Swiss cocoa maker Barry Callebaut will soon start offering customized and complex shaped chocolate pieces as the company has launched a program to 3D print chocolate under its decoration brand, Mona Lisa.
The Zurich company responsible for proving over 24% of chocolate consumed around the world had been known for trying to develop 3D printing strategies for making production scale chocolate pieces with exotic shapes. The company has found a breakthrough way to overcome the limiting factor in this operation, chocolate mixing, a process that could take hours and requires constant movement of the chocolate at specific temperatures.
Jordi Roca is a world-renown chef who has prepared and will feature some of his own 3D chocolate pieces at the Barry Callebaut launch event. One such piece called ‘Flor de Cacao’ represents a cocoa bean that opens up like a cacao flower when in contact with hot chocolate sauce.
Roca said in a prepared statement: “This new way of working with chocolate is going to take consumers by surprise, with previously unthinkable shapes produced at scale and with impressive precision.
“I am usually inspired by the things I can’t do as they represent a creative challenge — but now, thanks to Mona Lisa 3D Studio, I can take my chocolate craftsmanship to the next level. I can imagine any new kind of design and it comes to life.”
This new innovative announcement is crucial for the company’s grown and it comes at a much needed time. The company has witnessed stagnant levels of growth in the last three months to November, the said in a statement last month. And Lindt & Spruengli, another Swiss chocolatier, and confectionery company said it plans to close 50 stores in the U.S.
Other chocolate manufactures may join in on this technology through a partnership with Barry Callebaut. When asked whether large confectioners, including Nestlé and Mondelēz, will be mass-producing 3D chocolate through a partnership with Barry Callebaut, Pablo Perversi, Barry Callebaut’s innovation chief and sustainability and quality officer said: “Yes, why not? I think that will be the same roadmap of how we start off with the artisans … they will do differently than chefs, but they are still important to us.”
Barry Callebaut’s customers and partners will be able to create their own designs, shapes, and sizes, to be mass-produced using 3D printing. The final creations being suitable for use in desserts, confectionery, hot and sweet drinks.
Barry Callebaut believes this new innovation will bring added premium quality with fresh and unique experiences to their products in order to attract younger customers. The company also hopes these experiences will drive a self-sustaining media campaign about the experiences involved in consuming these products.
A recent Barry Callebaut survey revealed 70% of consumers wanted to try new chocolate experiences, and six out of 10 were willing to share it on social media.
“It’s all about Instagramability and experience,” Perversi said in the telephone interview. “We live in a world of personalization. People are increasingly creating their own trends, and our 3D printer provides a solution to that.”
The Zurich company makes chocolate for customers like Nestlé, Unilever and Hershey, whose names appear on the labels.