Dark, milk, white or ruby? Chocolate’s fourth dimension
In a much-hyped launch in Shanghai, China, Swiss chocolate giant, Barry Callebaut, has launched a fourth type of chocolate – ruby – said to be the biggest innovation in chocolate for eighty years, since the invention of white chocolate.
Ruby chocolate is made from the ruby cocoa bean and through unique processing Barry Callebaut has unlocked the fruity flavour and vibrant colour of ruby, naturally present in the cocoa bean itself.
According to research performed by consumer agency, Haystack, ruby chocolate meets consumer needs in a way no chocolate has ever done before.
This fourth type of chocolate offers a totally new taste experience, Barry Callebaut reports. Ruby chocolate has an intense taste and characteristic reddish colour. The ruby bean is unique because the fresh berry fruitiness and colour are naturally present.
The cocoa beans can be found in many different regions of the world. The bean has a specific set of attributes, which Barry Callebaut has managed to unlock through an innovative process that took several years to develop.
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst at the launch, Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut, said: “Shanghai is ideal for the launch of a new global product; it is a vibrant city with a lot to offer. No other city was a better fit for something that is a truly innovative launch. We are passionate about taste and quality, we are always looking for new ways to help our customers excite the final consumers – this is how ruby chocolate came about.” (You can view to the full interview with De Saint-Affrique here.)
According to De Saint-Affrique, this new chocolate is on target for the Asian and Chinese markets, in particular.
“Taste preferences differ all over the world. Ruby chocolate has a mainstream chocolate taste but with the added dimension of fruity flavours. China is only at the start of the chocolate journey; symbolic exploring and discovery trail, there’s still a lot more that can be done.
“Chinese tastes are different to what you find in Japan or England, consumers are looking for the right balance between sweet and sour, which ruby chocolate has, [making] it very appealing for those palettes and markets.”
No added flavours or colours
The new type of chocolate offers a totally new taste experience, which is not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between fruitiness and smoothness. To create ruby chocolate no berry flavours or colours are added.
Peter Boone, Barry Callebaut’s Chief Innovation & Quality Officer, said: “Barry Callebaut has established itself as a pioneer and innovator in chocolate and cocoa, globally. Consumer research in very different markets confirms that ruby chocolate not only satisfies a new customer need found among Millennials – Hedonistic Indulgence – but also high purchase intent at different price points.
“We’re looking forward to working with our new 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 to dark, milk and white chocolate.”
Herwig Bernaert, director of Global R&D at Barry Callebaut, said: “It’s one of most exciting days of the last few years for us and a turning point for Barry Callebaut. We have been working for a very long time to develop this chocolate (more than 10 years), so we are very excited to finally launch this innovation.”
“The bean we use you can find everywhere and anywhere, that’s what makes ruby chocolate so exciting and innovative because it is already here on the planet. At the time we didn’t know what to do with it, like many innovations, but a few years ago we started to work on it and it came together in the perfect way,” he told FoodIngredientsFirst.
“The market is fully ready for this one – Millennials are looking for something new and exciting, this chocolate fits the needs of the target audience,” Bernaert said, “If you look at innovation in chocolate, the biggest event was 80 years ago with white chocolate, this time we have it, it’s the right time to share, and so we came up with ruby chocolate.”
“Inside the bean, there are more than twenty-thousand components. We have to look at the various components to see which had the potential of developing a new chocolate colour and taste. You can find the components in every cocoa bean but by going through the right process you can unlock this new reddish colour in combination with the very nice fruity taste.”
The taste will give chefs many new opportunities in flavour combinations.
“Food pairing with ruby chocolate really works well. It’s not limited to one flavour in chocolate; it’s a whole area of chocolate that we have today but even more because of the taste. The fruity acidic flavour is giving chefs new opportunities to play with this amazing chocolate,” added Bernaert.
De Saint-Affrique noted: “Ruby chocolate is a long-term commitment for Barry Callebaut and it will be around hopefully in 80 years from now.”
It is expected that ruby, like dark, milk and white chocolate will be introduced in many product categories, doing particularly well in confectionery and desserts.
Source: FoodIngredientsFirst.com; Barry Callebaut
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