Ruby chocolate

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Ruby chocolate
An 80-gram bar of ruby chocolate
Place of originBelgium
Created byBarry Callebaut
Main ingredients

Ruby chocolate is a style or distinct variety of chocolate that is pinkish or purple in colour. Barry Callebaut, a Belgian–Swiss cocoa company, introduced it as a distinct product on 5 September 2017 after beginning development of their product in 2004.[2][3][4] It has a pink color, and Barry Callebaut says it is a fourth natural type of chocolate (in addition to dark, milk, and white chocolate varieties).[5][6] Some other industry experts have said that some cacao pods are naturally pink or purple in colour, and thus pink chocolate has been available before.


Barry Callebaut was granted a European patent in 2012[7] and a U.S. patent in 2015 for the way its product is produced.[8][9][10]

The Barry Callebaut ruby chocolate is characterized by a taste that has been described as slightly sweet and sour, which is comparable to that of berries, as the chocolate's main characteristic is its acidity.[11][10] In a comparison of the phenolic content between varieties of chocolate, ruby chocolate was rated between milk and white chocolate.[10] According to a 15-month temporary marketing permit granted by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States in 2019, ruby chocolate is defined as "the solid or semiplastic food prepared by mixing and grinding cacao fat with one or more of the cacao ingredients (namely, chocolate liquor, breakfast cocoa, cocoa and lowfat cocoa), citric acid, one or more of optional dairy ingredients, and one or more optional nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners", and it must contain a minimum of 1.5% nonfat cacao solids and a minimum of 20% by weight of cacao fat.[12][13] Under the temporary marketing permit, the product does not contain added colouring and although it may contain antioxidants, spices, and other natural and artificial flavorings, these ingredients cannot mimic the flavors of chocolate, milk, butter, berries, or other fruit.[13] The FDA said the product meets "most of the current standards for cacao products", but "deviates from the current standards of identity for chocolate products in terms of its final composition, taste, and color".[13]

A broken ruby bar with caramelised almonds and pistachios

The chocolate is made from "ruby cocoa beans".[4][14] These are existing botanical cocoa bean varieties that have been identified as having the right attributes to be processed into ruby chocolate.[15] While the exact production method is a trade secret, publications note industry speculation is that ruby chocolate is made with unfermented cocoa beans of Brazil Lavados, which can have a natural red-pink colour.[16][15][17] Barry Callebaut filed a European patent application in 2010 for "cocoa-derived material" from unfermented cocoa beans (or beans fermented for no more than three days) that become red or purple after treating them with an acid, such as citric acid, and then defatting with petroleum ether or probably with CO2.[7][15]

It has been debated by chocolate experts whether ruby chocolate constitutes a new variety of chocolate or if it is a marketing strategy.[18] Chocolate expert Clay Gordon stated that ruby chocolate could become as diverse as white chocolate.[19] Angus Kennedy, the editor of Kennedy's Confection magazine, disputes that ruby chocolate is a new fourth variety, saying "Yes, it's a different colour but having said that I know chocolate producers in Peru that have been producing this type of pink chocolate for years."[20] He compared the taste to a combination of white chocolate and raspberries.[20] "Now if you look at a cocoa bean casing, they're actually sort of pink and purple when you see photographs of them. So actually the natural colour for a cocoa bean can be purple so it's not unusual," he said.[20]

The public interest of the pink chocolate variety has been linked to the popularity of the color pink in marketing and on social media in the 2010s, a phenomenon that is referred to as "millennial pink".[21]

Commercial availability[edit]

KitKat's Japanese Ruby Chocolate, introduced in 2018

The first mass market release of a ruby chocolate product was on 19 January 2018, when it was introduced as a coating for a new Kit Kat wafer bar in Japan and South Korea.[22][23] Nestlé, the manufacturers of Kit Kat, entered into an agreement with Barry Callebaut for exclusive use of the product for six months.[18] Upon release in Japan, one bar cost 400 yen (USD$3.60).[24] In April 2018, Fortnum & Mason launched a pure ruby chocolate bar in the United Kingdom followed by Nestlé who announced the release of the ruby chocolate Kit Kat in the United Kingdom and Germany.[25][26] In anticipation for Mother's Day in 2019, Kit Kat Canada announced the release of the ruby chocolate in Canada in a tweet.[27]

Various other confectionery companies have released ruby chocolate-based products including:

  • Bachmann, a confectionery based in Lucerne, released several ruby chocolate products in May 2018, including pure bars.[28]
  • Chocolove released a "Ruby Chocolate" bar which has been available since 2019 or late 2018.[29]
  • Insomnia Coffee Company launched "Ruby Hot Chocolate" made from the ruby cocoa bean in March 2019.[30]
  • Costa Coffee released "Ruby Hot Chocolate" made from ruby cocoa in January 2020.[31]
  • Häagen Dazs released a limited-edition ruby cacao ice cream in January 2020.[32]
  • Magnum released sweet cream ice cream bars dipped in a ruby chocolate in January 2020.[33]
  • Harry & David, a chocolate company based out of Medford, Oregon, sells ruby cacao truffles and a ruby cacao bar.[34]
  • Starbucks offers a "Ruby Flamingo Frappuccino" as of 2020.[35]
  • Francestle Chocolatier, a chocolate manufacturer based in Malaysia released a Ruby Chocolate bar.[36]


