Posts Tagged ‘NASFT’

Chocolate Tops List of Most-Popular Specialty Foods

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

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

Choclatique by Ed EngoronOn Tuesday, September 27th, Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts finally arrived at bookstores and websites around the world. Yes, I did say around the world. I found Choclatique (The Book) online in England, Gemany, Sweden, Spain, France, Italy, Japan and China. After three years of hard work that was really rewarding. Even more rewarding are the comments that we continually get about Choclatique Chocolate.

Sally FieldChocolate has always been popular, but now chocolate has knocked out coffee as the top specialty food purchase reported by consumers, according to a new report from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT). Or as Sally Field might say, “They love me! They really love me!”

Chill-Worthy Cherry from the Boo BoxAt the 5th Annual International Chocolate Salon held in Los Angeles last week, Choclatique was named The Most Gifted Chocolatier and Chocolate Maker for the second year in a row. Chocolate Sprinkles from the Designer Donuts CollectionWe sampled a variety of our newest truffles including Chocolate Martini from our new Retro Cocktail Collection, Dark Chocolate Sprinkles from our Designer Donut Collection. We treated guests to our Estate Chardonnay truffles from our Napa Valley Wine Chocolates, and some delightful Halloween ghosts from the Boo Box. Some of the most talked about confections at the show were our signature Dark Chocolate Caramel in Dark Chocolate and our most popular, best-selling Bubbly—Choclatique’s Champagne Truffle.

The growing popularity of gourmet chocolate comes as no surprise to me. The continued growth of well-made artisan chocolate has been steady even during difficult economic times.

chocolate heartsGreat economic challenges can be turned into big opportunities with products like artisanal chocolate, designer cheeses and creative condiments that have all become an integral part of the American culinary landscape. The exciting part is that today American artisan chocolatiers now rival the best of what Europe has to offer and it is exciting to see chocolate pushed to the top of the list ahead of coffee.

Seven years ago, Joan and I began the development of the Choclatique assortments; our only thought in mind was making the best damn chocolate in America. Our efforts have been rewarded with over 40 international awards. Last week not only were we named The Most Gifted Chocolatier, but we also received awards in the following categories:

  • Most Luxurious Chocolate Experience
  • Tower of Delight

  • Best Presentation & Packaging
  • Best Gift Set
  • Top Artisan Chocolatier
  • Most Artistic Designs
  • Best in Salon
  • Top Toffee in Salon
  • Best Milk Chocolate
  • Best Dark Chocolate Bar
  • Best Comfort Chocolate

Choclatique’s Chocolate Studios are located in West Los Angeles near the beach city of Santa Monica. We are a 7-year-old company selling chocolate online at www.Choclatique.com, Amazon and upscale retailers across the United States.

Remember to watch for ChocolateDoctor sightings (that’s me) in your area, as I am invited to appear on TV programs around the country to talk about chocolate, and be sure to check out Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Desserts found in bookstores around the world, Amazon, Walmart, Target and of course our website at www.Choclatique.com.

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The "Fancy Pants" of Food Shows

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

The New York Summer Fancy Foods Show

Fancy Food ShowSince 1955, the Fancy Food Shows, produced by the NASFT (The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) in both New York (summer) and California (winter) are North America’s largest specialty food and beverage marketplaces.

This is where roughly 24,000 attendees go to taste and consider new products including confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic, natural, organic and, of course, chocolate. This year, in New York, there were over 2,300 exhibitors—including Choclatique—from about 80 countries.

It is a place that retailers go to discover what’s new and innovative in the world of food and beverage products. These attendees come to see thousands of exhibitors from all over the globe. Most are passionate entrepreneurs like Joan and me who have created their own recipes and started their own companies. At this show you can learn about these trend-setting businesses and watch them sell to decision-makers as they showcase more than 250,000 innovative products.

The International Pavilions are very exciting, presenting exotic new specialty foods from all over the world—some seldom seen in the U.S. There are also dozens of seminars, workshops, tours, tastings, cooking classes and special events at each show.

This year Choclatique released 8 new products for consideration to the retail trade.

These included:

  • Moon Rocks Chocolate—celebrating the 40th anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon. With galactic flavors such as Apollo Almond and Cosmic Caramel Crunch, these delicious confections boldly go where no chocolate has gone before.
  • The Jewel Box Collection—rare and beautiful confections designed to represent the finely-crafted precious and semi-precious birthstones that have engaged mankind from the beginning of time.
  • Napa Valley Wine Chocolates—available in eight amazing varieties including Late Harvest Cabernet Chocolate, Fall Vineyard Merlot Chocolate, Estate Chardonnay Chocolate, Sparkling Blanc Chocolate, Old Oak Barrel-Aged Port Chocolate, First-Crush Fume Blanc Chocolate, Zinfandel Cuvée Chocolate, and Pretty in Pink “Blush” Chocolate.
  • Elephant—Seriously Strong Chocolate (76%)—mind-blowing in its complexity, rivaling many of the high percentage cacao chocolates from the European legacy chocolate makers. It’s comparable to chocolates with higher cacao content. Elephant Chocolate shows off Choclatique’s mastery of chocolate blending. It is a harmonious mélange of Criollo and Trinitario beans that brings out the light floral aromas of ripe cherry and the essence of raisin top notes. There are deep chocolate layers punctuated by the complex flavors of tart citrus, red fruit and roasted walnut and almond notes.
  • Peanut Brittle Bites—an abundance of U.S. grown, Spanish-style red-skin peanuts and a perfectly-cooked buttery sugar brittle.
  • Chocolate-Covered Peanut Brittle Bites—a twist on the original, with the addition of Choclatique’s Prestige Milk Chocolate (32%) coating, and crushed peanuts for a texture that is as great as the taste.
  • Chocolate-Almond Butter Toffee Bites—a blend of pure Hawaiian cane sugar, dairy-fresh butter and real vanilla all covered in our Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%), and sprinkled with ground, oven-roasted California almonds, toasted cocoa nibs and Saigon cinnamon.
  • Pure Power—100% Gluten-Free Power Bar—a delicious, high protein (9.5g) peanut bar that is chock-full of U.S.A. grown Virginia peanuts and all natural ingredients that are commonly found in your own pantry.

New York Summer 2009 Fancy Food Show

Joan Vieweger and Ed Engoron at the New York Summer Fancy Food Show 2009

We handed out nearly 5,000 pieces of chocolate over 3 days and talked to over 400 key retailer buyers, brokers and distributors, many of whom will now begin to carry Choclatique products.

So, now is the time to start planning your personal and corporate Christmas gifts—all the retail buyers are!

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