Yum: Ruby Chocolate and the History of Chocolate Innovation

On Tuesday, September 5th, 2017, Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut announced in a press release that they had invented a brand-new type of chocolate. Called “ruby chocolate” after its natural rosy pink coloring, the candy is said to be wildly different from traditional milk, dark, or even white chocolate in both flavor and appearance. Despite having no fruit flavoring (which might be expected, considering its hue), Barry Callebaut has said that their new chocolate has a smooth, berry-like taste.

The inventors of the chocolate have described the product’s coming launch as an attempt to “satisfy a new consumer need found among millennials – hedonistic indulgence,” fulfilling that desire simply by being exciting and different.

The attractive color definitely doesn’t hurt the candy’s chances in this market, as young consumers have a history of embracing colorful foods. From rainbow bagels to black ice cream to Unicorn Frappuccinos, snacks that have a bold aesthetic are an in-demand commodity in the Instagram age.

Some have questioned whether or not it’s a good idea to mess with such a classic and beloved treat. The love of chocolate seems to be such a universal feeling that is has practically become cliché, and many consumers have a strong emotional investment in the sweet. From the Mayans to today’s trick-or-treaters, countless generations of enthusiasts from around the world have indulged and been delighted by the confection.

 

Chocolate has been around for centuries (early evidence of chocolate consumption has been dated as far back as 1900 B.C.), but the current trifecta of milk, dark, and white chocolate is a far more recent development than you might expect.

White chocolate was first launched by Nestle in Europe in the 1930s. It purportedly originated as a means of using up excess cocoa butter, as the product is made with a very high cocoa butter content. Today, cocoa butter must account for at least 20% of a white chocolate bar for it to legally qualify as such.

It wasn’t until 1948 that Nestle brought white chocolate to the U.S. on a mass scale, beginning with the almond-filled Alpine White chocolate bar. The bar was well-received and was available to consumers until the 1990s, when it was eventually discontinued.

Nestle was also involved in the creation of milk chocolate in the mid-1870s, as Henri Nestle, who invented powdered milk, helped inspire his friend and neighbor Daniel Peter to start adding milk to chocolate bars. Together they formulated the first successful milk chocolate recipe, which would go on to become a sensation.

Chocolate bars themselves had only been invented forty years prior to Nestle and Peter’s breakthrough, in 1847. Joseph Fry, in discovering a chocolate formulation that could be molded and would hold its shape, brought “eating chocolate” into the world, which had previously only known of chocolate as an ingredient in beverages.

All of this is to say that such a radical shake-up in the chocolate world is not as far-fetched as it may initially sound. We don’t yet know when ruby chocolate will be made commercially available, but it is entirely possible that it could change the game in ways we can’t yet imagine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Easter Designs

It can be difficult to create unique Easter packaging designs that can stand up to a sea of pastel treats. With so much competition around the holiday, it takes a lot to grab a consumer’s attention.

Fortunately, each of the designs highlighted below has found a way to create unique, out-of-the-box packaging designs that stand apart from the traditional Easter packaging. Most importantly, they illustrate that Easter designs can mean more than the traditional eggs, bunnies, and carrots.

1. Hotel Chocolat

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The Supermilk Facet Easter Egg by Hotel Chocolat needed to have a truly unique design to stand up to their new chocolate line. This Easter egg contains more cocoa and less sugar for a healthier, more guilt-free option. In order to attract consumers to this new gem of an egg, the design needed to take an unexpected angle on the classic Easter egg. It accomplished this by casting the egg itself with a jeweled facet design to represent a “chocolate diamond emerging from a smooth chocolate eggshell”. The outer packaging also illustrates this jeweled facet design.

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The Splat Easter Egg is another masterfully crafted Easter egg design from Hotel Chocolat. It features eye-catching pastel packaging with a colorful chocolate splat to emphasize that this is a grown-up kids’ treat.

