Old Kat, New Tricks
Kit Kat chocolate covered wafer bars can trace their roots back to the summer of 1935 – a time when the words “eco-friendly” and “sustainable” never entered the conversation. Times have changed and though Kit Kats are still going strong, both the brand and the bars have flourished in some quite amazing ways.
Break-ing the Mold
Kit Kats were invented in York, England by the Rowntree confectionery company. Rowntree was acquired by Swiss-based Nestlé in 1988 and these days, Kit Kat (produced under license by Hershey in the USA) is one of the company’s most popular brands. That said, Japan has taken the love for Kit Kats to a whole ‘nother level, introducing exotic and regional flavors month after month, years after year. Kit Kat Cacao Fruit is not only the latest such iteration, it may change the way ALL chocolate bars are formulated.
Chocolate has become a rare and threatened commodity: unprecedented demand, civil unrest in producing nations, and the impact of global warming have conspired to drive prices skyward. Confectioners have been forced to re-examine how they manufacture chocolate bars, including what cacao components are used… and what are not. The latter category includes the white, pulpy, bittersweet fruit of the cacao pod, about 70 percent of which is discarded during the production process. Food scientists at Nestlé Japan’s Kit Kat Chocolatory made it their mission to investigate ways that cacao fruit can be used, not wasted, and the end result is the brand’s very first sustainable snack bar: Kit Kat Cacao Fruit.
Wonder what other so-called “by-products” are getting a new green lease on life? Check out Glad Clad: Hemp Fiber Sheets Make Walls Green!