The new product gets its sweetness from the cacao fruit.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated July 16, 2019

Studies seem to indicate that chocolate, on its own, may have health benefits. And why shouldn’t it? It’s a miracle substance. But to help make cocoa more palatable, it’s usually paired with less healthy ingredients like sugar which might appeal to your sweet tooth but isn’t so hot for the rest of your body. To alleviate this issue, scientists have been looking for ways to make “healthier” chocolate. Now, one of the biggest names in sweets — Nestle — may have developed an approach to lower sugar chocolate that’s novel in more ways than one.

In a move Nestle bills as an industry first, the company says it's developed a method for creating 70-percent dark chocolate without adding any sugar — though that employs a bit of a technicality. The company instead extracts sugar out of the pulp of the cacao fruit itself. The resulting chocolate still has sugar, but it’s not “refined sugar,” leading to lower sugar levels compared to other products. Additionally, since this process uses part of the cocoa fruit that typically would be discarded, this chocolate is also billed as being more environmentally-friendly.

“We’re proud to bring chocolate lovers a new chocolate made entirely from the cocoa fruit without adding refined sugar,” Patrice Bula, head of strategic business units, marketing and sales at Nestle, said in the announcement. “This is a real innovation which uses the natural sweetness of the cocoa pulp to provide a pure, novel chocolate experience.”


Nestle says the first product using this new method will hit shelves in Japan this fall: KitKat Chocolatory Cacao Fruit Chocolate is said to offer “natural sweetness and subtle acidity made entirely from cacao fruit, using cacao beans and pulp.” Chef Yasumasa Takagi, who developed the new candy for the specialist KitKat Chocolatory store, further explains, “It is an innovation that focuses on the fact that cacao is originally a fruit and provides the full taste of cacao.”


Nestle says that other products in other parts of the world will follow in 2020 through some of its other well-known brands.