Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Authentically American

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Made In USAI’m old enough to remember when the words, Made in America, printed on the back of a label still meant something. It stood for both functional and innovative products made by caring United States labor.

Evening NewsNow I don’t have to watch the evening news to realize finding Made in America products has become a challenge. I tried to take a simple test this week to “buy American” and it was hard for me to identify eco-friendly, stylish items that are both beautiful and affordable and Made in America. There are still small, innovative companies, like Choclatique that are proving that job creation, manufacturing pride and technological innovation still allow U.S.-based companies to win the battle to survive in this challenging economy, but they are few and far between.

Manufacturing JobsMany people think only about price when making a purchase. They should also think about the quality of what they are buying and where it is manufactured… not only for the carbon footprint, but also to keep people employed in the United States. For the last 150 years, a factory job was an opportunity to step into the middle class—and to ensure opportunities for the next generation. In the past twenty years, we have let many manufacturing jobs slip away—shipped precious equipment and knowhow overseas neglecting to pass down the intellectual knowledge base to our offspring thus crippling our ability to preserve the manufacturing sector for future generations.

FordFinally, some of our leaders are starting to understand that this may very well be our undoing and they have begun a return to a somewhat ethnocentric view of purchasing items that are made in the USA, not only to preserve jobs and skills, but also to assure they’re purchasing quality products. The manufacturers must also continue their emphasis on quality and remain focused on being price-conscious as well. This is the only way to ensure that the manufacturing sector will begin to rebound.

Hot Fudge Sundae TruffleWhen we started Choclatique, one of our marketing group co-workers’ children was celebrating his 11th birthday with a box of Choclatique chocolate truffles. After eating Root Beer Float and Hot Fudge Sundae truffles he declared to his dad that these were Authentically American. First thing Monday morning, Tom came in with our new tag line thought up by his son.

Chocolate MoldsThese two words help us continue to execute our company mission. It became an imperative to buy as much Made in America products as possible. Choclatique’s procurement policy is to buy sustainable, American-made and sourced products. Obviously there is very little chocolate grown in the United States—just a few farms on the Hawaiian Islands. But all of our chocolate is processed right here in California along with all of our natural flavors, extracts and compounds. Double-faced satin ribbon is made in New England, molds are made in Buffalo. Everything chocolate we make is made right here in our California Chocolate Studios by professional artists and chocolatiers who are all American citizens or craftsmen and women with legal status to work in the United States. We are proud to be Americans and support the United States economy.

Chocolate ChipsLike this week’s blog above, I want to share an Authentically American easy-to-make recipe—No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares—that uses American Chocolate from Choclatique, Grape Jelly from Smucker’s and Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter made from US-grown peanuts. I hope you enjoy it.

The ChocolateDoctor’s No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter SquaresTotal Time: 45 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 24 squares

This is one of those habit forming Authentically American favorites that everyone remembers from their childhood—only better. It has a layer of creamy sweet peanut butter topped with jelly and a layer of chocolate. It is similar to those famous peanut butter cups you find in an orange wrapper, but with an added treat of the grape jelly. This recipe is quick and simple to make, requires no baking and is luscious and fulfilling every time.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) salted butter
2 cups creamy peanut butter (I prefer Skippy)
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup Concord grape jelly (I prefer Smucker’s)
2 cups (12 ounces) Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Melt 1/4 pound (1 stick) of the butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar and graham cracker crumbs. This will make a stiff dough for the base.
  2. Spread dough in a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Press down evenly. Next, evenly spread the jelly over the graham cracker base. Refrigerate while making the next steps.
  3. Melt remaining 1/4 pound (1 stick) of butter over low heat or in a microwave oven. Add the chocolate chips and continue to heat. When the chocolate is soft, stir gently. Continue heating until lumps are all melted. Stir, and then spread this mixture over the peanut butter layer.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then cut into squares. Store covered in the refrigerator.

If you’re interested in learning more about chocolate, its effects on the human body and improving your disposition, buy Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts. It is a great anytime gift and most importantly, the recipes make luscious tasting desserts perfectly the first time and every time thereafter. It is a foolproof guide to making all of your favorite desserts and improving your sweet disposition and those all around you.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor



Oreo Cookies

Thursday, July 21st, 2011
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Over 362 billion Oreo cookies have been sold since they were first introduced in 1912, making Oreo the best selling cookie of the 20th century. It is found on store shelves in the cookie aisle of super-markets, but it is also an important ingredient for ice creams, cheesecakes, pies, cakes, puddings, doughnuts and even the McDonald’s McFlurry, Dairy Queen’s Blizzard and the Domino’s Oreo Pizza. Oreos are even battered and deep fried at carnivals and county fairs.

But where did the Oreo get its moniker? A few years back, a TV-spot for the Got Milk? campaign showed a clever false etymology for the Oreo name. Some think Oreo comes from the Greek root for appetizing as in orexin or orexigenic (appetite stimulating) or anorexic (loss of appetite). There are other theories pointing to the origin of the name ‘Oreo’, including derivations from the French word ‘Or’, meaning gold (as early packaging was gold), or the Greek word ‘Oros’, meaning mountain or hill (as the original Oreo was mound shaped) or even the Greek word ‘Oreo’, meaning beautiful or nice. Wow, who would have thought that the Nabisco marketers would have gone back to Greek mythology for the name of something so all-American?

