In the Dark: Promote Richer Chocolate and Reap Richer Profit

Dark chocolate is definitely in vogue as more Americans are discovering (and falling in love with) its deeper, richer flavor. Clasen's European Bakery in Middleton, Wisconsin is tapping the trend by marketing upscale chocolate products featuring more complex, gourmet flavors.

Clasen’s has introduced a number of new dark chocolate confections. But bakers don’t need to reinvent their product lines to capitalize on the dark chocolate trend. The bakery has achieved excellent success by simply enhancing some of its basic, proven formulas with dark chocolate to bring them up a level in quality. “We’ve adapted our popular walnut tartlet to come up with a new product that we hand-dip in dark chocolate,” says Michelle Clasen. The bakery is also dipping some of the larger cookies and tarts – a strategy that satisfies customers’ craving for dark chocolate with only minor adjustments to production.

Promoting dark chocolate has helped Clasen’s push new product sales. “It helps to educate customers on what’s good about chocolate,” Clasen says.  Her general manager, Tom Siewert, scours the media for articles touting the nutritional benefits of chocolate, then distributes bits and pieces of his research to customers.

The average American eats 11 pounds of chocolate a year. Finding new ways to incorporate dark chocolate into your baked goods can only increase sales and profits.