Nestlé is to launch a range of luxury chocolates despite widespread concerns over consumer spending amid the economic downturn.

The Swiss food and beverage giant is introducing the range in collaboration with Belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini to complement its premium coffee business, Nespresso.

Les Grands Crus Nespresso and Les Variations Nespresso will be launched on 17 November in select Nespresso boutiques in Paris and Switzerland.

The Les Variations Nespresso five filled chocolate varieties include Cardamome Verte, Vinaigre de Framboise, Fruit de Badiane, Caramel Beurre Salé or Vanille Rose.

"Through the investment of Nestlé and through the expertise of our coffee and cocoa experts, we were able to identify and develop a truly unique luxury chocolate offering which includes flavour combinations which harmonise perfectly with the specific profiles of our Grands Crus coffees," said Richard Girardot, CEO, Nestlé Nespresso.

The new collection is available in two formats: a single-variety case with 18 chocolates called Les Grands Crus Nespresso and a boxed set of 50 chocolate squares, which includes an assortment of five varieties.

A spokesperson for Nestlé told just-food: "Nestlé believes that it has the right strategy, and is doing the right things operationally, to outperform our peers in tough markets as much as in good times."

Over the course of 2009, the chocolates will be available in more Nespresso boutiques in France and Switzerland.