Heralded as one of the biggest innovations in the chocolate industry in 80 years, Barry Callebaut unveiled ruby on Sept. 5, 2017, in Shanghai, China. Ruby took more than 10 years to develop and is made from the ruby cocoa bean. The unique processing unlocks the naturally present flavor and color tone from the bean. The taste experience of ruby can be described as an intense sensorial delight: it’s a sensual tango of berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness. No berries, berry flavor nor color have been added.
With its one-of-a-kind taste and color, ruby satisfies a different consumer need than dark, milk and white chocolate, providing chefs, artisans and chocolatiers unlimited product pairing opportunities, including bars and tablets, bonbons, pastries, desserts and more.
Barry Callebaut announced its discovery in 2017 after more than 10 years of research and development. The company is currently working with FDA to obtain a new standard of identity reflecting ruby’s distinctive sensory profile, so it can be marketed as “chocolate.” In the meantime, the product will be launched as ruby couverture in North America.
The fourth type of chocolate became available for the first time in 2018 when Nestlé KITKAT® Japan introduced KITKAT® Sublime® Ruby in the KITKAT® Chocolatory® in Tokyo. To date ruby has been introduced in Asia-Pacific, EMEA and South Africa. Ruby chocolate is now available in more than 40 markets and has been introduced by more than 20 brands.
“Given the fact that ruby satisfies an unmet consumer need, we decided not to trademark ruby chocolate across the world, as no one should ‘own’ ruby,” said Bas Smit, global vice president of marketing, Barry Callebaut Group. “We aim for category growth and to have ruby accepted as the fourth type of chocolate.”