The product, Cacao Fruit Chocolate, is a 70% dark chocolate bar made from cacao beans and white pulp.
It will be on sale at eight KITKAT stores in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kawasaki, and Hiroshima) as well as Nestlé Japan’s online shop in autumn 2019. Each bar retails at ¥400 excluding tax.
The sweet stuff
The cacao fruits contain cacao beans and cacao pulp, which are naturally sweet due to the presence of fructose. The pulp is usually partially used as sugar when fermenting cocoa beans, but most is usually discarded.
Nestlé has developed a natural approach to extract the pulp into a powder, and adding that into chocolate as a sweetener instead of refined sugar.
The firm said this approach would provide additional opportunities in food applications in the future.
The company is applying for a patent for this innovative technique and claims it will not compromise taste, texture, and quality of the chocolate.
Taste the trend
The new innovation comes at a time where companies are trying to get ahead of consumer tastes and trends, and where consumers are increasingly aware of ingredients in their food.
Patrice Bula, Head of Strategic Business Units, Marketing and Sales at Nestlé, said: "We’re proud to bring chocolate lovers a new chocolate made entirely from the cocoa fruit without adding refined sugar. This is a real innovation which uses the natural sweetness of the cocoa pulp to provide a pure, novel chocolate experience."
The Cacao Fruit Chocolate comes after the successful sales launch of "Ruby Chocolate" under the KITKAT brand in January 2018, which is the first cacao-derived pink coloured confectionary, as well as the January 2019 sales launch of "Volcanic Chocolate," a confectionary made from a rare type of cacao cultivated on volcanic islands.
Nestlé plans to release Cacao Fruit Chocolate globally in 2020.