Innovation and excitement abound as Barry Callebaut launched ‘the fourth variant of chocolate’ and Herza Schokolade brings health to the sweet treat. Pink and purple are set to flood the shelves, as Callebaut’s ruby chocolate, a ‘pinkish red creation with very flavours naturally coloured from the ruby cocoa bean’ and Herza’s range of white chocolate in ‘six different shades of purple’ enter the market.
Ruby chocolate, derived ‘naturally by isolating specific compounds in cocoa beans’, has a berry flavour and pink appearance and is a ‘totally new category of chocolate’, according to Barry Callebaut’s CEO. The European Union defines a number of specific common rules or chocolate products with EU legislation seeing ruby chocolate as ‘couverture chocolate’, classing it as a milk chocolate product, although Barry Callebaut may ‘push for a new standard of identity’ in the US. Predictably, ruby chocolate is expected to make a splash among millennials and on social media, but there is a risk ruby chocolate may disappoint consumers expecting the chocolate to taste like chocolate: Barry Callebaut says it is a ‘tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness’. Another potential roadblock is that it’s easy to add colour and flavour to white chocolate for the same effects—as Herza Schokolade demonstrates with their new line of white chocolate packed with nutrients from superfood extracts and naturally coloured to produce ‘six different shades of purple’.
Powdered elderberries, aronia berries and blueberries, and beetroot, black carrot and hibiscus flower extracts provide colour and a nutritional boost of anthocyanins and minerals to target the ‘health conscious consumer’ looking for additional nutrients in their sweet treats.
As chocolate products find their way into consumer shopping baskets, the world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies are working with the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana on plans to end deforestation in the cocoa supply chain. There are 35 industry players committed to the Framework for Action, intended to achieve a deforestation-free cocoa supply chain, comprising the Cocoa & Forests Initiative. Coordinated by the World Cocoa Foundation, the Sustainable Trade Initiative and The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit, partners are working together to end deforestation, protect forests and help the farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana who rely on farming in protected forest areas.
Unilever has launched a new marketing campaign for Marmite, a yeast extract spread, famous as something consumers ‘either love or hate’. Now, the Marmite Gene Project offers a genetic testing kit to ‘test consumers’ preferences’ and ‘conclusively show there is a genetic foundation to Marmite taste preference’. Genetic testing centre, DNAFit, found 15 genetic markers for Marmite taste preference—five of which were associated with a preference. Interestingly, the researchers didn’t find an association between the TAS2R38 bitter taste receptor gene and loving Marmite. While this campaign has been mocked, and received plenty of hate from scientists and experts in the field of nutrigenomics, Unilever is helping popularise the idea of personalised nutrition among consumers, ahead of the expected boom in genetic testing and nutrition.