Press Release originally posted on Central Penn Business Journal
A new variety of chocolate called ‘ruby chocolate’ is making its way to the U.S., and Weaver Nut Company, Inc. will be among the first to sell it to chocolatiers.
Weaver Nut Co. Inc., a snack-food distributor based in Clay Township, Lancaster County, has been a long-time partner of Zurich, Switzerland-based chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut, the developer of the new chocolate.
Weaver Nut has been chosen as one of six distributors to sell the chocolate in the U.S. and will be the only distributor selling to small confectioners in the first wave of sales, with more distributors joining in the next two or three months.
Weaver Nut sells dried fruits, nuts, coffees and teas to thousands of retailers and ships millions of pounds of chocolate annually, primarily in the Midwest and Northeast, according to Vince Weaver, CFO and commodities buyer for Weaver Nut Co.
The company has 45 employees and operates from a warehouse in Clay Township. Weaver said the ruby chocolate is expected to be shipped to hundreds of customers this week.
“I think, for us, it is going to be more of a product that will help put us on the map for being a distributor that carries products that are unique,” Weaver said. “As a distributor, one of my purposes is to help my customers build their business and one of those ways is to find and make products their customers want.”
Ruby chocolate is being marketed as a fourth type of chocolate after white, milk and dark. The newcomer differs not only in its eye-catching pink color but also in its fruity, berry-like taste.
Weaver Nut Co. also expects to manufacture products with the new chocolate.
Weaver said that with a major chocolate manufacturer behind it, he has no doubt ruby chocolate will be a mainstream success. Callebaut has 60 plants worldwide and about $7 billion in annual sales.
“Callebaut has their hands in 40 to 50 percent of chocolate products eaten in the world,” he said. “They have quite a large scope of understanding in things about chocolate, so for them to put all this attention behind what they are calling a fourth chocolate, you know it isn’t just a fad.”