Seriously, this is big news. If you love chocolate, or even like chocolate, the chocolate game has now changed forever. Gone are the days when you could choose between milk, dark, and white chocolate - if you're among the group that considers white chocolate actual chocolate.*
[*Managing Editor's note: White chocolate is chocolate. Stop hating on it!]
Introducing the fourth type of chocolate: pink chocolate. It's the first new type of chocolate on the scene in 80 years. You might be thinking, wait, I've seen pink chocolate before. That's not new. But those chocolates were all made using dyes.
As you know, chocolate is made from cocoa beans. Dark chocolate contains more of the original cocoa bean than milk chocolate, thus making it darker; the percentage is usually 70 percent or higher. But with pink chocolate, the cocoa comes from the ruby cocoa bean. And yes, it's pink.
The Swiss company Barry Callebaut, one of the world's largest producers of chocolate, debuted the candy in Shanghai, China. They had been working on perfecting the chocolate for decades, because it's an art to maintain the taste and structure of chocolate during creation. The company has been testing consumer input for years. The response? Overwhelmingly positive.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique is the CEO behind Barry Callebaut, and spoke about the chocolate breakthrough. "It’s natural, it’s colorful, it’s hedonistic, there’s an indulgence aspect to it, but it keeps the authenticity of chocolate," he said. "It has a nice balance that speaks a lot to millennials."
Speaking of speaking to millennials, that's what the chocolate does. It just so happens that the cocoa bean produces a chocolate the color that many millennials have been obsession over. The color of rosé, the pink has been popular since 2012 and has spread from everything from homes to phones — and now to chocolate.
The press release on Barry Callebaut's site calls the chocolate "an intense sensorial delight." We already knew that about chocolate in general. But "a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness?" That's something we want to try.
The press release also details how absolutely no color is added to the chocolate. Anything made with food coloring is not actually ruby chocolate at all. No berries and no berry flavoring is added to the chocolate, either. Everything you're tasting is all-natural ruby goodness.
The company has high hopes for their sweet breakthrough. "We’re looking forward to working with our partners on introducing this innovative breakthrough to the market and making the new Ruby chocolate category available to chocolate manufacturers and consumers around the world as the fourth reference next to Dark, Milk and White chocolate."
Martin Diez is the company's dessert chef, commenting on the reveal of the chocolate in Shanghai. "This is really a mix between the fruitiness, sourness and berry taste." The chocolate is heading to the U.S. soon, but with no specific set date as of yet.
The chocolate has massive potential year round, but Valentine's Day is a major selling point. Those pink chocolate hearts you see during the season? All dyed. Imagine a natural pink chocolate showing up from your secret admirer. Now that's a selling point.
"It could be excellent news if the taste works for consumers, as it offers a new branch of manufacturers to explore,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Duncan Fox spoke about the new invention. “If they can use less sugar to make a nice bar, then it will an addition to the current market.” The natural quality of the product also adds to a growing demand for healthier products in markets.
The ruby cocoa beans used to produce the chocolate come from Ecuador, Brazil, and the Ivory Coast. Replicating the chocolate is impossible unless ruby cocoa beans are used. Many other companies already use cocoa with a reddish hue, but again, those are simply dyes.
Chocolate innovations have been taking place since the sweet was being made, but this is one of the most monumental in the past few decades. Callebaut also sells chocolate that is able to withstand higher temperatures than other chocolates. Nestle scientists were able to find a way to reduce the sugar content in their chocolate without cutting back on taste. But until now, no one ever made an entirely new type of chocolate.
For now, we'll still always love our current chocolate options. But that doesn't mean we're not waiting with open arms for the ruby chocolate to become available to us. We'll also sit patiently waiting for new colors of chocolate to come out. Barry Callebaut, we're looking at you.