  1. ^ How ruby chocolate is made
  2. ^ Sarah Young (5 September 2017). "Scientists just invented a brand new flavour of chocolate". The Independent. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  3. ^ Gordon, Clay (6 September 2017). "And RUBY Makes Four – A New Flavor and Color Join the Chocolate Family". TheChocolateLife. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b Gandy, Max (19 March 2018). "Ruby Chocolate: Where to Buy It & What It Is". Dame Cacao. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Barry Callebaut reveals the fourth type in chocolate: Ruby". (Press release). 5 September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Swiss confectioners devise fourth chocolate type: ruby". Financial Times. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  7. ^ a b EP patent 2237677, Dumarche Arnaud; Troplin Philippe & Bernaert Herwig et al., "Process for producing cocoa-derived material", issued 2012-06-13, assigned to Barry Callebaut AG 
  8. ^ US patent 9107430B2, Dumarche, Arnaud; Troplin, Philippe & Bernaert, Herwig et al., "Process for producing red or purple cocoa-derived material", published 2015-08-18, issued 2015-08-18, assigned to Barry Callebaut AG 
  9. ^ Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (6 September 2017). "'Ruby' becomes first new natural colour of chocolate in over 80 years". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2017 – via
  10. ^ a b c Šeremet, D., Mandura, A., Vojvodić Cebin, A., Oskomić, M., Champion, E., Martinić, A., & Komes, D. (2019). Ruby chocolate–bioactive potential and sensory quality characteristics compared with dark, milk and white chocolate. Hrana u zdravlju i bolesti: znanstveno-stručni časopis za nutricionizam i dijetetiku, 8(2), 89-96.
  11. ^ Kwil, I., & Podsiadły, K. (2019). Innovations in the Chocolate Manufacture as Part of Polish Confectionery Industry. Wrocław University of Economics.
  12. ^ Bandoim, Lana (25 November 2019). "Ruby Chocolate Is Coming: FDA Issues Temporary Permit". Forbes. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Schiller, L.J. (2019). 'Ruby Chocolate' Deviating From Identity Standard; Temporary Permit for Market Testing" [Docket No. FDA–2019–N–4844]. Food and Drug Administration.
  14. ^ Gilchrist, Karen (6 September 2017). "Swiss confectioners invent a new kind of chocolate for the first time in 80 years". CNBC. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  15. ^ a b c Nieburg, Oliver (14 September 2017). "Ruby chocolate: New gem in confectionery crown or pink misfit?". Confectionery News. William Reed Business Media Ltd. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  16. ^ Churchill, Francis (20 October 2017). "'Ruby' chocolate aims to satisfy new consumer tastes". Supply Management. Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  17. ^ Jay, Janan (13 September 2017). "New ruby chocolate isn't special and probably tastes bad, says NZ expert". Fairfax New Zealand Ltd. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  18. ^ a b Corstjens, Marcel (2019). "The promise of targeted innovation". MIT Sloan Management Review. 60: 39.
  19. ^ Oliver Nieburg (14 September 2017). "Ruby chocolate: New gem in confectionery crown or pink misfit?", [“It's possible that in 20-30 years ruby chocolate will be just as diverse as white chocolate is today.”]
  20. ^ a b c Pickering, Jasper (12 October 2017). "A chocolate expert explains what Ruby chocolate is and what it tastes like". Business Insider. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  21. ^ Bideaux, K. (2018). Millennial pink: From iPhone to Rihanna. Proceedings from the Conferenza del Colore.
  22. ^ Jacey Fortin (7 September 2017). "Ruby Chocolate Wants a Place at the Table With Dark, Milk and White". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 September 2017 – via
  23. ^ "Nestle to launch ruby chocolate KitKat in Asia". Reuters. 18 January 2018.
  24. ^ Iyengar, Rishi (18 January 2018). "Nestle is making a pink KitKat from ruby chocolate". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  25. ^ "KitKat to release naturally pink 'ruby chocolate' bars". Sky News. 11 April 2018.
  26. ^ "Weltneuheit für Europa: Nestlé produziert KitKat Ruby in Hamburg". 10 April 2018.
  27. ^ Kit Kat Canada [@KITKATca] (12 May 2019). "Our moms deserve a break from the ordinary, because they always make us feel like we're anything but ordinary." (Tweet). Retrieved 24 May 2019 – via Twitter.
  28. ^ Confiserie Bachmann lanciert rosafarbene Schokoladensorte «Ruby Rubina», Luzerner Zeitung, 23 May 2018. ["Lucerne confectioner Bachmann is now offering a pink chocolate that is made without berries or additives - as the first company in German-speaking Switzerland."]
  29. ^ Thompson, Alyse (14 May 2019). "Ruby chocolate is now available in the U.S. and Canada". Candy Industry.
  30. ^ Murphy, Mark (21 March 2019). "Insomnia Launches Ruby Hot Chocolate".
  31. ^ Lewis, Anna (3 January 2020). "Costa's Ruby Cocoa Hot Chocolate Will Take Your Instagram To The Next Level". delish. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  32. ^ Morillo, Alexis (24 January 2020). "Häagen-Dazs Has All New, Limited-Edition Ruby Cacao Ice Creams For V-Day". delish. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  33. ^ Myers, Anthony (10 January 2020). "Magnum ice cream receives a Ruby makeover". Confectionery News. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  34. ^ Peters, Lucia (29 January 2020). "Harry & David's Ruby Cacao Chocolate Collection Is A Millennial Pink Valentine Dream". Bustle. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  35. ^ "Starbucks bringt eine neue Frappuccino-Kreation › FM Online".
  36. ^ "Alfredo Bar Ruby Chocolate 67g". Francestle Chocolatier. Retrieved 30 March 2021.

External links[edit]