Van Houten, part of the Barry Callebaut group, has launched the first chocolate powder drink using Barry Callebaut’s Ruby Chocolate, the company announced last week.

We are proud to be the first to offer a ruby chocolate drink powder. This chocolate drink has all the flavour and colour of ruby chocolate and the powder dissolves very easily in any type of milk, in hot or cold applications. Ruby chocolate drink powder will help us to unlock the beverage category for Horeca customers. – Freek van der Knaap, Vice-President Vending & Beverages EMEA.

In 2018, Barry Callebaut launched what they call the ‘fourth type of chocolate’, to much excitement, but also to mixed reviews from some who said the taste was too subtle.

The story of Van Houten begins in 1806 when Casparus Van Houten started a coffee & spice shop in Amsterdam. In 1828 he invented the cocoa press, which kickstarted the industrialization of cocoa. His son, Coenraad Van Houten, invented the alkalization method in 1846.

It was a further improvement, allowing the cocoa powder to mix more easily with water. The two inventions by father and son Van Houten paved the way for cocoa to become a popular indulgence in the 19th century. About 200 years later, still famous for premium quality, Van Houten opens a new chapter with the launch of the ruby chocolate powder drink that goes hand in hand with an entirely updated packaging design.

The fourth type in chocolate offers a totally new taste experience, which is not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness. To create Ruby chocolate no berries or berry flavour, nor colour is added.

The company says it will initially be aimed at the hospitality sector, for example, coffee bars. This makes sense, since the flavour profile is subtle and perhaps not a reason to purchase the product by itself, but selling the product in a cafe where the ‘ruby’ chocolate drink will be a desirable Instagram moment could be a big hit.

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