Endangered Species Marks 30 Years By Giving Back


Indianapolis, IN — To celebrate its 30-year anniversary, Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC) has revealed that it will make 30 donations to organizations that protect endangered species.

“Thirty years in this industry is definitely something to be proud of,” Whitney Bembenick, chief revenue officer at ESC, says. “This is the moment that we’re going to take the platform we’ve built and make it the incredible thing we know it can be.”

Throughout 2023, ESC will provide monetary donations to charities including SEE Turtles, One Tree Planted, and Saving The Blue. In the past it has donated to Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund, Xerces Foundation and See Turtles to create relationships with organizations that align with its mission of protecting habitats and humanity.

Since 1993, ESC has responsibly sourced ingredients, supported fair trade, prioritized sustainability and given forward 10 percent of annual net profits to conservation efforts all around the globe, according to the company.

“For three decades we have been ‘doing good better’ by crafting premium chocolate and working with meaningful partners to create a positive impact on the world around us,” Curt Vander Meer, CEO of the company, adds. “We wanted to amplify our efforts by announcing additional donations to our charity partners to help further their impressive efforts.”

The company used different tiers to pick the organizations it will donate to. The first was from its alumni partners that are eligible to reach out and request a donation. The company is also taking ideas and suggestions from consumers on social media.

“We have a really active group on social media who get engaged on the giving side and they will make recommendations on who they want us to partner with next,” Bembenick explains.

Lastly, ESC looked at its broker and retail community to see which organizations they have partnered with to align their common values. By the end of the year, if there are still spots to fill, Bembenick says that they will ask the team at ESC for organization recommendations.

Along with the donations, ESC has also introduced a packaging refresh to its three-ounce bar line. Eleanor, the elephant mascot featured on the logo, now shows her ear raised up instead of down, signifying happiness.

“As we learned more about elephant behaviors, we wanted her to embody joy,” Bembenick remarks. “When elephants play, they will flap their ears up. Little nuances like that really make a difference.”

The donations will be made throughout the year, evolving based on season, interest and where the needs are.

“We like the flexibility of that,” Bembenick says. “We know that there could be some type of crisis or need out there that needs funds, and we want to be able to provide that should the urgency arise.”