For the love of chocolate

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and thousands of people are already on a mission to get their hands on their favourite chocolate slab, bar or luxury boxed collection.

What is it about chocolate that makes it so desirable? It starts long before we even taste it. According to Kees Beyers, Master Chocolatier and MD of Beyers Chocolates, “There is an automatic reaction that kicks in when you see an image of delicious chocolate. You start to imagine the fragrance, texture, taste and sensation of it melting on your tongue and filling your mouth with delight.”

Retailers tend to stock a wide variety of chocolate brands, but what makes a brand stand out is visually appealing packaging. A case in point is Beyers’ recently-launched premium Art of Chocolate range – designed to be an ‘experience’ as opposed to a mere purchase. Each box has striking packaging with an art theme, while inside, evocative names, descriptions of the chocolates and a mini story about Beyers complete the luxurious effect. The range comprises Heart of Chocolate, Fantasy of Fudge, and Shades of Dark.

The Art of Chocolate range is notable for its multiple textures and shapes and high percentage of natural ingredients such as honey, cocoa nibs, fruit fillings, and nuts. “It’s full of centre texture surprises and exciting toppings with the emphasis on fresh, healthy ingredients” says Barbara Queally, Business Development Manager at Beyers.

The demand for hand-crafted chocolate is increasing as is the demand for good quality dark chocolate – fuelled by evidence of the significant health benefits associated with consuming dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% and upwards. It seems the world’s favourite treat has anti-aging effects, reduces oxidative stress, regulates blood pressure, and is “choc-full” of antioxidants.

Beyers himself believes in a daily ‘dose’ of chocolate, “Three pieces a day puts a smile on my face. After all, happiness has a positive effect on health, and there’s no doubt that chocolate releases ‘happy chemicals’ in the brain.”

It takes between 12 and 18 months for the Beyers team to take a new product from concept to shelf, and keeping up with international trends is part of the process. The Product Development team regularly visits chocolate shows and conventions around the world, returning with information on the latest flavours and designs. It’s then a question of combining these world trends with South African elements to create the unique ‘’homegrown’’ products that Beyers Chocolates is known and appreciated for.

As the saying goes, ‘There’s no accounting for taste’. While South Africans like their chocolate to be on the sweet side – Europeans prefer less sweetness. Says Barbara Queally, Business Development Manager at Beyers, “Our Raspberry Revolution in the Art of Chocolate range combines the best of both worlds. It’s an elegant, bite sized cup of sweet and tart – the layers of raspberry jelly and white chocolate studded with raspberry pieces make it intriguing and supremely satisfying.”

Decisions as to which flavours, shapes and textures make the cut are never the responsibility of an individual at Beyers – it’s always a collective effort fuelled by shared passion. The process involves the Design, Marketing, Technical, and Commercial departments as well as a team of Chocolatiers who conduct taste profiling sessions to ensure that each product passes the stringent Beyers taste test.

The unfailing effort, care and love that the Beyers team puts into creating their chocolates is what keeps the brand at the top and earns it pride of place in stores around the country. It is also what keeps legions of chocolate fans returning for yet another taste of ‘Beyers Love’.

Visit the Beyers pop up shop in Cresta Shopping Centre or find Beyers chocolates at leading supermarkets and the factory shops in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

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