The second wave of ruby chocolate makes its mark

This week has seen the arrival of a new ruby flavouring from Synergy, which represents the first major alternative launch since Barry Callebaut’s original ruby chocolate release last year.

The Swiss manufacturer gained major international headlines for its product hailed as the fourth type of chocolate, representing the first new segment for over 80 years.

From an initial launch in Shanghai, Barry Callebaut’s products emerged in Japan and Korea, before the European market gained its first taste of ruby with a link-up with KitKat, and a variety delivered for gourmet chefs earlier this year.

As the company explained to Confectionery Production at this year’s World Cocoa Conference, it has kept a close check on the recipes behind its product, yet it expected others to follow in its wake.

That another brand should emerge so comparatively swiftly, albeit in a flavouring form, will perhaps provide an even broader platform for establishing the category around the world.

Clearly, with the arrival of a ‘new kid on the block,’ the long-term commercial prospects for ruby would appear to be looking decidedly optimistic.

Its taste, similar to that of white varieties with an added infusion of raspberry, performed well in its initial launch markets, gaining strong initial feedback from many consumers.

While some industry observers questioned whether ruby chocolate was in fact a new category, Barry Callebaut insisted that the ruby bean is a distinct source in its own right.

Consequently, similar provenance is being attached to Synergy’s release, which is said to be suitable for application in a wide range of confectionery and bakery ranges.

Intriguingly, the company has targeted the same age group as that identified by Barry Callebaut last year, the 18-34 millennial generation who are said to be seeking something creative and out of the ordinary from their confectionery.

The next year or so should prove particularly interesting to see how the much-anticipated ruby chocolate category and its new flavouring addition perform in territories around the world.

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