Not just because it's pink.
When it comes to chocolate, the three most common players are milk, dark, and white. But as of last year, there's a new color in the chocolate game: pink. Ruby chocolate, so-called because of its naturally occurring pink color, was first introduced in 2017 by Belgian-Swiss cocoa company Barry Callebaut. Since then, ruby chocolate started hitting the shelves all over the world, originally gaining popularity in Japan and South Korea via Nestle's pink-colored Kit Kats. The pink color derives from the ruby cocoa bean used to make the chocolate, meaning that no artificial coloring needs to be added for ruby chocolate to get that millennial pink hue.
This year you should get ready to see a lot more pink chocolate state-side. According to Confectionery News, 11 brands will be introducing ruby chocolate concotions at the 2019 ISM, a trade fair for sweets and snacks. Nestle just released a ruby chocolate bar in the U.K., and U.S. chocolate merchants are following close behind. But what does ruby chocolate actually taste like? Is there an appeal to it beyond the color?
"It's supposed to have a berry or sour flavor rather than a nutty, bitter taste like other types of chocolate—a totally different flavor profile. It reminded me of white chocolate infused with raspberries," chocolate expert Megan Giller told My Recipes. Giller, the author of Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America's Craft Chocolate Revolution, tried ruby chocolate in both wafer and drinking chocolate form from UK retailer Fortnum & Mason. "In both cases, though, it tasted much more like sugar than anything chocolate related. I think most of the attention around ruby chocolate has to do with marketing and the idea of a naturally pink chocolate more than the way it tastes."
If you're a serious bean-to-bar chocolate taster, ruby chocolate might not have as much of an appeal as something made through artisan handiwork, but if you're looking for a new chocolate color with a different flavor, that's where ruby chocolate shines. Giller predicts that pink is not the only innovation that we'll see for chocolate in 2019. "Chocolate makers and chocolatiers will continue to play around with flavors like mushroom, yuzu, and avocado," she said. And if you can't find a pink bar, don't worry: "Milk and white chocolate in particular are having a moment, with more and more artisan companies making delicious chocolate that's a far cry from candy."