CHOCOLATE IS THE MOST

Affordable Luxury in SA

“Luxury will always be around, no matter what happens in the world.” – Carolina Herrera

The definition of luxury has many connotations and nuances, and it can mean different things to different people. What is the norm for some like eating out two days out of the week may be an experience for somebody else that is completely out of reach, too expensive and unthinkable!   Also, in somebody’s lifetime the concept of luxury can change many times.

In our minds a luxury usually involves a state of great comfort and abundance, and it refers to something that is not a necessity but a plus, a treat or an extravagance that usually has a higher-than-average price tag on it.

When it comes to food and drinks, luxury can refer to either a rare ingredient that is hard to find or a well-known food or drink in its highest-quality version. Beluga caviar, white Alba truffles and Kobe beef can be considered luxury foods, and a Don Julio Real Tequila or a good bottle of French Champagne or red wine.

These items are in the R500 price range and are the top quality in their categories. There is a luxury segment for any food and drink category you can think of! So, what about chocolate? Can chocolate be considered a luxurious food? Although hot chocolate started out as a beverage for the elite (both among Maya and Aztecs, and later among European aristocrats), chocolate had officially stopped being a luxury food in 1894 when the American company Hershey’s made the first mass-produced chocolate. Thanks to standardized and large-scale manufacturing processes, the Hershey’s brand turned chocolate into an affordable product that any social class could enjoy. This is what propelled the reputation of chocolate as an everyday, inexpensive and readily available food.

To this day, few people even know about the existence of a luxury segment in the chocolate industry. For example, many consumers believe chocolate bars with a price tag of R40.00 to already be luxurious, since we are so used to viewing chocolate as an extremely cheap treat.  Chocolate is used as an emotional tool to bribe our children into doing things, or as a treat to ourselves for a job well done.

However, It is only within the last fifteen years that chocolate’s reputation has changed in South Africa.  With the appearance of craft chocolate.   This chocolate was not considered luxurious for an expensive added ingredient or fancy packaging, but because it was made with the finest and most flavourful cocoa beans from around the world and we as South Africans started to appreciate items that were made by hand chocolate with a more Artisanal feel to them. This kind of chocolate, that is only getting more popular year after year, checks off all the characteristics of a luxury food.

The Reasons

1) High quality ingredients

Craft chocolate makers source fine cacao from the best producers in Africa, being extremely picky in their choices and adapting the chocolate making process to each peculiar origin. The raw cacao is paid up to 5 and even 10 times more than the average market price. This cacao is especially sought after for its exceptional genetics and care in the post-harvesting processes, a quite different choice from the bulk, bland and cheap cacao used by large-scale manufacturers. Any added ingredient is also attentively sourced based on quality and fine flavours.

2) Limited quantities available

The most luxurious chocolate in the world is crafted by family-owned and small-scale businesses that usually employ few people, operate from one single chocolate factory and make small batches of products at a time. Their quantities are extremely low and limited compared to mass-produced chocolate, making every creation truly unique. These companies sell limited editions, small batches and seasonal releases based on their creativity, often selling out and putting certain products on hold until they get their hands on their preferred raw materials again.

3) Minimal, slow and artisan process

You will find few machines and little automatization in the small factories of these artisans. A lot of human labour goes into this chocolate that requires the expertise, attention and care of a master chocolate maker for long hours. The chocolate making steps are kept to a minimum and the process is slow and steady to allow every ingredient to develop its best flavours. From hand sorting the cocoa beans to hand wrapping the finished bars, many steps of craft chocolate are the quintessence of craftsmanship and slow food.

4) Refined presentation

All luxury food is presented at its best in a packaging worth the price tag, and craft chocolate is no exception. With a large variety of mesmerizing styles, custom moulds and professional designs, craft chocolate packaging is a large part of the luxurious experience.

But how much does this luxury cost? Here comes the most surprising part: a craft chocolate bar from an internationally renowned and multiple-award winning brand can cost between R120.00 and R220 This is the best chocolate in the world we are talking about!

In South Africa we are looking at From R50 to R120 per 100g slab of crafted chocolate slab.

If many consumers will never be able to afford a sip of the most prestigious vintage wine, or a bite of the best variety of oysters in the world, a large plethora of chocoholics will be able to taste the best chocolate in South Africa or even the world at least once or several times in their lives.

In what other food or drink categories would you be given the chance to savour the best of the best for just a few hundred Rands? This is also why many professionals in the industry see craft chocolate as hugely underpriced for the huge amount of labour and high-quality ingredients that go into every creation.  Unfortunately, in my opinion South Africans are still not in the correct head space to accept chocolate at their correct prices, we were never taught that chocolate is something that is valuable, a creation to be revered.  We just grabbed that bar of chocolate, ripped off the wrapper and inhaled what we had in front of us.

So here is my personal suggestion: take advantage of the affordable price of craft chocolate now before a 70% vintage Madagascar dark chocolate bar becomes as expensive as a bottle of 1959 Dom P.

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Experience Add-ons

Riedel Glassware

Our gift boxes do not contain any glasses.
If you would like to add any glasses o your experience as gifts,
please have a look at our catalogue, make your choice and we
will add them to the box.

Truffle Gift Boxes

Create a VIP experience by adding a delicious chocolate gift
box.  Whether you’re looking for something small and delicate
or if you have something special in mind, please get in touch
with us.  Our team can make some lovely suggestions.

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No need to be concerned about feeding everyone,
you can order each guest one of our amazing grazing boxes
filled with cheeses, cold meats, a selection of fruits and some
delicious treats for those with a sweet tooth.

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