Barry Callebaut’s brand Van Houten launches first-ever ruby chocolate drink powder


Van Houten, the cocoa pioneer brand of Barry Callebaut, is launching a brand-new powdered chocolate drink made from ruby chocolate. This product will be available to the UK hospitality sector, specifically baristas and coffee bars. Almost 200 years after its revolutionary invention of the cocoa press, Van Houten is taking another step forward and confirming its status as a pioneer.

An innovation in the world of cocoa

While cafes, bars and restaurants are slowly re-opening around the UK, Van Houten aims to innovate and support the sector in its recovery by launching a brand-new powdered chocolate drink made from ruby chocolate. The brand, founded by the Dutch Van Houten family more than 200 years ago and owned by the Barry Callebaut Group since 1998, is the first to introduce ruby chocolate in a powdered form. This innovative new product will initially be offered to the hospitality sector, specifically to baristas and coffee bars. This latest innovation will enable baristas and coffee bars to be more creative than ever before and offer guests a brand-new chocolate drinking experience.

“The new Van Houten ruby chocolate drink confirms the brand’s status as a cocoa pioneer”, explains Freek van der Knaap, Vice-President Vending & Beverages EMEA. “This chocolate drink has all the flavour and colour of ruby chocolate and the powder dissolves very easily in any type of milk, or hot and cold applications. It’s the perfect option for when speed and preparation is important. This is a real innovation for the beverages industry, and we are proud to be the first company to offer this brand-new product.”

In 2017, Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, revealed ruby, the fourth type of chocolate which can be described as an intense sensorial delight: a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness. The unique processing of the product unlocks its naturally present flavour and colour tone from the ruby cocoa bean and no berries, berry flavour or colour have been added to this product. Ruby chocolate is considered as one of the greatest breakthroughs in the chocolate industry in decades and is available across the world.

“Studies have shown that ruby chocolate, with its characteristic colour and aromas, responds to a consumer need that is not met by dark, milk or white chocolate”, says Freek van der Knaap, Vice-President Vending & Beverages EMEA.

Van Houten, an iconic brand with respect for people and planet

The story of Van Houten begins in 1806 when Casparus Van Houten started a coffee & spice shop in Amsterdam. In 1828 he invented the cocoa press, which is the start of the industrialisation of cocoa. His son, Coenraad Van Houten, invented the alkalisation method in 1846 which made the cocoa powder mix more easily with water. The two inventions by father and son Van Houten paved the way for cocoa to become a popular indulgence in the 19th century.

Today, all Van Houten cocoa is 100% sustainable and as from this year, Van Houten has also been partnering with Cocoa Horizons, an impact driven program, established in 2015 by Barry Callebaut, focusing on cocoa farmer prosperity by creating self-sustaining communities that protect nature and children. Through this collaboration, Van Houten is actively improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their local communities.