The single-origin chocolates offer home bakers ‘an elevated experience to enhance everyday baking’ with the iconic Nestlé Toll House name. Each 10oz bag (RRP $3.69) contains UTZ-certified, Ghanaian chocolate in a 61% cacao (called Extra Dark) or a 48% (deemed Extra Semisweet) option. These percentages hit ‘a sweet spot’ given the cocoa’s ‘rich chocolate flavor,’ the company told ConfectioneryNews.
"Cocoa beans are the top agricultural export from Ghana; its rich soil is ideal for growing the intensely aromatic cocoa that is captured in these new premium baking chips,” said Ruth Braden, associate marketing manager for the Toll House line.
By partnering with UTZ, Nestlé said it is also working to support sustainable cocoa farming and improved working conditions. The Toll House line previously incorporated UTZ-certified chocolate in the ‘Simply Delicious’ semisweet, dark chocolate and white morsels, according to a spokesperson.
Standard Nestlé semisweet chips list sugar as the first ingredient, followed by chocolate, milk fat, cocoa butter, soy lecithin and natural flavors. The Artisan version – packaged in a sleek black wrapper with gold lettering, complemented by a blue and green-toned floral drawing – opts for cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate and cocoa butter.
How is Nestlé approaching consumer interest in darker chocolates?
“Consumer interest and demand play a key role in product innovation,” Nestlé told us, adding that the Artisan Collection “caters to those at-home bakers looking for an elevated experience to enhance everyday baking.”
Rather than unnamed flavors, the Artisan Collection uses vanilla extract, while both use soy lecithin as its emulsifier.
The different ingredient deck also changes the nutrition facts, dropping the sugar content by 1g per serving and upping the protein from zero to 1g. The Extra Semisweet satisfies 10% of the daily recommended value of iron, too.
The Artisan Extra Dark offers a similar clean label compared to its nearest sibling – the Toll House 62% cacao ‘Bittersweet Chocolate’ morsels, which also contains nonfat milk. The nutrition facts between these two, however, are nearly identical, save for one less gram of carbohydrates per serving.
Nestlé also makes a 53% cacao chip it calls simply Dark Chocolate.
The chocolate chip maker has jumped on the colorful bandwagon of unicorn products with the addition of pink and blue-striped ‘vanilla’ morsels. The ingredients make these chips most akin to the brand’s ‘Premier White’ product, though this colorful rendition lists vanilla extract rather than simply ‘natural flavor.’
The company told us the bright colors – “intentionally developed to retain their color during baking” – ‘bring unicorn wonder’ to cookies, brownies, pancakes and cupcakes; it recommends 10 pieces per cookie for ‘a thoughtful portion.’
Ten-ounce bags of unicorn chips (RRP $3.19) landed in most major US retailers in August.