2. Van Leeuwen

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After redesigning its packaging to traditional Easter colors, the high-end Brooklyn ice cream brand, Van Leeuwen, enjoyed a 50% increase in sales. For the redesign, they focused on making something that “looks good on social media”. The company worked with design firm Pentagram to design the ice cream trucks and pints to look “very Instagrammable”.

3. Lulu Guinness Birdcage Egg

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Designer Lulu Guinness specially crafted only 100 of these limited-edition birdcage eggs for Fortnum & Mason. The packaging is meant to mix old-school glamour with modern design in order to reflect the designer’s love of all things English. Each label was signed by the designer and the box was decorated by hand for that special touch, making it an extra special gift.

4. Tesco Finest

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Tesco Finest worked with branding and packaging design specialist, Parker Williams, to create unique designs that combine modern style and vintage designs. The custom-made egg coop is successful at “catching the consumer eye whilst placing an emphasis on the eggs”. The design comes complete with a netted metal front and wooden box.

5. Toblerone

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Toblerone focused on creating Easter packaging that would appeal to adults just as much as it would to kids. This successful packaging concept was designed to create high visibility on a crowded shelf. The colorful pattern was inspired by the brand’s elements, as well as the chocolate treats hidden inside.

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Toblerone also worked with Bultmann Design Works to create the seasonal packaging displaying an open-the-flap element and rabbit characters to entice younger consumers. It also fits well in any Easter basket.

 

Valentine’s Day Candy Packaging

Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday, which means that candy brands are preparing to move a serious amount of inventory. While there is definitely some standard imagery that is going to show up in most Valentine’s package design – we’re never getting rid of hearts – there is also a fair amount of diversity on the shelves. Here, we are looking at an array of different options that are available this year, and seeing how brands are interpreting the occasion.

Brach’s Emoticon Gummi Hearts brachsnew

This new treat from Brach’s is an interesting case because the design of the product is clearly aimed at millennials, and yet the company opted to go with very classic design for the packaging. The brand logo (which is fairly consistent across their products) is featured very prominently, and purple is a color choice that the company has made for most of their Valentine’s Day offerings. With this holiday being so important for Brach’s, it’s clear that they are seizing the opportunity to build brand equity among a younger consumer base.

 

Hershey’s White Cookie Cupcake Kisses

kissesnew Another newcomer this year, this line of Kisses from Hershey is a Target exclusive. Again, the color choices of purples, pinks, and red are pretty standard for Valentine’s Day packaging, but what is worth noting about the design is that Hershey’s rarely depicts their Kisses in any kind of an action scene. Here, the Kisses are baking cupcakes, quickly communicating the flavor to consumers while feeling more fun than a typical Hershey’s bag.

 

Kit Kat Red Velvet Miniatures

kitkatnewWhite chocolate and cake are evidently the new flavors of Valentine’s Day. Much like the Kisses, there are no groundbreaking innovations in color, and the design is a lot more playful than a standard pack. Kit Kat’s job is a little harder than most other brands, because their standard packaging is already a bright, festive red. In order to stand out, they have decided to include a couple of love-struck cats, a clever and charming pun about the brand name.

 

Champagne Bears

bearsnewThese upscale gummy bears from Sugarfina are a refreshing break from tradition. While the transparent packaging allows the light pink and peach colors of the bears to show through, the use of cool blue and gold is something rarely seen in Valentine’s Day packaging. The alcoholic candies are obviously meant to be a more mature option, and the bold differentiation is a smart choice.

 

Love Bites Bento Box

lbnew lb2newThis sugary assortment, also from Sugarfina, is meant for a very different kind of Valentine’s Day shopper. It is aimed at single consumers, with the growing popularity of anti-celebrations like “Galentine’s Day” making gift exchanges between friends more common. The use of watercolor and elegant fonts contrasts well with the visible novelty candies, elevating the product from gag item to something that might be worth the $26 retail price.

