Nestle called ruby KitKat "breakthrough innovation"

Nestle called ruby KitKat "breakthrough innovation"

Nestle is to launch the first branded product using ingredient giant Barry Callebaut's ruby chocolate.

From tomorrow (19 January), the KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby bar will go on sale in Japan and South Korea through Nestle's KitKat Chocolatory stores and online.

Barry Callebaut, the world's largest business-to-business supplier of chocolate and cocoa, launched its ruby chocolate last year.

The company says the ingredient - the "fourth type of chocolate, next to dark, milk and white" has a "fresh, berry-fruity taste" but contains no berries, nor added flavours nor added colours. The chocolate took more than a decade to develop.

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

Nestle, which earlier this week announced a deal to sell its US confectionery business to Ferrero, said the launch of "breakthrough innovation" like the ruby KitKat underlines its "commitment to growing its leading international confectionery brands around the world".

Confectionery has proven a challenging part of Nestle's portfolio in recent quarters. In the first nine months of 2017, the organic sales from Nestle's overall confectionery sales were flat year-on-year.

However, Nestle has sought to underlined the "strength" of KitKat as a global brand and the sale of novel varieties of the product has been a regular strategy of the company in Japan.