Nestlé releases its Incoa chocolate made from unsweetened cacaofruit

The global Nestlé group is set to roll-out its Incoa chocolate series, made entirely with the cocoa fruit, introducing Incoa, with the 70% dark bar being released under the Les Recettes de L’Atelier brand, reports Neill Barston.

As the company noted, the launch brings the cocoa pulp-sweetened chocolate to a wide audience across several countries. It will appear on shelves in retail in France and the Netherlands with other European markets to follow.

Incoa is made entirely from the cocoa fruit, not adding any refined sugar, and in 2019, was among the first major brands to create the approach of using whole cacaofruit, which it delivered first with its KitKat in Japan. Its development came at a similar launch period as Barry Callebaut’s wholefruit chocolate that was also unveiled in 2019, with a launch in San Francisco.

Welcoming the arrival of the new Incoa line, Louise Barrett, Head of the Nestlé Confectionery Product Technology Centre in York, said: “We are proud to be able to develop and produce a chocolate at-scale using only the cocoa fruit. This breakthrough innovation allows us to deliver a great-tasting dark chocolate, while also integrating agricultural side-streams into our value chain, a key priority for our sustainability agenda.”

Nestlé leveraged its in-house chocolate expertise to develop a patented natural approach which allows it to extract the pulp and produce a dark chocolate that captures the pulp’s intrinsic sweetness and texture. The unique approach enables the company to produce Incoa in high quantities with no compromise on taste, texture and quality.

As the business explained, the cocoa fruit contains cocoa beans and cocoa pulp, with the latter making up around 10% of the fruit surrounds the beans and is soft, sweet and white in colour. Some of the pulp is used in the fermentation of the cocoa beans after they are harvested, but a significant proportion is usually discarded. In some countries the pulp is commercialised as juice, or frozen and used as an ingredient in ice cream and other food products.

Alexander von Maillot, Head of Confectionery at Nestlé, said: “Incoa is an authentic, pure cocoa experience. People are looking for something that little bit different and more sustainable from their chocolate. The fact that Incoa is made from the cocoa fruit and nothing else means it cuts waste and brings additional value to the cocoa sector.”

The cocoa beans in Incoa are sourced in West Africa from Nestlé Cocoa Plan farms certified by Rainforest Alliance. Meanwhile, the cocoa pulp for Incoa is currently sourced from Brazil from farms that are part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan and Nestlé is working on expanding the sourcing of the pulp across Cocoa Plan farms globally.

Nestlé is currently working with cocoa cooperatives and other partners in West Africa to test how cocoa pulp production could be commercialised there. That includes testing collection and further treatment of the pulp.


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