A year after Nestlé Japan introduced the Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby in Japan, Barry Callebaut Group has launched a crowd-sourced website dedicated to the rosy pink chocolate.
On rubychocolate.com, visitors can share their ruby excitement and get inspired by brands and artisans showcasing ruby chocolate applications. Visitors can also find an overview of all Ruby-related moments being shared across social media platforms. Furthermore, visitors can explore a digital map of the world to find out where they can purchase Ruby chocolate.
“Inspired by tech initiatives who were cocreated by the crowd, such as the game Minecraft and open source operating systems Android and Linux, the fourth type of chocolate introduces its own crowdsourced platform,” says Bas Smit, global vice president of marketing for Barry Callebaut. “Rubychocolate.com is a shared asset. The ultimate goal is, by facilitating the consumer’s voice, to develop this new chocolate category.”
And, to add to the ruby celebration, Nestlé Japan will launch Kit Kat Everyday Nuts and Cranberry, combining Ruby chocolate with nuts and dried cranberries, a combination favored and proposed by pâtissier chef Yasumasa Takagi. The product will be available in supermarkets and convenience stores across Japan starting March 25.
Since the launch of ruby chocolate, 80 years after the introduction of white chocolate, the new variety has already collected more than 120 million search results on Google. In comparison, this is more than 15 percent of the search results for milk chocolate, which accounts for about 70 percent of global chocolate sales.
Many chocolate experts and media forecast ruby will be the food trend of 2019, among them the global research agency Innova Market Insights. In Japan, business magazine Nikkei Trendy put ruby on its "Top 30 Trends List." The list is based on a product’s sales, impact on the industry and impact on consumers.
Kit Kat was the first brand to launch Ruby chocolate, in Japan in 2018; the product is now available in 26 countries worldwide. After its launch last year, Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby became a major hit: it accounted for 30 percent of sales in Kit Kat Chocolatory in Japan. During the Valentine’s Day season, around 800 units were sold – the highest sales record for Kit Kat Chocolatory.
Research from Marcomill shows that 42 percent of the Japanese population is aware of Ruby chocolate and 5 percent have already tasted it, even though it was not broadly available in retail. More than 80 percent say they are interested in tasting Ruby in the future.