The company initially pointed to its ground-breaking work on sugar structure in 2016, then hinted new product development using its findings was imminent in its annual report, published on 13 March.
Nestlé said its researchers made a scientific breakthrough when they transformed the structure of sugar through a newly developed process using only natural ingredients.
Inspired by candy floss, experts created aerated, porous particles of sugar that dissolve more quickly in the mouth. This allows someone to perceive the same level of sweetness as before while consuming less sugar.
30% less sugar
With the help of the technology, Milkybar Wowsomes has 30% less sugar than similar chocolate products and contains no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colours or flavourings.
Milkybar Wowsomes’ primary ingredient is milk. It contains crispy oat cereal pieces, is a source of fibre and is gluten free. The range has products in several different sizes for different occasions. The largest sized bars are 18g and have 95 calories each.
Nestlé teams in Switzerland, the UK and the Czech Republic were working to deliver the breakthrough and turn it into a new confectionery product. Milkybar Wowsomes would appear in stores across the UK and Ireland in the coming weeks, the company said.
“It is with great pride that the UK and Ireland becomes the first market in the world to use this exciting technology to create such a great tasting confectionery product,” said Stefano Agostini, chief executive of Nestlé UK & Ireland.
“We have an unrivalled research and development network and the experts at our product technology centre in York have been instrumental in this breakthrough. Teams across our UK business and around the world have been working incredibly hard to make this launch a reality.”
60bn calories taken out
Agostini said Nestlé had announced earlier this month that it had taken out more than 60bn calories and 2.6bn teaspoons of sugar from across its food and drink portfolio in the last three years.
“A new product like Milkybar Wowsomes introduces greater choice and allows parents to treat their children with chocolate that tastes great but has less sugar,” he added. “We are demonstrating how we can, and will, contribute to a healthier future and that we take our public health responsibilities very seriously.”
Jas Scott de Martinville, global lead for Nestlé Confectionery Research & Development and head of Nestlé’s confectionery product technology centre in York, said: “The ambition behind Milkybar Wowsomes was enormous and it has been a real challenge for us to get to this stage.
“To create a confectionery product in just 12 months which has 30% less sugar than similar chocolate products and contains no artificial sweeteners is extraordinary. We have also made sure that our largest individually wrapped product contains 95 calories per bar.
“It is very rewarding to launch a great-tasting product, knowing all of the hard work that went into this development. We will continue our work and take this technology further so that we can deliver more confectionery products that taste great and are better for our consumers.”
Milkybar Wowsomes was an entirely new product under the Milkybar brand and would be available in single bars, multipacks and a stock-up bag with individually wrapped single pieces, said Nestlé.
It comes in two variants: white chocolate and a combined milk and white chocolate. Each piece is made of smooth white or white and milk chocolate and has a creamy-tasting centre containing crispy oat cereal pieces.
This was also the first time in Milkybar’s 81-year history that it had contained milk and white chocolate in the same bar, Nestlé said.
Milkybar Wowsomes will appear for sale in all major retailers across the UK and Ireland from next week, the company confirmed.