Ruby, the fourth chocolate category, becomes available for artisan chocolatiers and chefs. Callebaut Finest Belgian Chocolate ruby ‘RB1’ — the first ruby chocolate produced in Belgium by the Callebaut chocolate makers – will be officially available in Hong Kong this September. To celebrate the launch, RB1 was proudly presented at an exclusive showcase today with illustrious chefs for a handful of chocolatiers in Hong Kong.

Ruby RB1: unlearn everything you knew about chocolate

Ruby ChocolateLess than a year after it was first revealed in Shanghai, ruby chocolate will become available to chocolatiers and chefs in Hong Kong as ‘RB1’ by Callebaut. RB1 offers them a new platform through which to express their artisanship and artistry.

Master chocolatier and Belgian chocolate champion, Marijn Coertjens, was in Hong Kong at the showcase and demonstrated several applications using the ruby RB1. Marijn said, “I am very excited that ruby RB1 will soon be formally available in Hong Kong which has the reputation of being one of the world’s culinary capitals. Without exaggerating: ruby is the most exciting thing to happen in the chocolate industry in decades. With ruby, you need to unlearn what you would traditionally do with dark, milk or white chocolate. This chocolate opens up a host of new ideas.”

With its arresting color and unique taste, RB1 satisfies a yet unmet desire for extreme pleasure, delighting all senses. Research shows that it resonates strongly with a new generation of consumers — mainly millennials (18-35 years old) who balance a healthy lifestyle with the quest for extreme pleasure.

“We are proud to offer the chef communities in Hong Kong this fourth category of chocolate under the Callebaut brand and our Finest Belgian Chocolate range,” said Denis Convert, Barry Callebaut’s Vice President for Gourmet in Asia Pacific. “Belgian chocolate has a solid reputation with an image of higher quality standards among the professional chocolate users in Hong Kong. The RB1 recipe has been crafted by the Callebaut chocolate makers in collaboration with Belgian chocolatiers, to encourage creative freedom with its remarkable taste and color. It is low in sweetness, maximizing the fresh fruity character and sour notes.”

Ingenuity and international outlook makes Hong Kong ideal for ruby RB1

A strong purchasing power — and the growing popularity of innovative food products — among consumers will boost chocolate consumption in Hong Kong.

According to analyst firm Euromonitor, value sales of chocolate confectionery segment in Hong Konggrew 3% reaching HKD2.1 billion (US$268m) in 2017. Hong Kong has one of the largest annual per capita chocolate consumption at 1.5 kg in 2017 among Asia Pacific countries — second behind Australia (5.7 kg) and more than Japan (1.2 kg) and Singapore (1.0 kg).

“Consumers in Hong Kong are seeking more than just a product,” said William Gong, Gourmet Sales and Marketing Director for Mainland China and Hong Kong. “Offering ruby chocolate to artisans and chefs will unleash a wave of creativity that will lead to exciting new products and concepts for people to enjoy. Enough reasons to look out for the innovative creations that will soon pop up in Hong Kong.” William expects ruby RB1 will be most attractive to leading hotels, restaurants, cafes as well as bakery and pastry outlets in Hong Kong.

Ruby chocolate, a gift from Mother Nature

Ruby chocolate was discovered more than a decade ago. The invention is the work of the global R&D center of Barry Callebaut, based in Belgium, in collaboration with the Jacobs University (Germany) and over 175 years of expertise in bean selection and chocolate making.

The researchers found out that ruby chocolate was linked to precursors in a specific type of bean: the “ruby” cocoa bean. Identifying the ruby cocoa beans, which hold plenty of these precursors, and finding the best way to process the beans during the chocolate-making process has taken many years of research. RB1 owes its color and specific taste solely to the expert selection and meticulous processing of the ruby beans — no fruit flavoring or colorants are added to the chocolate.

For every bag of RB1, Callebaut sources sustainably grown beans and supports cocoa farmers in cocoa farming communities.

Barry Callebaut is gaining traction

Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products and the company behind the Callebaut brand, has been making waves in China. After the successful premiere of ruby chocolate in Shanghai, the company last month — for the first time in Asia — introduced the chocolate ritual tasting in Shanghai to more than 50 international chefs from around the world. Callebaut has also gained market share and mindshare among the semi-professionals bakery and pastry users through its e-commerce platform on Alibaba’s Tmall.

VIDEO: Chef Marijn Coertjens “The Truffle”

About Callebaut® (www.callebaut.com):

For more than 100 years, Callebaut® has been making chocolate in the heart of Belgium and is still one of the rare chocolate makers to select, roast and grind cacao beans into its own secret and exclusive cocoa mass – the most important ingredient for chocolate couvertures. Callebaut® was established in 1850 in Belgium as a malt brewery. Grandson Octaaf Callebaut produced his first chocolate bars in 1911 and began production of chocolate couverture for Belgian chocolatiers soon after. Callebaut® began exporting its finest Belgian chocolates in 1950 and is part of the Barry Callebaut group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cacao.

About the Barry Callebaut Group (www.barry-callebaut.com):

With annual sales of about CHF 6.8 billion (EUR 6.3 billion / USD 6.9 billion) in fiscal year 2016/17, the Zurich-based Barry Callebaut Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products — from sourcing and processing cocoa beans to producing the finest chocolates, including chocolate fillings, decorations and compounds. The Group runs close to 60 production facilities worldwide and employs a diverse and dedicated global workforce of about 11,000 people. The Barry Callebaut Group serves the entire food industry, from industrial food manufacturers to artisanal and professional users of chocolate, such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakers, hotels, restaurants or caterers. The two global brands catering to the specific needs of these Gourmet customers are Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®. The Barry Callebaut Group is committed to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025 to help ensure future supplies of cocoa and improve farmers’ livelihoods. It supports the Cocoa Horizons Foundation in its goal to shape a sustainable cocoa and chocolate future