Ruby chocolate’s artisanal debut: Callebaut launches solution for chocolatiers in Belgium


02 Mar 2018 --- Belgium will be the first market where ruby, the fourth chocolate category, becomes available for artisan chocolatiers and chefs. Callebaut Finest Belgian Chocolate ruby RB1 – the first ruby chocolate produced in Belgium by the Callebaut chocolate makers in Wieze – goes on sale in the country in early April 2018. Later on, other countries will follow.

To celebrate the imminent Belgian launch, RB1 was launched in a sneak preview yesterday at a handful of chocolatiers and immediately sold out. Consumers who want to be the first to taste Callebaut RB1 creations by Belgian chocolatiers can still visit the Salon du Chocolat (March 2-4, 2018, Brussels).

Seven months after it was first revealed in Shanghai, ruby chocolate will become available to chocolatiers and chefs in Belgium as RB1 by Callebaut. Belgium is the first market where chocolatiers and pastry chefs can start creating with ruby chocolate. RB1 offers them a new platform through which to express their artisanship and artistry. Master chocolatier and Belgian chocolate champion, Marijn Coertjens states, “Without exaggerating: ruby is the most exciting thing to happen in the chocolate industry in decades. With ruby, you need to unlearn what you would traditionally do with dark, milk or white chocolate. This chocolate opens up a host of new ideas.”

Click to EnlargeThe news comes several months after Barry Callebaut partnered with Nestlé on the first consumer brand in a ruby chocolate version: KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby. “Ruby has attracted a lot of interest from chocolate companies, connoisseurs and consumers,” Pablo E. Perversi Chief Innovation, Quality and Sustainability Officer and member of the Executive Committee of Barry Callebaut tells The World of Food Ingredients in an interview to appear in the March 2018 issue. “Nestlé was quick to spot the trend, coming to us to embrace the innovation and entice their customers in South Korea and Japan. And this is just the beginning, we have received a lot of interest from our customers who also want to bring a Ruby product to the market.”
For Perversi, Ruby clearly satisfies a need in today’s consumers, especially in millennials, who have high purchase intent at different price points. “Our added value is really the ‘hedonistic pleasure’ aspect and we will work hard with customers to ensure that Ruby meets these demands of today’s millennial consumers, and slowly, solidifies its role as the fourth reference to chocolate besides white, dark and milk,” he says. 

In terms of potential applications of the ingredient innovation, he is confident that most technical challenges can be overcome. “Many possible areas of application have yet to be discovered by us and our customers, and so far we have not found any limits of where Ruby could not be used,” he says. 

With its arresting color and unique taste, RB1 satisfies a yet unmet desire for extreme pleasure, delighting all senses. Research shows that it resonates strongly with a new generation of consumers – mainly millennials (18-35 years old) who balance a healthy lifestyle with the quest for extreme pleasure. “With ruby chocolate you haven’t seen anything yet. Its salient color and unique taste profile calls for new pairing options in both sweet and savory delights,” says Mathieu Brunfaut, Global Group Brand Leader Callebaut. “Now, offering ruby chocolate to artisans and chefs will unleash a wave of creativity that will lead to exciting new products and concepts for people to enjoy. Enough reasons to pay a visit to your local chocolatier soon.”

Click to EnlargeChocolatier and recent winner of the global medal of the International Chocolate Awards, David Maenhout notes, “It’s amazing how ruby pairs with ingredients such as Rosé Champagne, beers or even savory ingredients. Ruby offers a completely new chocolate taste and color and sensorial experience, with an intense fruitiness and fresh, sour notes.”

Ruby chocolate was discovered more than a decade ago. The invention is the work of the global R&D centers of Barry Callebaut (based in Wieze, Belgium and France – part of a global network of 28 R&D centers), the Jacobs University (Bremen, Germany), and over 175 years of expertise in sourcing and manufacturing.

The researchers found out that ruby chocolate was linked to precursors in a specific type of bean: the “ruby” cocoa bean. Identifying the ruby cocoa beans, which hold plenty of these precursors, and finding the best way to process the beans during the chocolate-making process has taken many years of research. RB1 owes its color and specific taste solely to the expert selection and meticulous processing of the ruby beans – no fruit flavoring or colorants are added to the chocolate.

For every bag of RB1, Callebaut sources sustainably grown beans and supports cocoa farmers in cocoa farming communities.

With the Callebaut Finest Belgian Chocolate RB1, Callebaut is introducing the first ever expression of ruby chocolate fully dedicated to artisans and chefs. “We are proud to offer this fourth category of chocolate under the Callebaut brand and our Finest Belgian Chocolate range,” says Frederic Janssens, Global Brand Manager Callebaut. “The RB1 recipe has been crafted by the Callebaut chocolate makers in collaboration with Belgian chocolatiers, to encourage creative freedom with its remarkable color and taste. It is low in sweetness, maximizing the fresh fruity character and sour notes.”

Making ruby available for Belgian chocolatiers and pastry chefs first is also a recognition of their world-renowned artisanship and expertise. “Ruby is coming home in more than one way,” says Pascale Meulemeester, Vice President Global Gourmet. “It is fitting that RB1 can premiere in Belgium, home of the finest chocolate in the world and the place where RB1 is made by our Callebaut master craftsmen. Launching RB1 in Belgium is a homage to the artisans and pastry chefs of Belgium who, over the last century, have created a chocolate culture that resonates around the world.” 

By Robin Wyers

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