Nestlé has announced that one of the world's most popular confectionery bars, KitKat, is going vegan.
"One of the most common requests we see on social media is for a vegan KitKat, so we're delighted to be able to make that wish come true," Alexander von Maillot, Head of Confectionery at Nestlé, said in a media statement. "I can't wait for people to be able to try this amazingly tasty new KitKat. This is a product for everyone who wants a little more plant-based in their life!"
KitKat is the first popular global confectionery bar to go vegan. Mars has introduced a vegan version of its Galaxy bars in the UK. Mondelez International’s Cadbury is trying to develop a plant-based milk chocolate and Lindt & Sprüngli has started selling oat milk-based chocolate bars through its Hello label.
The new KitKat – called KitKat V – will be launched later in the year in several countries. It will be available through the KitKat Chocolatory website and selected retailers to test for a wider rollout.
KitKat V was developed by chocolate experts in Nestlé’s confectionery research and development centre in York, UK, the original home of KitKat.
"Taste was a key factor when developing the plant-based chocolate for our new vegan KitKat. We used our expertise in ingredients, together with a test and learn approach, to create a delicious vegan alternative to our original chocolate KitKat," said Louise Barrett, Head of the Nestlé Confectionery Product Technology Centre in York.
Nestlé has launched plant-based alternatives to dairy made from rice, oats, soy, coconut, peas and almonds across categories. Examples include non-dairy ice cream, coffee creamers, rice- and oat-based drinks, pea-based beverages, plant-based cappuccinos and lattes, a vegan condensed milk alternative, as well as a range of non-dairy cheese to complement existing plant-based burgers.
With the popularity of plant-based foods increasing, even major UK retailer Marks & Spencer has introduced its Plant Kitchen vegan range.
"There is a quiet food revolution underway that is changing how people eat. We want to be at the forefront of that, championing the discovery of plant-based food and beverages. What better way to do that than offering a vegan version of one of our most famous and much-loved brands? The new KitKat V means chocolate lovers now have a great plant-based option when they have a break," said von Maillot.
The main challenge in making alternatives to milk chocolate is ensuring it blends well with cocoa and sugar for a creamy texture. KitKat V uses a rice-based formula as a milk substitute, which took about two years to develop.