Home Iconic bar Vegan KitKat has just been launched. Nestlé explained to us how...

Vegan KitKat has just been launched. Nestlé explained to us how they did it.


4 Min reading

Globally, more than 17 billion KitKat bars are sold each year. This equates to 560 KitKats eaten per second. So when Nestlé finally develops a 100% vegan version of the famous waffle chocolate bar, it’s a hell of a deal. We called Nestlé to get more details on how it succeeded in creating the animal-free alternative.

The KitKat, popular around the world with consumers, is a candy bar that has eluded many competitors. In a 2019 Guardian report, German discount supermarket giant Aldi, famous for creating its own white-label version of popular consumer food brands, including Mars and Snickers bars, admitted that there are has only two products on its shelves that it is unable to manufacture in-house, despite significant investments in R&D: Coca-Cola and KitKat chocolate bars.

We wanted to know more. That’s why we recently called on the Swiss food giant to ask how they managed to recreate their iconic KitKat without any animal products. The new vegan bars are now already on shelves in the UK and several European markets, and will soon be arriving in Australia and Brazil as well.

But it was not an easy road to get there, says Michael Jennings, senior spokesperson for Nestlé.

Make milk chocolate without milk

The biggest hurdle during R&D, according to Jennings, was recreating the milky taste and creamy texture of the original KitKat.

“Removing the milk was the biggest challenge in making the bar,” he said. The green queen of the media. “The milk really contributes to the smooth chocolate of the original bar which combines so well with the iconic crispy wafer, so we had to make sure we were right.”

Nestlé Product Technology Center (PTC) in York, UK (Image: Nestlé)

Removing the milk was the biggest challenge in making the bar.

Michael Jennings, Senior Corporate Spokesperson, Nestlé

What food scientists at Nestlé’s Confectionery Research Center in York have done is replace milk with a rice-based alternative. They paired it with cocoa butter, wheat flour, corn fiber, rice syrup, vegetable fats, sunflower lecithin and natural vanilla flavors.

It took a really long time. In total, the entire KitKat V development process took the team a little over 12 months. “It took a little over a year,” Jennings said. “We took extra time with this one to make sure it was right.”

On the supply chain side, Jennings said things have gone well as “we have a strong supply chain”, with key ingredients sourced in the most sustainable way possible. Cocoa comes from Nestlé Cocoa Plan and is certified by the Rainforest Alliance, while palm oil is RSPO certified.

When asked about the ingredient issues, Jennings said that “there is still some development process, but we cannot reveal any of our secrets” and added that “we continue to explore a variety of alternatives based of plants for different products “.

Vegan KitKat: the most requested by consumers

Nestlé’s decision to create a 100% plant-based version of KitKat was driven by consumer demand. It is the most popular brand of CPG, after all.

“We have other popular brands, but KitKat is our most popular candy store in the world,” Jennings explained. “It was first introduced over 80 years ago and is now present in over 80 countries. ”

“The brand’s shape, name and logo, the slogan ‘Have a break, have a KitKat’ and the perfect combination of creamy chocolate and crispy wafers have indeed given it iconic status around the world.

Alexander von Maillot, head of confectionery at Nestlé, added that as herbal plants became more common, more and more consumers were asking for a vegan KitKat. “One of the most common requests we see on social media is for a vegan KitKat, so we’re excited to be able to make that wish come true. ”

KitKat is our most popular confectionery in the world.

Michael Jennings, Senior Corporate Spokesperson, Nestlé

KitKat V. (Image: Nestlé)

Exploiting the flexitarian market

While the Vegan Society-certified product is clearly appealing to a growing number of plant-based people, Nestlé is clear that its new vegan chocolate bar is for people with all diets. Mostly flexitarians, who now represent 42% of the global consumer base.

“It’s for anyone who wants a little more plants in their life when they are having fun,” said von Maillot.

Jennings says the company is optimistic about the future of the plants and plans are underway to raise the bar in more markets. “We hope that KitKat V is a success and that we can bring it to people in more countries,” he said. The green media queen.

In recent months, Nestlé has stepped up its herbal offerings. Examples include the new line of pea-based milk named Wunda and the vegan alternative to Sensational Vuna tuna. Last year, the company set aside more than US $ 3.5 billion to fund more plant-based innovation and regenerative agriculture projects.

All images are courtesy of Nestlé.

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