Nestlé International Travel Retail (NITR) has marked Earth Day today (22 April) with the reveal of its first plant-based chocolate, KitKat Vegan.
The exclusive Travel Edition box of three KitKat Vegans will be available in global travel retail in Q4.
According to NITR, the new line is in response to a growing demand for plant-based chocolate. The company noted that the number of vegans is increasing year on year, particularly among the millennial and Gen Z generations.
NITR cited a report from market research specialist Mintel, indicating that over 50% of chocolate eaters in Spain, France and Poland are interested in vegan chocolate, with their counterparts in Italy and Germany just under that figure.
Nestlé ITR General Manager Stewart Dryburgh said: “It’s clear that consumers are increasingly looking for balance in their lifestyles.
“Nestlé research indicates that nearly two-thirds of millennials are interested in buying organic products with four in ten considering that plant-based chocolate is better for them than dairy.”
NITR said KitKat Vegan will mirror the original version’s crispy and creamy chocolate. The vegan plant-based chocolate contains 100% sustainable cocoa, sourced through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan in conjunction with the Rainforest Alliance.
NITR underlined the KitKat portfolio’s offer of product choices which appeal to travellers looking for ‘Deeper Connections’ (gifting, sharing, seasonal celebrations, uplifting breaks) and ‘Elevated Experiences’ (travel souvenirs, indulgence, self-treat). The KitKat Vegan option, according to NITR, will widen options by allowing customers to make a lifestyle choice within the ‘Better For You’ driver of purchase.
“I am delighted that once again Nestlé is pioneering in travel retail by launching a vegan version of our #1 chocolate brand, KitKat,” Dryburgh said.
“This is another significant step in our journey towards a regenerative, sustainable and carbon-neutral future. I am very proud to be part of a company that takes such a pro-active and responsible approach to ensuring a secure future for our planet and generations to come.”
The new product is said to be a “natural step” for Nestlé towards achieving its goal of halving CO2 emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050. The company noted that KitKat aims to transition to 100% renewable energy at all factories by the end of 2025 and, as part of this journey, Nestlé is measuring the carbon footprint of its new KitKat product.