THE ESSENCE OF LUXURY

Nutella lovers rejoice as the giant of spread is saving Thornton British chocolate institution from a sticky patch!

Much has been discussed in the recent business press about Thornton's share price hike after Ferrero's offer.  Described by the BBC as "motel chocolat", Thornton and its reported tattered shops, crammed promotion shelves and wide distribution, has fallen out of grace with retail shoppers.

The fact that journalists comment mostly on Thornton's business model rather than its products made me wonder what defines up market or luxury. Is it the look of a shop?  Hotel Chocolat make theirs an "oasis" to make customers feel good about chocolate". But we don't eat shelving. Is it the distribution channels which equated rarity with quality? If that is so, lets all aspire to eat dodo. Is it clever packaging to make a present worthy? Call me old fashioned but luxury for me is based on the product itself, its taste and texture, its creativity and  how well and carefully it is made, how much love has been poured into it. How many journalists or analysts have actually tried Thornton versus Hotel Chocolat wares in a blind tasting? I would endeavour an answer: very few.

Perhaps I am missing the point as marketing seems to prevail over substance. Sure unclean floors are never acceptable in a store. Of course products should be displayed nicely. And packaging makes your eyes pop and your stomach growl with envy. But all of these can be engineered by clever marketing regardless of what is inside the product.

So here's my  guide to survive chocolate marketing spiel
1. Never trust what is written on pack: it is  there to make you buy.
2. Read ingredient labels - by law they have to be right.
3. Don't judge a book by its cover.
4. Taste taste and taste - taste buds don't lie!

As much others (those usually who try to sell me something) see Artisan du Chocolat as a brand, I see it as a promise and one that,  if upheld consistently, can allow our chocolates speak for themselves.

Have a summery chocolatey week
Miss Anne x

PS: if you need to cool off, i recommend our easy no churn salted caramel ice cream