Veganuary may be over, but the arrival of plant-based alternatives to the market isn’t showing signs of stopping soon. The latest addition to the growing list of vegan-friendly foods? Nestlé’s first-ever vegan KitKat: the Kitkat V.
At first glance, the new twist on the classic “break time” chocolate bar sounds ironic. How can a milk chocolate confection – emphasis on the “milk” – be considered okay for vegan consumption?
According to the Swiss company, it ditched its dairy component for a rice-based formula that consists of rice, oat, soy, coconut, pea, and almonds, as well as their “100% sustainable cocoa.” They used a “test and learn approach” inside their research and development center in York, United Kingdom to find out which flavors clicked.
Alexander von Maillot, Head of Confectionery at Nestlé, said they chose these key components because these blend well with cocoa and sugar to retain that trademark creamy texture and achieve that “perfect balance between crispy wafer and smooth chocolate.”
For von Maillot, the Kitkat V is just the beginning in a burgeoning health-based trend. “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,” he said in Nestlé’s statement.
The KitKat V will only be available online this year via the KitKat Chocolatory and select retailers across the globe to test the opportunity for a wider roll-out.
While it is a milestone for Nestlé to turn their biggest chocolate brand into a vegan treat, it is only the latest in a long line of vegan milk chocolate in the market today. Some of its predecessors include Lindt, which has begun selling oat milk-based chocolate bars under its Hello label; Mars, which launched its line of vegan bars under the Galaxy brand in the UK; and most recently, Mondelez’s Cadbury brand has also announced that it’s set to roll out plant-based milk chocolate bars.
Would you try the new plant-based KitKat once it goes on sale?