We used to the fact that mass-produced chocolate shouts how cheap it is and luxury chocolate prefer to keep silence why it is so expensive. But what about true cost of real chocolate that deserves to be called so?
At Hello Chocolate, however, we love to brake the rules, especially silent ones. We will tell you everything about why our chocolate costs what it costs. When we fist decided to start working with ethically-produced craft chocolate from around the world, we decided to follow three basic principles:
- We will always work with the best chocolate we can find which means: no chocolate made from industrial cacao mass supplied by big corporations where you can't trace the source or how it was produced (they usually skip the fermentation process and remove the flavour of cacao to make it predictably bitter); no such nonsense like “compound” chocolate, which simply means less cacao and more palm oil; no ingredients you can’t pronounce.
- We will always charge the price that will reflect fair value of the products, including enough profit for cacao growers, suppliers and chocolate makers, even if we go way above the price on shelves.
- We will avoid pricing chocolate as “luxury” or unnecessarily high and will protect our customers from makers that use this practice.
In truth, these principles are inextricably bound. But, while practically every business claims to subscribe to Principle 1, most of them are quicker to compromise on quality than they are to raise a price. We've learned that better food in general, and chocolate in particular, usually costs more money. (The inverse is not the case: more expensive chocolate doesn't necessarily taste better).
So we've chosen to price higher rather than compromise on the quality of our chocolate. Over the years we're proud that make a statement that we helped dozens of businesses to source better-tasting ingredients:
- better beans
- better sugar
- better milk powder
- better inclusions
- better... you get the idea.
Better ingredients really do make better chocolate. At the same time, we've tried to remember that while raising prices is a difficult thing to do, much of the industry operates under an unwritten guiding principle that "the customer can't tell the difference." If cacao prices go up, buy less expensive beans - "no one will notice." If high-quality milk powder is difficult to source, buy from convenient wholesalers of modified stuff -"who can tell?" Sorry guys, but as far as we are concerned, customers can and do tell the difference.
When we price a chocolate bar (or anything else we sell) for our online store, we do it according to algebraic formulas, not whim. We price according to widely-used formulas, that allow us to pay our creditors, pay our bills, payrolls, ourselves (yes, it's true) and stay in business to keep selling the best possible chocolate to our customers and members.
Most people find it hard to believe, but the reality of financial life is that the margins on our chocolate are 50-100% lower than the industry standards. Hardly anyone believes that, but it's the truth. If you run the study on the Hello Chocolate's costs you will be flabbergasted at how much more our chocolate costs compared to mass-market chocolate candies that flooded the shelves of conventional retail (online retail as well). Knowing the economy of chocolate-making, we have only one question. How can real chocolate be sold for less? Simple, really: less cacao, more palm oil, more artificial flavourants and preservatives, more sugar, more kids labour, less payments to farmers, skipping fermentation, more greed, less dedication and passion.
Now you really CAN taste the difference!