 

Kissing Burns Calories

kbcnewFinally, Kissing Burns Calories from Dylan’s Candy Bar seems to find some kind of balance, managing to both use very traditional colors while communicating that it is a treat for adults. The textured lid is very much on trend for this year in package design, and the striped heart in the center is visually interesting and attractive.

5 Designs We Love: Elegant Candy Packaging

In today’s edition of 5 Designs We Love, we will cover 5 of our favorite candy packaging designs. Each of these designs proves that sometimes, the packaging can be the sweetest thing.

1. Petit Geste

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Petit Plaisir is a type of Belgian chocolate sold in Barcelona and Madrid, which can’t be ignored. The pattern work for the Petit Geste line was created for the social initiative “5 Cellars, 5 Charity Projects”. It was designed by Barcelona design agency, Simple, using striking geometric shapes. The elaborate design is a work of art and provides yet another reason to buy a piece of chocolate.

2. Tingz

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Peppersmith Tingz is a line of Xylitol-based chewing gum and mints that actually helps prevent tooth decay, especially in children. The unique product needed one-of-a-kind packaging and branding to help it further stand out in the marketplace. Designed by London-based design agency, B&B Studio, the new packaging for Tingz has resonated with children and adults alike. The branding is teethy and fun, allowing parents to easily sell their children on the idea of good-for-you candy. The fun branding also expands to shop counter displays, where the candy packets are taken out of the monsters’ mouths. The two hairy monsters have been named Bowie and Floyd and their stories can be tracked through an online storybook narrative, booklets, and other marketing campaigns.

3. Lapp & Fao Chocolate Books

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Lapp & Fao created a series of chocolate books to better package their unique, adventurous flavors of chocolate. The packaging makes the set fun to eat and fun to gift. The line includes 15 different gourmet German chocolate bars, each wrapped in colorful card covers with intricate drawings and stories, making it more of a souvenir than a wrapper. The edges of the packaging are treated like a book spine, clearly displaying the brand’s logo in place of a book’s publisher. Each bar is designed to resemble a diary entry from Lapp and Fao’s travels around the world in search of the most delicious sweet delicacies. The effective packaging was designed by ONLYFORTHEFUTURE, with creative direction by Nils R. Zimmerman and illustrative detail by Andreas Klammt.

4. Coca Luxury Chocolates

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Coca Luxury Chocolates features 12 unique chocolates, each with their own small boxes. Designed by Denmark design studio, Bessermachen, each chocolate features its own coloring, personality, appearance, branding, and character like “The Rebel”, “The King”, and “The Magician”. The packaging makes the chocolates more fun to eat and each one is designed to reflect your character and personality.

5. Cacao Monkey

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The Cacao Monkey packaging features bright, colorful cutouts with the logo and type of chocolate spelled out in cutouts. The fictional brand of eco-conscious organic chocolate used the simplest graphic techniques, but created something unlike any other packaging designs. The bold packaging uses natural wrapping and minimal dyes to reduce its carbon footprint. The packaging was designed by Niamh Richardson, a visual communications student from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

Oh, Hello Hershey’s

 

Lancaster - a new candy package design from Hershey's

A look at Lancaster soft caramel packaging

Last week Hershey’s announced that it is launching its first new brand (i.e., not a line extension or acquired brand) in the last 30 years. The new brand will be named “Lancaster” and will feature multiple varieties of caramel soft cremes that are set to roll out nationwide in early 2014. Hershey’s has already conducted an initial launch for this brand in three cities in China, and that launch will also be followed by wider Chinese distribution next year.

The product itself fits squarely into an established candy category occupied by such established brands as Werther’s Original (August Storck KG, a German company), Nips (Nestle) and Kraft Caramels, among others. That said, Hershey’s seems to have departed from the bold colors and dramatic typography that are featured on most all candy caramel packaging (if not all candy package design in general). Instead, Hershey’s elected to create an elegant yet understated brand featuring simple and modern package design, with earth tones and sophisticated typography. Not what you would expect to see in the candy aisle, but nonetheless a refreshing new candy package design.

Click here for the press release announcing the launch.

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