But as American as the Oreo is, it has also been introduced around the world. Oreo cookies were introduced to Chinese consumers in 1996 and sales gradually grew into the fast-growing Chinese biscuit. In 2006 the Oreo cookie became the best-selling biscuit in the People’s Republic of China, after altering its recipe to have a lower sugar content to suit local tastes. In 2004, Norway started selling Oreo cookies. It was welcomed by consumers, and is the top-selling cookie to young people. In 2005, the Norwegians stopped the importation of Oreos and started to make them in country.

In May 2008, Oreo cookies were repackaged and relaunched in the UK in the more popular British tube design with a multi-million pound advertising campaign centered on the catchphrase Twist, Lick and Dunk. Canadian Oreos contain coconut oil, giving them a different taste from the American counterpart. In 2011 Oreos hit Polish, Croatian and Indian markets.

Aside from good old regular cookies, Oreos have been produced in many different varieties since they were first introduced. This includes Mini, Double Stuf, Triple StufBerry Burst, Blizzard Crème, Golden (vanilla wafers), Fudgees, WaferStix, Chocolate Crème, Big Stuff, Double Delight, Cool Mint Creme, Peanut Butter Crème, Banana Split Crème, Fudge Covered, 100 Calorie Pack, Sugar-Free, Reduced Fat, Vend Pack and Dulce de Leche Oreos sold in Chile and Argentina. There are also special limited edition Halloween and Christmas Double Stuf Oreo cookies produced with colored frosting depicting the current holiday.

In 1990, comedian Weird Al” Yankovic wrote a tribute to the Oreo titled “The White Stuff,” a parody of the New Kids on the Block single ‘You Got It (The Right Stuff)’. The song focuses on the virtues of the crème filling inside an Oreo. That same year songwriter Lonnie Mack wrote a song titled “Oreo Cookie Blues” from his album Strike Like Lightning. The song is focused on how much Lonnie loves his Oreo cookies. In 2010, country singer Abi Lester recorded “Flaming Red,” a song on her She Dreams album, in which she sings about eating a whole box of Oreos in bed.

While I don’t think I can out-write “Weird Al” or out-sing Abi, I don’t think either one can hold a candle to my Screaming-Easy Oreo Cookie Chocolate Truffles. The recipe uses Choclatique Chocolate Chips for coating a center filling made from, you guessed it, Oreo cookies.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor


 

Now They’re Gunning for Tony the Tiger

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Tony the TigerIn my April 28th blog, Colorless Food—It’s Enough To Make You Blanch, I discussed the meddling members of the government (Republican and Democrat) who can’t resist sticking their big fat noses into areas they know nothing about. It’s insanity how they just can’t resist tinkering with our foods when they should be coming up with a balanced budget. These Dopes de Cuisine now have their sights set on none other than Tony the Tiger, the M&M Boys, the Girl Scouts of America, and the corner lot baseball team.

The government’s Food Gestapo is now staging an all out war on marketing to kids. Tony the Tiger, some NASCAR drivers and cookie-selling Girl Scouts may soon be out of jobs unless food manufacturers begin to reinvent their products to satisfy this administration’s food police. The word is out say several federal regulatory agencies; either retool your recipes to contain lower levels of sugar, sodium and fats, or no more advertising and marketing to children or teenagers.

It’s not just the usual suspected foods that are being targeted, such as Thin Mint cookies sold by scouts or M&Ms and Snickers, which sponsor cars in the Sprint Cup, but pretty much everything on the menu.

Although the intent of the guidelines is to combat childhood obesity—a laudable goal—foods that are low in calories and fat and that some consider healthy foods are also targets, including hot breakfast cereals such as oatmeal, pretzels, popcorn, nuts, yogurt, wheat bread, bagels, diet drinks, fruit juice, tea, bottled water and even milk.

Both Consumers and food industries’ executives are in an uproar over the joint proposal written by the Federal Trade Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The most disturbing aspect of this interagency working group is that after it imposes multibillions of dollars in restrictions and “suggested” changes on our foods, there is no evidence there will be any positive impact on the scourge of childhood obesity. The more you tell children they can’t have something, the more they want it. It’s kind of like this… what happens when I tell you not to think of the color red. What is the first color you think of?

The Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children, Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulation Efforts says it is voluntary, but industry officials say the intent is clear: Do it, or else.

Unemployment isn’t high enough? It’s not just the food industry that will be impacted. Television shows that depend on the advertising revenue will be affected, critics of the proposal say—at a cost of $5.8 trillion in marketing expenditures that support up to 20 million American jobs.

Here again the “rule” of unintended consequences is rearing its ugly head. This is the culinary corollary to “Are we spending too much or taxing too little?” — “Are we eating too much or exercising too little?” Mom was right, “Everything in moderation.”

If the food is not reformulated, no more ads or promotions on TV or radio, in print, on websites, or other digital advertising such as e-mail and text messaging, packaging, and point-of-purchase displays and other in-store marketing tools; product placement in movies, videos, video games, contests, sweepstakes, character licensing and toy branding; sponsorship of events including sport teams and individual athletes; and, philanthropic activity tied to branding opportunities will be affected. That also includes softball teams that are sponsored by food companies and school reading programs sponsored by restaurants.

The sad part is many of the foods targeted in the proposal are the same foods approved by the federal government for the WIC nutrition program for women, infants and children.

Chocolate is an indulgent treat. It has a certain amount of fat and sugar which gives chocolate its distinctive flavor and texture. While at Choclatique we use natural ingredients, if we were to remove the pure cane sugar grown in Hawaii and the cocoa butter processed in California, you might as well suck on a bitter chocolate stone.

These are decisions that parents should be making for their own kids. These should not be government decisions. Now I ask you, does this make any sense at all?

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor