pana organic
We get to know Pana Barbounis, CEO and founder of Pana Organic, and discover his journey from boutique organic chocolate company to leading plant-based, organic food brand.

Tell us about the Pana Organic range.

Pana Organic creates amazing, plant-based, organic foods for every occasion. All of our products are also gluten-free and made locally in Australia. Our original range is rich, fudgy dark chocolate, lovingly crafted and hand-wrapped in Melbourne. We have now added white, caramel and mylk chocolate to our collection, and diversified into deliciously innovative categories of frozen desserts, spreads, baking and drink blends. We never stop innovating and always have something new on the horizon.


What is the heritage and story of your brand?

In 2012, after a number of years in research and development (even travelling to Europe to study the craft of artisan chocolate in Belgium and raw chocolate in the UK), I launched Pana Chocolate. It started as a side hustle but gained momentum very quickly. The demand was there and before I knew it, we had flagship stores in Melbourne and Sydney and had expanded our chocolate range overseas.

With such rapid growth, I was able to welcome key members to our management team including social media expert Elaine So, head of new product development Zak Bennett and strategic advisor Michael Saba. Together we have created innovative, plant-based, organic product ranges that have been first-to-market in major supermarket outlets across Australia.

Our mantra of “Love your insides. Love the earth”, an uncompromised approach to craft and quality and our purpose of spreading joy to everyone, has resonated with hundreds of thousands of devoted fans and led to collaborations with many iconic brands around the world.
The unique flavours of Pana Organic are inspired by Mother Nature. We source only the finest organic, sustainable ingredients. We care deeply about the origins of our products and the impact we have on our planet, which is why we plant thousands of trees each year as part of our give-back scheme — 55,000 and counting!

What has been the highlight of your brand story to date?

There are two moments that stand out. The first happened in the very early days; in fact, six months into starting Pana Chocolate, when my daughter started referring to Pana in the third person. It really hit me that I had created a brand, which was an exciting moment.

However, the pivotal point in the journey was meeting Zak Bennett of Zebra Dream frozen desserts. Before meeting Zak, I had dabbled in expanding our product offering but never knew which direction to take it. We shared the vision of creating delicious vegan, organic products and Zak had the insight into frozen desserts to make it happen beyond chocolate. When Zak joined the team, Pana Chocolate became Pana Organic and we really shifted gears into a more dynamic brand. Our product and category offering is now accelerating faster than ever and that’s a very exciting place to be.

What has been the most challenging part of the journey to date?

The transition from boutique into a mainstream brand was personally very challenging. I used to think that being boutique made us more premium and exclusive and that’s where we needed to be to remain true to our origins. I now realise that growth means we are more readily available to spread joy to even more people around the world. We have managed to grow without compromising on quality and we have stayed true to our values of creating delicious treats that are both good for our customers’ health and the earth. That’s something we’re all very proud of.

Why is being certified organic important to your brand?

Because it’s important to our community, our followers and our customers! They choose Pana Organic because our mantra is “Love your insides. Love the earth”. We only source the finest quality, organic ingredients to ensure that our customers are eating nourishing foods that benefit their health without hurting the planet.

Where can we buy your product?

Our Pana Organic ranges are available in major supermarket outlets and at your local independent grocers. We’re never far away.

For more information, visit, or follow along on Facebook @PanaChocolate or Instagram @Pana_Organic