News briefs: NewTree, Fairtrade and KitKat

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Barry callebaut, Chocolate, Nutrition

Healthy and ethical chocolate continues to dominate the news, as
NewTree creates low-sugar and high fibre chocolate, Nestle launches
a lower-calorie version of its KitKat bar, and Divine
fairtrade farmers gear up for a UK tour.

NewTree launches Barry Callebaut healthier chocolate ​The Belgium-based NewTree chocolate company, a firm focusing on anti-oxidant and healthier chocolate ranges, has teamed up with Barry Callebaut to create a range of chocolates with an improved nutritional profile. To develop the new Alpha chocolate, NewTree used a Barry Callebaut couverture chocolate, created using a secret Barry Callebaut technique that reduces the sugar content and adds dietary fibres to the product, the company said. Benoit de Bruyn, NewTree managing director, said: "NewTree focuses on two aspects: great taste and health. This new product of Barry Callebaut is the first we found. It enables us to create delicious chocolates with intrinsic nutritional benefits."​ The Alpha chocolates, that also contain Omega 3 fatty acids, are now being launched at the ISM fair in Germany. Barry Callebaut is now at the forefront of investigations into the health properties of cocoa, and, according to chief innovation officer Hans Vriens, the company has now identified and listed 750 different components within chocolate. What's more, 230 of these can contribute to better human health - be it antioxidant capacity, brain health, relaxation or any number of other benefits, Vriens claimed. KitKat lite launched for female market ​Nestle Rowntree is set to launch a lower-calorie version of the traditional KitKat bar in the UK next month, aimed at targeting health-conscious young women who still want to treat themselves. The new Kitkat Senses bar contains only 165 calories, compared to the traditional four finger bar, which, according to WeightWatchers, contains 220 calories. However, the bar is also designed to taste 'luxurious', and so contains a praline filling, Nestle said. KitKat continues to be the UK's best selling confectionery brand with sales in 2004, amounting to more than £170 million, Nestle claims on its website. Over 13 billion fingers were sold worldwide in 1995 and 418 KitKat fingers are consumed once a second worldwide, the company said. African farmers visitUKfor fairtrade fortnight ​Divine chocolate, owned by Kuapa Kokoo farmers cooperative in Ghana, is inviting two African officials over to the UK as part of Fairtrade Fortnight, due to start on 24 February this year. Kojo Aduhene-Tano and Paul Ayepah, Ghanian cocoa farmers and weighers, will tour England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in order to speak to retailers, shoppers and government officials about Fairtrade chocolate. According to Divine, the strategy will help market the chocolate in the UK, as well as allowing consumers to better understand the benefits of fair-trade goods to African farmers. Other events organised for Fairtrade this year include a fairground on London's South Bank, a touring "choose Fairtrade" bus, and live music shows and discussions across the country. According to analysts Mintel, the total Fairtrade market was worth about £230m by the end of last year, experiencing some 265 per cent growth between 2002 and 2006.

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