Conscious Holiday chocolate shopping

We are in such a hurry during the holiday season that we might not pay attention to what we are purchasing. We trust a quick look at the packaging, instead of taking a few moments to reflect: “Is what I am purchasing worth the money? Is this product as high quality as it claims to be? Am I being misled somehow?”.
Here are 3 claims that you should always question when shopping for chocolate, especially during this holiday season:

Artisanal/Handmade

These words evoke in us positive feelings: a product that has been made with love and care by the hands of a passionate professional that values quality over quantity. But how can a brand that sells billions of products in thousands of stores around the world use artisanal methods? Simple, it doesn’t.
Nowadays a brand needs to prove its “artisanality”: visit their website, check their social media, and realize for yourself the real scale of the brand you are looking at.

Premium/Excellence/Selection

Big chocolate manufacturers set the lowest possible standards for their everyday products just to create Premium, Excellence or Selection lines with the false illusion of offering better alternatives. When a chocolate bar costs $1 and is made with the cheapest possible ingredients, anything that is slightly better can then be part of an exclusive line.

But this doesn’t mean that the “premium” line is anything special or worth purchasing since the comparison is set on such low-quality standards.

Simple/Natural/Minimal ingredients

Chocolate is a complex food to make, but one that requires very few ingredients, with cacao and sugar being already enough for dark chocolate. Not using vegetable oils or artificial flavors should be expected, not rewarded. We shouldn’t be giving medal of honors to companies for doing the bare minimum. Notice also that these claims are in no way synonymous with quality: you can use few ingredients and they can still be cheap, low-quality and unethical.

Now you can enjoy a conscious Holiday shopping!

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