A while back in 2017, we gave you the news that a new chocolate flavor was about to make its way onto the scene. Ruby chocolate is the first new chocolate created in 80 years and will soon be joining the holy trinity of chocolate and it’s looking to whip up quite a storm.
Swiss chocolatiers Barry Callebaut created the Ruby flavor and unveiled it at an exclusive launch event in Shanghai in September. Heralded for its “berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness”, the world patiently waited for what is hyped to be an intense sensorial delight and now we have to wait no more.
Nestlé will sweeten Japan’s Valentine’s Day with ruby-chocolate Kit-Kats, choosing one of the world’s most candy-obsessed markets for the debut of the first new type of natural chocolate in more than 80 years.
Nestlé, the developer of ruby chocolate, have an exclusive monopoly on the chocolate for six months with exclusive rights to its development. The ruby chocolates go on sale at Kit-Kat boutiques in Japan and South Korea as well as online beginning Thursday, ensuring chocolate lovers will have access to the treat before February 14.
While Japan has seen many colors and flavors for Kit-Kats before – its penchant for eccentric flavorrs such as wasabi or Hokkaido melon has attracted both locals and tourists – this is the first time ruby chocolate is going on sale since the makers announced the innovation.
Nestlé’s global head of confectionery, Sandra Martinez, said in an interview, “Japan is the market that has made KitKat so iconic in terms of all the different flavors they’ve developed.” She continued: “This makes Japan the ideal market to go with this news, and KitKat is a brand that’s modern and connects well with millennials, so it’s the right brand to put the first ruby chocolate in the world.”
The move also underscores Nestlé’s commitment to the KitKat brand, even after taking a major step away from chocolate this week by selling its US confectionary unit to Italian Nutella maker Ferrero. The $2.8 billion dollar sale of the business, which includes Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars, comes as Nestle plans to focus on healthier and faster-growing categories like coffee, pet food or water.
Thomas Jastrzab, a Hong Kong-based analyst said: “Buzz around the ruby-chocolate products should boost demand for its entire range of KitKats.” She continues: “The unique flavor gives it a differentiated product to support its premiumization push.”
Ruby chocolate, which is based on a specific type of cocoa bean found in equatorial countries like Ivory Coast, Ecuador and Brazil. It’s naturally pink from the powder extracted during processing. While a hefty price tag may ward some people off, I say give me all the chocolate you got.
Standard chocolate Kit-Kats are made from a blend of cocoa liquor, milk and cocoa butter, where the colored varieties are produced from natural food dyes. Ruby is looking to truly separate itself from its colorful competitors. Excuse me while I very quickly book a flight to Japan.