Making the sale – bacon chocolate bars…

Last week has been all about food!

I started with attending a local food festival with my co-worker featuring locally owned restaurants, and then I hit a chocolate festival. And it is my theory that every food can be made better with cheese and chocolate… these two events reminded me of this theory ;)

First, a most peculiar tasting experience happened at the local food festival… and I have tasted a lot of peculiar foods before… Chocolate covered bacon! It was weird. I do not recommend it.

But it did remind me of an execution of chocolate and bacon that I did enjoy… brought to us by Vosges.

Mo’s Bacon Bar, originally uploaded by Wananga.

“The Vosges Haut-Chocolat mission is to create a luxury chocolate experience rooted in a sensory journey of bringing about awareness to indigenous cultures through the exploration of spices, herbs, roots, flowers, fruits, nuts, chocolate and the obscure. We invite you to be aware and open to the many cultures, artists and theories of the world’s people, through the medium of chocolate. What better way to learn about a culture, person or object than through eating. If we can embrace the idea of trying something new such as the perplexing oddity of curry and chocolate, we just may come one step closer to bringing peace to the world through chocolate. One Love, One Chocolate.“

I had always thought that this was a great idea. I was first introduced to it by a fellow foodie, who is known in our circle as the cupcake queen… her blog explains all (link provided below).

I have personally visited two Vosges Haut Chocolat boutiques by now. And I truly enjoyed the shopping experience. The store is set up, so it lures you in, like any other good boutiques. Inside, you have the opportunity to sample the chocolate, which allows you to fall in love with flavors that you may not have thought you’d like. Also, the sales associates are most helpful in encourage you to try new flavors. (Think wine sales associates)

Vosges Haute Chocolat, originally uploaded by JamesTaft.

But, how does Vosges fare outside its wonderful boutiques?

I have recently seen it at a local European food boutique (and Vosges is not European, it’s Chicagoan.) But European is not the trick here… “boutique” is…

Once again, it’s useful to compare Vosges to wine… Vosges is not two-buck chuck. It is boutique and unique. It’s for someone who is seeking an experience with its chocolate… and it needs to be distributed in places where these people shop. It is understand what you are as a product, and making yourself available to people seeking such product. So far, Vosges have been a huge success in that regard!

Speaking of the free samples at Vosges and making your products available… there was many free chocolate samples to be had at the Chocolate festival… (no, there weren’t any Vosges… The festival was more family-centric than foodie-centric).

But, what was interesting was that there was one booth that did not have any products to sell. All it had was samples. They referred you to the store if you were interested in purchasing. Sadly, it was the best chocolate available at that fair, and you were not able to take home any of it. So, what do people do? Take home chocolate from the next booth that was selling their goods…

Now, just as I raved about the shopping experience at Vosges before, I’m sure that the shopping experience at this chocolate shop would be amazing. However, giving free samples only at a venue that encourages sales seems to be missing a great opportunity for an immediate sale and building a consumer base… While free samples build good will, it is forgettable in a setting such as a food festival. However, if you allow people to bring the product home, it gives them another opportunity to evaluate your product. If you have a good product, this is how you turn a sampler into a loyal customer.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is once again make your product available where your consumers are! If you have consumers at a festival – make it available for them to buy! Otherwise, don’t waste money setting up a booth there.  At the end of the day, no matter how good your product is, how great your shop is, it really doesn’t matter if there is not a sale at the end of the day…

Link – My friend’s blog:

One comment

  • And now you can save you’ve been to three of their stores. Still not a fan of the bacon chocolate, but I see your point about having goods for sale. It kinda falls into the \Duh\ category.

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