Nestle has announced plans to source 100%-certified cocoa beans for its Nestle Crunch brand in the US.

The brand will be the first Nestle chocolate product on sale in the US containing certified cocoa beans. Nestle said, at first, the “everyday” Nestle Crunch lines will contain the certified beans; it will still use conventional cocoa beans for seasonal and limited-edition Crunch SKUs.

The beans will be certified by an independent body, UTZ, which works with cocoa growers to introduce sustainable farming practices and improve the opportunities open to farming families.

The move is being made through the food giant’s Nestle Cocoa Plan. The global initiative aims to develop a sustainable cocoa supply chain that is socially and environmentally responsible. The world’s largest food maker works with certifiers like UTZ and Fairtrade in sourcing sustainable cocoa.

The Swiss food giant has made similar moves in other markets. The Kit Kats on sale in Australia contain cocoa certifed by UTZ. In the UK, Kit Kats contain Fairtrade-certified cocoa.

By the end of the year, Nestle said it will purchase enough certified beans to produce the entire line of everyday Nestle Crunch bars in the US.

Robert Kilmer, president of confections & snacks at Nestle USA, said the move would allow the group to capitalise on growing consumer demand for sustainably sourced foods.

“Recent surveys have shown that a growing number of consumers are seeking foods made with responsibly-sourced ingredients. Actions taken under the Nestlé Cocoa Plan help socially aware consumers feel good about benefitting people and communities in other parts of the world,” Kilmer said.

Nestle has said its “ultimate goal” is to source all cocoa through the Nestle Cocoa Plan.