EUROPE – Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, is taking another industry leap with the launch KitKat V, a new plant-based variant of its popular 5-finger chocolate brand-Kitkat.

According to a statement from the company, the new vegan version of the iconic KitKat will be on shelves from mid-June in the United Kingdom, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Plans are also underway to roll out the new variant in other countries, including Australia and Brazil.

Replicating the taste experience from a standard chocolate is however not easy task when using alternative ingredients.

Nestlé however assures consumers that KitKat V still offers the perfect balance between the crispy wafer and smooth chocolate that people know and love.

KitKat V was developed by chocolate experts at Nestlé’s confectionery research and development center in York, UK, the original home of KitKat.

Combining Nestlé’s expertise in chocolate innovation and non-dairy alternatives, they managed to perfectly blend the smooth chocolate with plant-based ingredients.

That has resulted in a great-tasting, no-compromise vegan version of KitKat  which will now be made available through the KitKat Chocolatory and selected retailers.

Louise Barrett, Head of the Nestlé Confectionery Product Technology Center in York, says: “Our challenge when we set out to create a vegan-friendly KitKat was to recreate this iconic product using plant-based alternatives.

To achieve this, we worked very hard to get the right balance between the milk alternative and the cocoa. The result is a vegan chocolate that we’re very proud of, and I hope all KitKat fans will love it as much as we do.”

KitKat V is certified vegan and made from 100% sustainable cocoa sourced through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan in conjunction with the Rainforest Alliance.

The milk in the original KitKat is replaced with a rice-based alternative, which gives the perfect texture and flavor.

According to Alexander von Maillot, Head of Confectionery at Nestlé, KitKat V was developed in response to requests on social media is for a vegan KitKat

“We’re delighted to be able to make that wish come true. This is for everyone who wants a little more plant-based in their life when they treat themselves!”

Kitkat V is launching at a time when the plant-based trend is reaching fever-pitch particularly in the meat and dairy alternatives scene.

Surveys across the globe have shown that people are interested in exploring more plant-based foods across different categories.

To help consumers embrace a more plant-based diet, Nestlé has rolled out a number options across its wide range of food and beverages.

The company has already launched plant-based alternatives to dairy made from rice, oat, soy, coconut, pea and almonds across categories.

Examples include non-dairy ice cream, coffee creamers, rice- and oat-based drinks, pea-based beverages, a vegan condensed milk alternative, as well as a range of non-dairy cheese to complement plant-based burgers.

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