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World's Top Chocolate Supplier Shifts Focus to Dairy-Free

Europe's Barry Callebaut—the brand that discovered ruby chocolate last year—has big plans to respond to consumer demand for cruelty-free chocolate.

This week, Swiss brand Barry Callebaut—the world’s leading supplier of chocolate ingredients with a presence in more than 30 countries—debuted an extended version of its Pathway line at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago. The line expansion is focused on dairy-free products, including “milkier” plant-based milk chocolate, as the brand recognizes a consumer shift away from confections containing animal products. “Dairy-free is a driving trend and consumer lifestyle food choice affecting many dessert and confectionery categories that Barry Callebaut has brands within, including ice cream, snack/energy bars and confections,” Laura Bergan, the brand’s Director of Innovation and Market Development, told media outlet FoodIngredientsFirst. “The sector has evolved from catering to individuals with dairy allergies or lactose intolerances to consumers opting to live a dairy-free or vegan lifestyle. Consumers are looking for dairy-free products for more than just allergy reasons, but incorporating more plant-based food products into their diets.” Barry Callebaut gained notoriety last year after it discovered “ruby chocolate” sourced from a varietal of pink-hued cocoa beans—the first new discovery in its field in 80 years. “We believe that dairy-free products will continue their momentum, given how many consumers are either switching to plant-based food diets or including plant-based choices in their everyday food choice,” Bergan said.

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