Pink is the new white

Since September last year, when Barry Callebaut revealed ‘ruby’ – the fourth type in chocolate next to dark, milk and white, and 80 years after the introduction of the latter – we have been wondering how manufacturers will incorporate the new offering into their products.

At its launch, ruby chocolate, which is made from the ruby cocoa bean and contains no berries, berry flavour or colour; just naturally present fresh berry fruitiness and colour, was described by Barry Callebaut as meeting a consumer need no chocolate ever has before.

Peter Boone, Barry Callebaut’s chief innovation & quality officer, said, “Consumer research in very different markets confirms that ruby chocolate not only satisfies a new consumer need found among Millennials – Hedonistic Indulgence – but also high purchase intent at different price points.

“We’re looking forward to working with our partners on introducing this innovative breakthrough to the market and making the new ruby chocolate category available to chocolate manufacturers and consumers around the world as the fourth reference next to dark, milk and white chocolate.”

Four months on from its launch, Nestlé Japan has been unveiled as the first manufacturer to bring to market a ruby-containing product, with its KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby.

Launching on 19 January, the limited edition product will be available in KitKat Chocolatory stores in Japan and South Korea, as well as online and at 80 seasonal pop-up stores throughout Japan that will be operated in preparation for Valentine’s Day.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut, says, “I am very pleased that our innovative breakthrough ruby chocolate has come to life so quickly through our partnership with Nestlé and the pioneering KitKat Brand in Japan. Nestlé was very quick in spotting the trend and in introducing a ruby chocolate version of KitKat, which will entice consumers across Asia and beyond.”

Nestlé says the launch of the breakthrough innovation underlines its commitment to growing its leading international confectionery brands around the world, despite its announcement earlier this week that it is selling its US confectionery business to Ferrero for CHF 2.8 billion in order to invest and innovate across categories such as pet care, bottled water, coffee, frozen meals and infant nutrition.

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