By Meghana Murali
From Starbucks’s signature ‘Unicorn Frapuccini’ to the recent black food obsession—black ice-cream infused with charcoal—colours have always played an integral role in making food look appetising. It seems like it is time to embrace the colour pink again.
Chocolate aficionados can soon expect a sumptuous surprise. After 13 years of extensive research, Barry Callebaut has come up with an exciting range of natural chocolate. Dubbed ‘ruby chocolate’, pictures have been flooding the news feeds of Instagram and Twitter users ever since its announcement. What indeed is so fascinating about this so-called ‘pink chocolate’?
It all began 13 years ago
Barry Callebaut, the largest leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, unveiled the chocolate ‘Ruby’ on September 5th, 2017, in Shanghai. The chocolate derives its name from the ruby cocoa bean, which imparts to it the distinct pink colour. The ‘Ruby Chocolate’ is the fourth natural chocolate after milk, dark and white specialities.
The R&D team of Barry Callebaut accidentally stumbled upon the idea of using the ruby cocoa bean to make chocolates. Over the course of thirteen years, they collected ruby cocoa beans from the Ivory Coast, Brazil, and Ecuador. Upon experimentation, the cocoa bean showcased distinct attributes such as berry-fruitiness and colour precursors. The powder extract of the bean is what gives the chocolate its unusual pink colour. Barry used these attributes to develop a natural chocolate employing an innovative approach.
It takes years to innovate something new in chocolates. The complexity of the process increases with the burden of maintaining the standards in terms of texture and taste.
Although unconventional, the chocolate is completely natural without any added food colour and preservatives. The distinct tangy taste makes the chocolate realistic. As the CEO of Barry Callebaut explained,”It’s natural, it’s colourful, it’s hedonistic, there’s an indulgence aspect to it, but it keeps the authenticity of chocolate.”
This amazing invention is the work of the global research and development centres of Barry Callebaut in France and Belgium in collaboration with Germany’s Jacob’s University. An independent consumer research carried out by Haystack and Ipsos validated the chocolate in various parts of the US, UK, China, and Japan.
Changing face of the confectionery market
When Nestle released white chocolate more than 80 years ago, it changed the entire chocolate market scenario. The prices of its stocks were at an all-time high. In recent years, the global chocolate market has almost hit rock bottom. With Nestle trying to sell its US chocolate business, the entry of ‘ruby chocolate’ into the market comes as a welcome opportunity and may push the industry out the slump.
Having unveiled the chocolate in Shanghai, it could motivate the Chinese customers to promote chocolates in their own businesses. Barry Callebaut shares have risen by 1.1 percent in just four weeks.
From the looks of it, the ruby chocolate seems like an interesting invention. Expected to hit the markets six months down the line, one can expect the novelty of the product to cause a sudden surge in demand.
Featured Image Source: Visual Hunt