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Kaarem x Marou Chocolate

For our fifth anniversary, we collaborated with Marou Chocolate, Vietnam’s premier pod-to-bar chocolate maker, to create a limited chocolate bar that brings together incredible flavors from Vietnam. Marou developed a custom chocolate highlighting in-season tamarind.

Rice Creative, Marou’s long-time design partner, developed a packaging design that represents the collaboration: exquisite handcraft, layering, draping, and pure forms.


55% Vietnamese Cacao
Tây Ninh Cane Sugar
Bến Tre Coconut Milk
Fresh Butter
Cacao Butter

Fresh tamarind sourced from Marou’s local supplier at the market in Vietnam

Bến Tre coconut milk, powder dried

“Grown in the shade of the Mekong Delta’s sweetest coconuts, Bến Tre Province’s cacao speaks to the sweetness and strength of its people. The flavors range from dried coconut to young banana, but always remind us of the good that sprouts out of the ground in Vietnam.” - Marou Chocolate

55% Bến Tre single origin chocolate

Vietnamese cacao butter and fresh butter

Cane sugar blend from Tây Ninh

Chocolate Making Process

As a handmade product, Marou Chocolate experimented with different textures and flavors by testing different single origin chocolates, and adjusting the chocolate to tamarind caramel ratios. The finalists were the tamarind with Lâm Đồng 74%, Bến Tre 65% and Bến Tre 55% with coconut milk.

After a tasting taste among Marou, Rice Creative and Kaarem team members, we collectively decided on the tamarind with the Bến Tre 55% and coconut milk.

The tamarind is cooked, sieved, and then added to the cane sugar caramel.

The Tamarind Caramel is hand spread, rolled, and placed into chocolate molds.

The final layer of Coconut Milk Chocolate is poured to enclose Tamarind Caramel filling.

Marou's signature mold

Multiple caramel to chocolate ratios were tested to achieve the perfect balance of flavor and texture.

Packaging Process

Rice invited Chuong Pham, Creative Director of Kaarem, to incorporate the studio’s pattern-making techniques into a wrapping that would have no tape or glue -- only intricate cutting and folding.

With no shortcuts, the team manipulated the paper to reduce seams and create dimension in its final form: a signature Kaarem triangle dress design.

  1. Tamarind Coconut Milk Chocolate Bar

About Marou Chocolate

Quoted from the New York Times, March 1, 2016:

The world’s most exquisite bars are being made in a garage in Ho Chi Minh City. There is nothing unusual, not in this era, about being a tiny, artisanal, single-origin chocolate maker. But the artisanal, award-winning chocolate I’ve come to see is being manufactured by a tiny operation called Marou in a factory on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, with beans that were hand-picked on a skinny strip of an island called Tân Phú Đông in the Mekong Delta...

The company was founded in 2011 by a Franco-Japanese named Samuel Maruta, who first came to Vietnam as a schoolteacher, and Vincent Mourou, a Franco-American former advertising executive. ‘‘We make a very French chocolate as far as technique goes,’’ Maruta told me in Ho Chi Minh City. ‘‘Most Vietnamese like much sweeter, blander chocolate. But as far as the raw material goes, it’s also distinctly Vietnamese.’’


About Rice Creative

Rice Creative is a Vietnam based brand consultancy, with a focus on bringing to the globe, the most exciting new brands from South East Asia. Rice is known for developing powerful startup brands such as Marou Chocolate, as well as edgy, award-winning work for international giants, such as, UNICEF, and UBER. Rice aims to further establish Vietnam as a creative capital in Asia. The agency has made a mark through a relevant, multi-cultural point of view.


Special Thanks


Marou Chocolate


Rice Creative


Lê Quốc Huy, Dương Gia Hiếu, Africa Pombo

Tamarind Coconut Milk Chocolate Bar available here and at select retailers.