Barry Callebaut has launched Caramel Aura, premium caramelized white chocolate solutions with no added flavors or colors, for customers in North America.

Created by caramelizing milk powder and sugar, Caramel Aura is available in bake-stable chips with 22% cacao content and easy-melts for panning, enrobing and moulding with 28% cacao content. Both options have 32% milk content, are Kosher dairy and made with sustainable cocoa. Along with its golden color, Caramel Aura features warm caramel and vanilla notes and a creamy, indulgent texture.

Caramel Aura joins Barry Callebaut’s existing offerings of naturally flavored and colored caramel compound coating and baking chips.

Laura Bergan, director of marketing for the Barry Callebaut brand in North America, said the company has been developing Caramel Aura for the last couple years, adding customers have been expressing interest in the well-loved caramel flavor profile.

“Caramel Aura is the easy product solution that will elevate and capture consumers’ interests,” she said. “We’re excited to see the industry expand their definition of indulgence and utilize our strategies to create products that provide indulgent experiences for everyone.”

Citing data from Mintel, Barry Callebaut noted caramel is the top flavor in North American product launches behind chocolate and unflavored options. It’s also No. 1 in seasonal chocolates, No. 4 in individually-wrapped chocolates and No. 5 in chocolate tablets.

During a BC Live presentation Tuesday, Chef Martin Diez offered demonstrations of how to use Caramel Aura, including truffles, filled tablet bars, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate-covered popcorn, panned hazelnuts and cookies. He also suggested a variety of possible flavor pairings such as dark chocolate, coffee, nuts, and fruits, including tangy and acidic citrus fruits.

As part of the launch, Barry Callebaut introduced its Indulgence Playbook, which offers confectioners, bakers and pastry chefs ideas and insights for innovating or renovating products to succeed in the premium indulgence space. The playbook highlights four areas: Flavor Forward, Classic with a Twist, Authenticity and Sustainability.

“Trends continuously change, but our search for indulgence remains a constant in our lives,” said Chiara Calcagnini, associate marketing manager, Barry Callebaut.

In addition to Caramel Aura, Barry Callebaut highlighted the use of Swiss chocolate to create a sense of authenticity and place. In a February 2017 survey, Barry Callebaut found 86 percent of U.S. consumers perceive Swiss chocolate as more premium than “standard chocolate.”

Barry Callebaut also pointed to its chocolate offerings that are sustainably sourced through its Cocoa Horizons program, noting sustainability underscores all of its strategic indulgence plays.