Friday, July 11, 2008

Send Me A Sample

We love the samples that are sent to us, and often they do influence our buying choices for the store. But sometimes, not. We received these tea infused chocolates the other day. The package was cute, but hard, very hard to open. Of the four flavors I only liked one. So note to vendors...make sure you're sending something good!


hilary said...

Thanks for the feedback. I'm always surprised at how chocolate brings out very strong opinions in people. The four flavors we send represent one flavor in each of four types of chocolate (white, milk, dark and very dark). We'd be happy to send you samples of the other 8 flavors, in case you prefer them and also a real sized bar (much easier to open). Check out the literature we included and let me know. If you liked the pistachio green tea, you might also like the white chocolate with rosemary. What kind of chocolate do you like?

Marketing Director

Gfron1 said...

I almost missed this comment. First, thanks to the anonymity of the internet, any blabbermouth with an opinion can state theirs. Second, it takes real cajones to publicly respond to said blabbermouthity. So I applaud you for responding. The chocolate market has grown so much in recent years, and the amount of chocolate that is sent to us is overwhelming. As a result, unless the chocolate stands out, I quickly forget and move on to the next.

I also have to consider what I enjoy versus what I can sell. If I enjoy it, that doesn't necessarily suggest that I can sell it, and vice versa. Naturally, if I enjoy a product, I'll do much better selling it.

That's all the lead-in to...these chocolates were fine. And in fact, the artisanry (if that's a word) is apparent. I do enough playing with infused chocolates in my life that they didn't stand out to me. I much prefer the freshness of doing it myself. So, what would motivate me as a consumer to pick these off of a shelf with 30-50 other chocolates, many also infused with odds and ends? Packaging and price. What would make me buy it a second time? I enjoyed it. Tea infused chocolate is a hardsell period. I see these as gift basket chocolates - something nice to give to someone. But its not something that I would grab for myself. The texture is what I remember being not to my preference. The taste was fine. I just had Chocoa couverture recently, and absolutely hated the texture (I will never buy it again). These also had that somewhat unnatural texture. Possibly the other four varieties were different, but the overly creamy texture that leans more toward cocoa butter than chocolate (if you understand what I'm trying to say by that) is not the mouthfeel that I prefer.

So, that's my non-abbreviated review. Would I recommend them? Absolutely. There are folks who would love them. Would I buy them for myself? Probably not because of my preference for purity and freshness (meaning out of my kitchen). Would I stock them in the store? Don't ask me in the heat of summer during a bad economy.

None of these comments is meant in a mean-spirited way. I hope they are helpful.