North America will soon be getting a taste of the first new natural color for chocolate in more than 80 years. Developed by Switzerland’s Barry Callebaut, Ruby chocolate is billed as the fourth type of chocolate after milk, dark and white.
The pink chocolate has a unique sensory profile that combines fresh berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness. Its dusty rose hue is created from pure cocoa beans that are specially chosen for their ruby properties, without adding berry flavors or colors.
Following a six-month soft launch with select artisans and chocolatiers, the chocolate maker announced Tuesday it is making ruby chocolate widely available to confectioners in the United States and Canada, where demand is growing steadily for the product.
“Fueled by the overwhelming consumer response around the globe, Barry Callebaut collaborated with a small group of pioneering artisans over the last six months to soft launch ruby in the US marketplace. The sales of those consumer products have been very strong,” said Peter Boone, CEO & President, Barry Callebaut Americas.
Ruby first hit the consumer market in January 2018, when Nestle debuted its highly popular pink KitKat bars in Japan. The invention has also been successfully rolled out in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
“As a result, to help ensure that our business partners have access to the product, we feel that now is the time to take the next step in our global roll-out campaign and introduce ruby to the entire North American market,” continued Boone.
After a decade of development, Barry Callebaut announced the invention of ruby chocolate in September 2017. The innovation is based on a special type of cocoa bean that’s found in the Ivory Coast, Ecuador and Brazil.
“Given the fact that ruby satisfies an unmet consumer need, we decided not to trademark ruby chocolate across the world, as no one should “own” ruby. We aim for category growth and to have ruby accepted as the fourth type of chocolate,” explained Bas Smit, Global Vice President Marketing of the Barry Callebaut Group.
Although consumer interest has been strong so far, there are still several regulatory hurdles that the company will have to overcome in order to sell the product as chocolate on the North American market.
For now, Barry Callebaut will introduce Ruby as “Couverture” in the US, while the Swiss Firm works with the Food and Drug Administration for the go-ahead to call it chocolate. This process could take several years, and a similar approval process is also needed in Canada.