Lindt USA, actress and producer Ashley Tisdale, and online video content provider Maker Studios join together to create an exciting, new romantic comedy series: “It Started with HELLO.” This original digital series celebrates the national launch of Lindt HELLO, a sinfully delicious premium chocolate collection inspired by classic American treats. Created by Lindt in partnership with Maker, “It Started with HELLO” is an interactive series that captures couples as they make their first connections and encourages viewers to find out what happens after “hello” by choosing their own ending to each story. Chocolate lovers can get in on the action with a chance to win a variety of fun prizes through the Lindt HELLO Sweet Connections Sweepstakes.
The digital series, featuring a teaser and four short episodes inspired by the cheeky personalities of Lindt HELLO products, will live on Maker Studios’ fashion + beauty network, The Platform (youtube.com/theplatform). Tisdale brings her behind-the-camera expertise to “It Started with HELLO,” serving as producer for the first episode, reviewing scripts, wardrobe and set design, as well as lending her creativity on set in collaboration with Lindt Chocolate and Maker.
“‘It Started with HELLO’ is different from anything that I’ve ever worked on,” says Tisdale. “As a producer, I’m excited about creating unique content and sharing it with my fans through different platforms. I can’t wait to see the series come to life!”
Say “HELLO” to the Digital Series
Starting today, fans can preview “It Started with HELLO” by visiting youtube.com/theplatform for a first look at the series and to meet the cast. The first episode, produced by Tisdale, will premiere on September 18, 2014. Three additional new episodes will debut weekly through October 9, 2014.
Top digital talent, including Maker partners Chester See, Tessa Violet, Amy Pham and Lindsey Stirling, along with Mike Tompkins andRusty Clanton, star in the interactive program. “It Started with HELLO” episodes will showcase the first connections among different couples:
Consumers are encouraged to say “hello” to their favorite couples and join the conversation using the dedicated #ItStartedWithHELLO hashtag. Fans can also visit LindtHELLO.com to learn more about Lindt HELLO products and enter the Lindt HELLO Sweet Connections Sweepstakes daily for a chance to win weekly prizes, including spa getaways, shopping excursions, date nights for two and plenty of mouthwatering Lindt HELLO chocolate.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate the national launch of the Lindt HELLO collection in a fun, engaging way by sparking new connections among people,” says Danielle O’Neil, Vice President of Marketing, Lindt USA. “With Ashley Tisdale’s and Maker Studios’ involvement, ‘It Started with HELLO’ brings this playful collection to life in a unique way and involves fans within the conversation.”
Dave’s Gourmet has created a cookie butter that is so delicious, it makes almost anything taste just like grandma’s homemade oatmeal cookies – fresh from the oven. This all-natural spread is crafted from wholesome ingredients, giving it a mouthwatering flavor. Real oats mixed with the sweetness of brown sugar and the spice of cinnamon take everyone back to their childhoods.
Dave’s Gourmet’s Oatmeal Cookie Butter tastes just like oatmeal cookies, so you can give your toast, apple slices, cupcakes and virtually any other foods a comforting taste of home. You can even add this wonderful spread to your milkshakes and cheesecakes for added decadence. The thick creamy consistency makes it easy to spread on just about anything.
It is no surprise that you can also bake with Dave’s Gourmet’s Cookie Butter, using it to make crunchy Oatmeal Cookie Crisps. Dave’s Gourmet Oatmeal Cookie Butter is truly spreadable goodness.
Dave’s Gourmet Oatmeal Cookie Butter was a 2014 sofi™ finalist. For more information, contact Dave’s Gourmet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read about more sofi award winners here.
GODIVA Chocolatier has just launched its new Chef Inspirations – Flavors of the World limited edition chocolate collection nationwide. Curated by GODIVA’s international chefs, Flavors of the World is inspired by their culinary journeys across the globe, and the unique local ingredients they have encountered. The chocolates incorporate deliciously surprising flavor profiles to allow chocolate lovers to travel the world in six bites.
Developed by GODIVA’s Chef Chocolatiers stationed across the globe, Flavors of the World debuts six pieces incorporating GODIVA’s rich, Belgian chocolate with ingredients the chefs have come to love through their training and travels, such as Kuromitsu molasses from Japan (Japanese Dark Sugar Ganache) and Speculoos, a traditional Belgian cookie (Sirop de Liege with Speculoos). Other regions represented in the box include China (Black Tea Mousse and Sichuan Pepper), Brazil (Brazilian Coffee Nut Praline), United States (Honey Roasted Caramel) and South Africa (Banana and Caramelized Coconut).
“We are thrilled to showcase the expertise of our chefs with this new collection,” said Michelle Chin, Vice President, North America Marketing, GODIVA Chocolatier. “Our Chef Chocolatiers have made it possible for chocolate lovers everywhere to embark on an international flavor journey, and this limited edition collection is another example of our continued commitment to letting customers enjoy chocolate in entirely new and unexpected ways.”
