Ibarra™ Hot Chocolate Tablets

overall rating:



Savannah Jimenez
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Ibarra Hot Chocolate Tablets are a staple for many Mexican households including my own. As a brand that has been around for almost 100 years, I expected to see the progress that has been made throughout its existence. But after researching this brand, I still have many questions about how their product is made and how they treat their workers. These are key aspects to having a sustainable brand and it makes me wonder what sustainability means to them if it means anything. 

What it's made of:


Ibarra takes pride in delivering what they call “genuine chocolate.” They have received the NYCE Genuine Chocolate Certification which requires their product to contain at least 30% cacao paste. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate that you can consume and is a lot less processed than most chocolate bars you see in the store. A great thing about this is that it saves energy. Food processing alone makes up to 16% of the total energy consumed for food production. The other three main ingredients of Ibarra hot chocolate tablets are soy lecithin, cinnamon, and sugar. All of these ingredients including cacao paste are plant-based and require less energy than animal-derived ingredients would need. Although Ibarra does not include information about what their packaging consists of, it’s safe to assume it can be recycled since they encourage consumers to do so. 

How it's made:


Unfortunately, Ibarra provides little to no information about how their product is made. As mentioned before they have received the Genuine Chocolate Certification which requires them to comply with the Offical Mexican Standard NOM-186-SSA1 / SCFI-2013. This certification shows that this product doesn't just have chocolate flavor but contains raw chocolate. They also hold the Food Safety System Certification (FSSC 22000 version 5), which requires their staff to manufacture safe, healthy, and quality products for consumers. Despite this certification, their actual manufacturing process is still unclear. However, when comparing this product to Nestle's well-known Abuelita Mexican Hot Chocolate, I would say this company shares much more information about how their chocolate is made. Regardless, Ibarra needs to do better and provide this information.

Who makes it:


Ibarra Chocolate began in Jalisco, Mexico 95 years ago in 1925. Their website states that they were the first chocolate to become exported to California, Chicago, and New York. They have grown tremendously since 1925 and are now sold by retailers in Mexico, America, and Europe. Despite being a well-known brand, it’s unclear what the working conditions and policies look like for their workers. On their website, they claim that they “truly care” for staff but do not have any accessible information about them. This is concerning and seems like an empty statement. However, I was able to find three reviews from former employees on glassdoor.com. Two of which rated the company 5/5 stars and one rated it 1/5 stars.