally 40 minutes after receiving the gift. 

It just goes to show, chocolate should always be cherished. We're in a loving relationship with Cadbury's Dairy Milk, and there are zero signs of a break-up coming our way.

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We have tried quite a few brands and recipes of chocolate chip cookies, and we have a statement to make: the recipe below is simply the easiest and tastiest you can ever make.

No complicated ingredient or technique involved in this recipe, you literally cannot bottle it. 

One piece of advice: double up the ingredients and freeze half of the batch so you always have cookie dough on hand! 

Ingredients

  • 250g flour
  • 125g melted butter
  • 100g white sugar
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 150g chocolate, chopped (milk, dark or white)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder

 Method

1. Preheat the oven to 165°C. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.

2. Add the beaten egg and melted butter, mix well, then stir in chocolate and combine. 

3. Form 12 balls and place on a lined baking tray, 6 at a time. Bake for 10 minutes (even if the cookies are still soft, then are cooked) then take out of the oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy!
 

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To be honest, we can't think of a better way to celebrate Sunday (and maybe help cure this nasty hangover) than a little chocolate treat!

With the following recipes, you will satisfy your sweet tooth and get a much needed chocolate fix. 

If you really don't feel like baking today, maybe ask the help of a friend…

1. Chewy gooey flourless chocolate cookies

2. Chocolate chip pecan blondies

3. 3-ingredient flourless chocolate cake

4. Cookie chocolate cheesecake bars

5. Frosted chocolate moka cupcakes

6. Chocolate crême brûlée

 

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Okay, we all want to be healthy and make smart choices when it comes to what we consume, but everyone deserves a treat. 

However, if you're an icecream addict like we are, putting down the spoon and stepping away from the tub can sometimes be harder than expected. 

With only three ingredients, no added sugar or dairy, this vegan ice-cream is the answer to your prayers. 

As if that wasn't enough, it only takes five minutes to make. 

Known as 'nicecream' in the vegan community, this frozen treat is almost too good to be true. 

You're welcome.

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 30g cacao powder
  • 100g dark chocolate chips

Method

1. Place frozen bananas and cacao powder in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles ice-cream.

2. Add the chocolate chips, combine with a spatula, then place in a container and freeze again (or eat straight away).

 

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Through good times and bad, the humble chocolate bar has always been there for us. 

Whether we're treating ourselves after a hard day's work, trying to drown our period cramps in a sea of hot cocoa, or simply just giving in to those pesky sugar cravings, chocolate is one of the few things we can always count on to put a smile on our face. 

Sure, it's all about moderation, but there are definitely worse ways to relieve stress – and science can prove it. 

Two studies from the Loma Linda University in California have found the the consumption of chocolate can have a positive effect on stress levels, as well as inflammation, mood, memory and immunity. 

However, before you start chomping down on that last emergency Easter egg, you should know that not all chocolate is made equal.

If you want to enjoy all the benefits listed above, you need to be eating dark chocolate with over 70 per cent cocao. 

The study looked at how the flavonoids contained in dark chocolate impacted the human brain, and found that the higher concentration of cacao, the more beneficial effects are to be had.

"For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content – the more sugar, the happier we are," says lead researcher Lee S. Berk.

 "This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings.

"These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects."

We can't argue with that…

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So unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months, you'll know that Prince Harry is engaged to the beautiful Meghan Markle. 

The pair will exchange vows on May 19 (we have it in the diary), and everyone is getting pretty excited about it. 

Naturally, a lot of companies are jumping on the royal wedding bandwagon – with special edition product being released all ove the place.

Our favourite so far? It has to be the chocolate treats with the couple's faces printed on them. 

To celebrate the Royal Wedding this May, ChoconChoc.co.uk have created luxurious white chocolate hearts featuring the royal couple themselves! 

The chocolates are available free at Harry’s Bar in London, with every purchase of the ‘Harrypolitan’ cocktail (yes that is a thing) or can be bought online from Choc on Choc’s website for just £4.99.

Small price to pay for genuine joy. 

The little white chocolate treats even come in a special box, making them a really cute gift idea for any royal enthusiasts. 

However, if you're not particularly in to the whole royal wedding, fear not, as Chon on Choc have so many amazing creations. 

For example, why not chow down on this impressive chocolate cheese board? No actual cheese involved, fyi.

Or what about a chocolatey 5-a-day?

Or, you could simply take a bite out of a Birkin? Yes please.

 

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