We have an amazing variety of products here at Lake Champlain Chocolates, from our truffles – the first product we ever created – to our bars, selection boxes, and Chocolates of Vermont, and a lot of it is popular. But we recently saw a listing of the Top Ten Chocolate Trends of 2012, and that made us think. What products do we have that have seen a lot of success in 2012? Here’s what we came up with:
One item that can always get a reaction from our customers is a novelty. Whether it’s a chocolate turkey, a spooky chocolate cat, or a more conventional chocolate Easter bunny or chocolate santa, the variety of novelty items we make and the specialized way in which we hand decorate every item shows in the oohs and aahs these get when customers pick them up in our stores.
We sell our chocolate through three channels: in our retail stores, online, and by distributing to various stores around the country. Our most popular product for these stores to stock is our bar, and our natural ingredients and high-class Belgian chocolate leave little wonder as to why. With delicious flavors such as Raspberry and Hazelnut Praline, there is a lot to choose from, but our top sellers are our 54% dark chocolate and our milk caramel.
Using a variety of different nuts, from almonds to pecans to macadamia nuts, we have created the perfect combination of caramel, chocolate and nut. In fact, since nuts are healthy, and chocolate isn’t bad for you either, our retail staff have been known to eat these clusters for breakfast. They consistently draw the eye of our customers in our retail stores, and demand is strong online as well!
We made our name with a truffle, and our truffles are still one of our hottest items. The ganache (the inside of our truffles), is handmade with – believe it or not – an egg beater, and there is literally one guy in our factory who makes all of our ganache, blending the Vermont butter and cream into our chocolate, and adding the appropriate flavorings. Our top selling flavors are Legendary Dark and Raspberry.
We may have started with truffles, but we broke new ground with our Five Star Bars. From mentions in books, to exclamations of pure joy when we give them out as samples on our factory tours, we know and love all five of our flavors. Our hazelnut and caramel bars, however, rule this category.
Our hot chocolate goes beyond the “just add water” variety. We create a creamy, smooth and delicious blend that has earned us a place on the Wall Street Journal’s Serious Hot Chocolate article. With a number of varieties, from Spicy Aztec to Mountain Mint, we have more than just liquidized our chocolate – we have created a new genre. Top sellers here include our traditional and our organic blends.
These were the second set of products we ever made, almost thirty years ago. There are four flavors, each representing a different Vermont season. With close ties to Vermont’s seasons and ingredients, these are big hits for gifts for out-of-state-ers or for anyone who just loves maple toffee, honey caramel, peppermint, and fruit and nuts in delicious chocolate. We sell them in a variety of forms, from gift bags to beautiful gift boxes.
In our stores, we will frequently have people come in and purchase a whole pound of this, probably because it is very difficult to stop eating after just one piece. The buttery-ness of the toffee topped with almonds that we grind ourselves and a little bit of saltiness all combine to make this an irresistible treat. That’s why we offer it as one of our items in our chocolate of the month clubs and it is why it retains the Bronze position on our top-ten list.
An all-American treat, it’s no wonder this has the Silver position on our list. We create the inside of our peanut butter cups by mixing peanuts with white chocolate into peanuty, sweet deliciousness, layered on the bottom and on top with our milk chocolate. Once you’ve have one of ours, you’ll never want to go back to any other kind!
We make all of our caramel in house, and it is truly delicious, and deserving of the Gold spot on our list. The salt on top of these chocolate-coated caramels cuts through the sweetness of the candy, and also helps you to explore all of the flavors within the caramel (that’s why we use salt in baking – it opens up other flavors.) It’s a winning combination, and, as anybody in our retail store can tell you, it means that we constantly have to restock the shelves with more!
That’s what we see as our top-ten, but that’s not all we do. Did we miss something you love? If so, let us know in the comments!