Incoa, a 70% dark chocolate bar, is made entirely from the cocoa fruit, without adding any refined sugar, sweetened instead by cocoa pulp.
Nestlé claimed it was the first to announce the development of this revolutionary approach in 2019 and then launch it with KitKat in Japan.
Louise Barrett, Head of the Nestlé Confectionery Product Technology Centre in York, 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."
Incoa’s cocoa fruit contains only 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.
Nestlé said it 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 unique approach enables the company to produce Incoa in high quantities with no compromise on taste, texture and quality.
Alexander von Maillot, Head of Confectionery at Nestlé, 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 Rainforest Alliance. The cocoa pulp for Incoa is currently sourced from Brazil from farms that are part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan and Nestlé is working on expanding the sourcing of the pulp across Cocoa Plan farms globally.
Nestlé also revealed it is currently working with cocoa cooperatives and other partners in West Africa to test how cocoa pulp production could be commercialized there. That includes testing collection and further treatment of the pulp.