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PLAYin CHOC

Ethical chocolate start-up PlayIn Choc, set up to take on the likes of Kinder Surprise and Freddo Treasures, has surged ahead of a £250k crowdfunding target as the business plans further expansion.

Launched in 2018 by husband-and-wife team Maya and Dominic Simler, the company already exports to 30 countries and has listings with 25 distributors, as well as Ocado. It is also in early conversations with the mults in the UK and other retailers overseas.

PlayIn Choc produces organic, allergen-free chocolate alongside plastic-free toys.

It has currently (at the time of publishing) raised almost £342k from 245 investors on the Crowdcube platform, valuing the business at £9.9m.

The business plans to use the cash to invest in the production capacity, brand and employees to provide the platform for a further increase in scale.

MD Dominic Simler said: “We are crowdfunding in order to enrol new brand ambassadors who love our products and can participate on our growth journey with us as we look to scale marketing and automation to supply our growing number of distributors and customers globally.”

PlayIn Choc’s toys are 3D puzzles of endangered animals, woodland animals, dinosaurs and rabbits made from recycled and recyclable card and paper.

It also makes a range of its chocolate for all ages, with three, five and ten-piece bars and boxes.

The chocolate is sustainably and ethically sourced from Peru and is child, slave and animal labour free. It also contains a third less sugar than other leading brands in the category and is dairy, nut and gluten free.

The business counts two former Mondelez International executives on its board: Cesar Melo and Gregory Beardwell.

Ot the total raised in the Crowdcube campaign, £250k was contributed by current board members and existing A class shareholders.

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