April 9, 2021

Nestlé has announced the wider roll-out of Incoa, its new 70% dark chocolate bar made exclusively from the cocoa fruit.

The launch of the bar – under its Les Recettes de L’Atelier brand – brings the cocoa pulp-sweetened chocolate to a wider audience across several countries. It will appear on shelves in retail in France and the Netherlands with other European markets to follow.

Incoa is made entirely from the cocoa fruit, with no added, refined sugar. In 2019, Nestlé was the first to announce the development of this revolutionary approach and then launch it with KitKat in Japan.

Louise Barrett, Head of Nestlé Confectionery’s Product Technology Centre, said: “We are proud to be able to develop and produce a chocolate at-scale using only the cocoa fruit. 

“This breakthrough innovation allows us to deliver a great-tasting dark chocolate, while also integrating agricultural side-streams into our value chain, a key priority for our sustainability agenda.”

Barrett said that Nestlé leveraged its in-house chocolate expertise to develop a patented natural approach, which allows it to extract the pulp and produce a dark chocolate that captures the pulp’s intrinsic sweetness and texture. 

The approach enables the company to produce Incoa in high quantities with no compromise on taste, texture and quality.

The cocoa fruit contains cocoa beans and cocoa pulp. The pulp, which makes up around 10% of the fruit surrounds the beans and is soft, sweet and white in colour. Some of the pulp is used in the fermentation of the cocoa beans after they are harvested, but a significant proportion is usually discarded.

In some countries the pulp is commercialised as juice, or frozen and used as an ingredient in ice cream and other food products.

Alexander von Maillot, Nestlé’s Head of Confectionery, said: “Incoa is an authentic, pure cocoa experience. People are looking for something that little bit different and more sustainable from their chocolate. The fact that Incoa is made from the cocoa fruit and nothing else means it cuts waste and brings additional value to the cocoa sector.”

The cocoa beans in Incoa are sourced in West Africa from Nestlé Cocoa Plan farms certified by the Rainforest Alliance.

The cocoa pulp for Incoa is currently sourced from farms in Brazil that are part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. The company is working on expanding the sourcing of the pulp across Cocoa Plan farms globally.

Nestlé is currently working with cocoa cooperatives and other partners in West Africa to test how cocoa pulp production could be commercialised there. That includes testing collection and further treatment of the pulp.

Nestlé recently released its 2020 Creating Shared Value (CSV) and Sustainability Report. The company said the report represents the completion of the majority of Nestlé’s public commitments.

Rob Cameron, Nestlé’s Global Head of Public Affairs, said these commitments align with and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on promoting healthier lives for adults and children, improving livelihoods in the communities where Nestlé is present and protecting and restoring the environment. 

Cameron said: “We are proud of what we have achieved so far, but now is the time to accelerate our efforts. Nestlé will work to create a resilient future for our planet and the communities where we operate.”

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