Communicating Chocolate Quality

craft chocolate quality

One of the tricky things for craft chocolate makers and retailers to convey to consumers is the experience of quality. Pretty much every chocolate company claims to have the highest quality chocolate made from the finest ingredients, so how do you differentiate your products and help people understand the true value (and higher price) of a genuinely exceptional bar? You can explain all of the things that create a quality experience, such as methods of production and the difference between ingredients, but the experience of tasting top level chocolate is difficult to convey with words. 

We would argue that an inherent characteristic of exceptional quality is that it’s difficult to explain. The best books, music, art or films are the ones that beautifully capture the complexity and nuance of life. When things are less complex and the different elements fit neatly into black and white boxes, they tend to be less moving. A great book should be impossible to describe – you can explain the plot, but it’s so much harder to convey the multitude of emotions it evokes.

This is part of the reason why most of us feel a deep love and connection with nature. The ever-changing vastness of it; the organic and ethereal aliveness – it reflects our experience of consciousness more accurately than anything manufactured. A sky full of moving clouds and light can effortlessly mirror the intangible moods we encounter. 

In relation to chocolate, this might all sound over the top, but it’s this experience we look for in a world-class chocolate bar. We want to discover a whirlwind of flavours that grow and morph like waves crashing on rocks. We want to lose ourselves in an endlessly nuanced flavour-orchestra; to see something new every time we look. It’s an experience that’s almost impossible to express with a few words on a wrapper, but people usually know it when they taste it. The flavour of cheap chocolate is almost always monotone and fleeting – the challenge for craft chocolate makers and retailers is to effectively communicate this difference to first-time buyers. 

The most effective way to do this in-store is to offer a sample of great chocolate, alongside some cheap and mass-produced chocolate. Ask the customer to focus on how the flavours develop over time, as the chocolate melts. Even total newcomers to craft chocolate will usually perceive the difference in quality. But if you can’t offer a taste – perhaps if you’re selling online – the challenge is to communicate this experience with images and words. It’s not easy, but with great design, photography and writing, it is possible. 

If you ever want to discuss this with us, be sure to get in touch.

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