Nestlé launches ‘Incoa’ chocolate bar under its Nestlé Les Recettes de l’Atelier brand as the world is looking into healthier alternatives and a bid to reduce added sugar, the bar is made using cocoa fruit pulp as a sweetener.
The cocoa pulp is usually discarded, but in recent years, many chocolate manufacturers, such as Lindt and Barry Callebaut have been ‘upcycling’ this ‘waste’ product.
The pulp is described to have a complex fruity flavour, sweet and tart, with hints of citrus, mango, maybe even pineapple.
In fact, Nestlé Japan themselves launched the KitKat Chocolatory Cacao Fruit Chocolate, the first product to use the entire cocoa fruit in 2019.
Not only is the cocoa fruit pulp just used to sweeten the chocolate, but it also serves a purpose to cut food waste and boost cocoa farmers income, as they can sell the pulp and the bean.
‘Incoa’ is available in supermarkets in France and the Netherlands with other European markets to follow.
Nestlé is sourcing the pulp from cocoa farms in Brazil currently but is also testing operations in West Africa which they say could present a potential source as well.
According to Nestlé’s Global Head of Confectioner, Alexander von Maillot, cocoa farmers could see an increase in their income by 20-40% if they also sold the pulp. It’s unclear to us at this time why the farmers would not sell the pulp unless there are some additional costs and expertise or investment required. This will be something Bartalks will have to research and report on.
The fruit pulp is currently more expensive to use than refined sugar, but would certainly be considered a premium product. The Dutch supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, sells ‘Incoa’ at about 50% more than other dark chocolate bars.
The recently launched Ritter Sport bar which was deemed ‘not chocolate’ by the German regulator uses the fruit pulp and the company has reportedly sold out despite the higher cost.
As an additional benefit, the Upcycled Food Association said commercialising cocoa fruit worldwide could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20 million tonnes per year.
We expect this product will be well received by the health and environmentally conscious consumers.