- Fortnum & Mason started selling ruby bars on Friday
- Nestle launched white chocolate more than 80 years ago
It is enough to make a confectionery mogul blush the brightest pink.
For Swiss giant Nestlé the much trumpeted –and vibrantly-coloured –ruby chocolate is the biggest thing to hit the chocolate market since blue Smarties.
And having launched white chocolate more than 80 years ago it might have felt it had the right to be first to introduce the variety to the UK – with a KitKat Ruby.
Making a splash: Demonstration of the production of KitKat Ruby bars at a press event in Hamburg
But the Queen’s grocer Fortnum & Mason has beaten it to the crunch by three days, launching its own ruby chocolate last Friday.
Fortnum’s chief executive Ewan Venters was cock-a-hoop this weekend after stealing a march on the opposition with the chocolate, which gets its pinkish hue from cocoa beans being picked at a certain moment.
Ruby chocolate KitKat: The bars will be launched next week
Stealing a march: The Fortnum and Mason ruby chocolate was launched before the Nestle version
‘It’s a proper David and Goliath story,’ he enthused. ‘The might of Nestlé and the tiny, but beautifully-proportioned Fortnum & Mason, who were able to get there first. We got wind that they were about to launch so we were able to move our launch forward. The response was phenomenal.’
Comedian David Walliams even texted Venter saying: ‘Who are you, Willy Wonka?’
Nestlé launched KitKat Ruby in Japan and South Korea earlier this year and a spokesman admitted that ‘it would have been nice’ to be first to launch in the UK.