Snortable chocolate with energy drink stimulants targets health-conscious clubgoers

With a name that recalls the Four Loko alcoholic energy drink craze from several years ago, Coco Loko aims to tap into demand for club-drug alternatives, as snorting raw cacao has become a growing trend in Western Europe. Users claim cacao has a mild euphoric effect, with active components that flood the brain with endorphins, while magnesium is said to have a muscle relaxant effect. Cutting the cacao with ingredients usually associated with energy drinks may increase its appeal to those looking for a legal stimulant while clubbing — although fears over damage or irritation to the nose may mean others prefer to consume chocolate and energy drink ingredients in more traditional formats.

Coco Loko is not the first snortable chocolate powder on the market. Ten years ago, Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone created a chocolate-snorting device for a Rolling Stones party. However, the Chocolate Shooter, as it was called, used cocoa rather than cacao, and was initially intended as a novel way for guests to taste the chocolate part of a chocolate-and-raspberry dessert. Its continued availability suggests that although it is clearly a novelty product, there is sufficient ongoing demand to maintain supply.

Whether Coco Loko’s product achieves the same success with its club-drug themed niche remains to be seen. However, it may find its place among sober clubgoers, as a trend known as “conscious clubbing” has emerged, with clubbers looking to enjoy the energy and community of dance parties without consuming drugs and alcohol.​

Tins of Coco Loko, which have about 10 servings, sell for $24.99 (around R330)