Nestlé’s vegan KitKat is officially making a comeback in the UK – and this time, multiple other countries in Europe will enjoy its launch too.
The plant-based chocolate bar, called the KitKat V, features the same iconic wafers as the original, but uses a rice-based formula in place of dairy milk.
It took Nestlé two years to create the product, which has an 18 percent smaller carbon footprint than the original.
“Taste was a key factor when developing the plant-based chocolate for our new vegan KitKat,” Louise Barrett — head of the Nestlé Confectionery Product Technology Center in York, England — said last year, when the vegan version first debuted.
“We used our expertise in ingredients, together with a test and learn approach, to create a delicious vegan alternative to our original chocolate KitKat.”
The plant-based candy quickly proved popular, earning praise from high-profile names like Kim Kardashian. The celebrity told her then-229 million followers: “If anyone knows me, my favorite candy is a KitKat … You have no idea how happy this makes me.”
Despite its popularity, the KitKat was removed from UK supermarket shelves earlier this year. Until now, the company had not confirmed whether or not it would make a return.
Where is the vegan KitKat available?
But soon, the vegan KitKat will once again be available in the UK, as well as 14 other European countries. It’s not yet known where exactly the product will launch, but according to W&V, Germany is on the list.
It’s in Hamburg that mainstream production of the vegan KitKat is taking place, W&V reports. There, 800,000 vegan KitKats “roll off the assembly line everyday,” Maren Grisar, the production manager at the facility, told the publication. “This is the icing on the cake for the brand’s anniversary year in Hamburg,” Grisar added.
According to W&V, some German supermarkets will add the vegan KitKat to store shelves from September 22. Then, in January 2023, it will launch nationwide (including as a three-pack). Bloomberg reports that Nestlé will begin rolling out the KitKat V across Europe from Friday.
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The booming vegan chocolate market
The plant-based chocolate market has skyrocketed in recent years, and was valued at $532.7 million in 2022. It’s been predicted to reach $1.4 billion by the end of 2032.
The rise in popularity of dairy-free chocolate has coincided with the growing number of vegans across the world. In January of this year, more than 620,000 people signed up for the Veganuary challenge, up from 500,000 the year before.
It’s this rising interest in plant-based food that motivated the launch, suggests Corinne Gabler, Nestle’s Head of Confectionery for Europe. Gabler said to Bloomberg: “We have four in 10 consumers saying they are interested to move to a more plant-based diet.”
“It could be a significant market in the confectionery area.”
Nestle’s Global Head of Confectionery, Alexander von Maillot, echoed this sentiment last year. In a statement, he said: “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.”
“What better way to do that than offering a vegan version of one of our most famous and much-loved brands?”