This new chocolate collection demonstrates GODIVA’s ongoing mission to create and deliver new and exciting products that consumers can enjoy every day.
The Flavors of the World collection is available in eight ($18), 16 ($34) and 25 pieces ($50), and is available nationwide and online at www.GODIVA.com.
Kona Mountain Coffee, retailers of gourmet 100 percent Kona coffee from the company’s own farm in the official Kona Coffee District on the Big Island of Hawaii, is the winner of the Hawaii Coffee Association 2014 Cupping Competition for coffees from Kona, Hawaii. Kona Mountain had the top cupping score of all 42 entries from Kona’s finest coffee farms, once again earning a reputation as the ‘best of the best’ coffee from Kona.
“We have always believed,” said Bill Dwyer, President of Kona Mountain Coffee, LLC in Hawaii, “that it is not enough just to have the best Kona coffee and chocolates in the state of Hawaii. We also need to show the true spirit of aloha each time a visitor steps through our doors. That has always been our highest priority. Winning this cupping competition for gourmet Kona coffees makes our work even more fulfilling because it shows that we are really offering coffee lovers the ‘best of the best.’”
Kona Mountain Coffee retails estate and private reserve 100 percent Kona coffee at a visitor center on the highway from the Kona airport into Kailua Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the coffee is roasted and many of the company’s Hawaii gourmet chocolates and other treats are handmade. There are also two Kona Mountain stores on Oahu in Waikiki at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Rainbow Bazaar, and the Hilton Grand Waikikian. Call toll free at 1.888.432.3276 for information and directions.
At each location, Kona Mountain Coffee offers its own line of gourmet Hawaii chocolates, real Hawaiian macadamia nuts, an ever-changing rainbow of Hawaiian taste treats, and a unique range of other Hawaiian products that make Kona Mountain Coffee shops a must-see destination for all visitors to Hawaii. Farm tours of the Kona farm are available. Call 808.329.5005 for details.
President Bill Dwyer credits the success of Kona Mountain, both in the cupping competition and in the retail market, to the spectacular talents and amazing Spirit of Aloha of his senior management team: wife Stephanie Dwyer, Farm Manager & Master Roaster Mark Santiago, and Retail Operations Manager Mary Frostad.
Cyber-Thingy, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cyber Kiosk Solutions, Inc., has signed a master distribution agreement with specialty chocolate company MegaLoad. The agreement gives Cyber complete control of MegaLoad’s website for online sales and master distribution rights to all of its creative chocolate-based products.
Founded in 2010 and based in Hempstead, New York, MegaLoad is set to become one of most innovative chocolate brands in the world, according to Cyber-Thingy. The company is focused on creating unique, quality and delicious milk chocolate, peanut butter cup and caramel cup combinations with some of America’s favorite toppings. Its newest creation, the Sweet & Salty, is comprised of a milk chocolate peanut butter cup topped with a chocolate covered pretzel. Other popular treats include the Caramel Crunch, a milk chocolate-covered caramel-filled cup individually topped with peanut butter crunch, almond butter crunch, and milk chocolate minis, and the Original, a milk chocolate-covered peanut butter filled cup individually topped with milk chocolate minis, cream-filled sandwich cookie and chocolate chip cookie.
Cyber plans to initiate online sales of MegaLoad products through various large volume retail platforms such as Amazon, where it will set a 16 unit minimum. The company plans to use social media and SEO marketing to complement and drive traffic to retail sites.
On the distribution front, Cyber is focused on securing multiple large, specialty and independent distributors to carry the product and ensure its wide dispersion. Already, management has begun initiating contact with and sending samples to identified large distributors across the country, and expects to sign on multiple distributors in the forthcoming months.
Cyber Kiosk Solution’s Chief Operating Officer, Oren Manelis, commented, “We’re pleased to be afforded this opportunity to distribute such a unique, well-received chocolate product. I expect MegaLoad Chocolate to be the next big hit in the candy world due to its superior branding and great taste, and we will work hard alongside our future distributors to help make that happen.”
He added, “In addition to building our distributor network, we plan to create a flexible fundraising program for clubs, schools and sports teams nationwide to not only increase and diversify our revenue streams, but also and more importantly, to aid these groups in raising funds for their cause. We look forward to updating our fans, followers and shareholders as more of these initiatives come to fruition.”
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker recently launched an out-of-home advertising campaign in San Francisco that uniquely ties to social media. The campaign features everyday consumers as the stars, via 50 digital outdoor boards across the city.
Crafted from the world’s finest cacao, Scharffen Berger Chocolate includes incredible taste complexities and varietals from different parts of the globe. The “Wonderfully Complicated” ad campaign illustrates that, just like the people who enjoy it, fine artisanal chocolate is anything but simple – and neither can be described with just one word. They are both rich, multi-layered and complex.
“At Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, we think it’s time that artisanal chocolate proudly stood up for its depth and unique flavors. Our fans are taste explorers, people with palates that crave adventure as much as comfort and ‘Wonderfully Complicated’ brings this to life,” said Bernie Banas, Vice President for Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker. “Tying the campaign to social media and featuring chocolate lovers in the ads allows us to make a direct connection with them, celebrating that we are both one of life’s great pleasures that are proudly, boldly and always wonderfully complicated.”
The campaign features various creative executions produced by local San Francisco advertising agency, Camp + King, that celebrate the “wonderfully complicated” make-up of the chocolate and the personalities of the people who eat it; with lines such as “I am dark, spicy and mysterious,” or “I am sweet, salty and a little nutty,” among others. It’s an homage to both the taste profile of the bars and also the people who eat them.
What makes it unique? In addition to the five professionally executed ads, a slew of additional creative will appear featuring the people of San Francisco around the city.
Anyone can participate. They simply need to take a selfie, add #wonderfullycomplicated and share it publicly on Instagram. If chosen, their selfie – with a new headline made up of various adjectives – will pop up in rotation with the professionally executed creative on digital bus shelters around San Francisco and on Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker’s Facebook page, allowing consumers to turn selfies into a starring role in an advertising campaign.
According to research published by GlobalWebIndex in Jan. 2014, Instagram is the fastest growing social media site worldwide. The social media channel also aligns with the brand’s target – an educated, well-traveled woman who enjoys an active social, cultural, foodie life with her friends and family. Food is one of the most popular topics searched for and published on Instagram, and according to App Data, 68 percent of Instagram users are women.
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker also recently added four new, rich and distinctive chocolate bars to their line of products, creating some wonderfully complicated flavors with on-trend exotic ingredients. The four new bars include: 72% Cacao Signature Dark Chocolate, 33% Cacao Smooth Milk Chocolate, 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate with Pistachios and Sea Salt and 33% Cacao Milk Chocolate with Toasted Coconut and Macadamia.
If you’re a fan of snack mixes based on breakfast cereals and pretzels, but you’ve been thinking that snack mix just doesn’t seem decadent enough to serve your friends at your next party, Red Rocker Candy has a thought for you. Rocking Chair Mix is the company’s crunchy mix of cereals, pretzels and roasted almonds, all covered in white chocolate. Or, as one of my colleagues put it, “It’s not that unsatisfying yogurt coating.”
The letter that Jennifer Monges, a Manager at Red Rocker Candy, enclosed with the samples she sent our way says that the Rocking Chair Mix is often described as addictive, and Kitchenware News Associate Editor Amber Gallegos, the colleague who appreciated the white chocolate coating agrees. “Yeah, oh yeah,” she says. “Pretty bombalicious.” Rocking Chair Mix is offered in 7-ounce and 21-ounce cans.
Red Rocker Candy also offers Peppermint Bark from October through December. It’s a seasonal favorite that’s a feast for the eyes with white chocolate swirls and crushed peppermint candy on dark chocolate. The bark is sold in 8-ounce and 16-ounce boxes.
Cashew Toffee with White Chocolate is a classical buttery toffee topped with white chocolate and cashew bits. The company also offers Peanut Brittle and Pecan Brittle and promises that Pistachio Brittle will be available at the end of the year. The Cashew Toffee is offered in an 8-ounce bag and 16-ounce box. The brittles are offered in 8-ounce bags. Peanut Brittle also comes in a 16-ounce box, and Pecan Brittle comes in a 14-ounce box.
Red Rocker Candy was founded in 2002 and is based in Troy, Virginia. For more information, visit www.redrockercandy.com.
– Lorrie Baumann
Retail penetration of Torie & Howard’s organic, non GMO and kosher certified hard candy continues to expand nationally with placements in large specialty and other retail chains.
All four flavors of Torie & Howard’s candy in 2-ounce recyclable steel tins now have been placed in Tony’s Finer Food and Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Market in Illinois, Acme Fresh Markets in Ohio, and Coborn’s in Minnesota through KeHE Distributors of Romeoville, Ill., said Torie Burke, company co-founder. The tins also are in nine Roth’s Fresh Markets in Oregon through Crown Pacific Fine Foods of Kent, Wash.
In addition, the organic hard candy now is available in 200 Follett College Bookstores nationally, also through KeHE, and in Von Maur department stores in the Midwest as a direct sale, Burke said.
Torie & Howard organic hard candy flavors are California Pomegranate and Sweet Freestone Nectarine, Italian Tarocco Blood Orange & Wildflower Honey, D’Anjou Pear & Ceylon Cinnamon, and Pink Grapefruit & Tupelo Honey, which was named a sofi™ Award Finalist. The company also recently introduced a new flavor, Meyer Lemon & Raspberry, which will be available for shipment in early fall. All of the candy is USDA organic and kosher certified and contains no GMOs, preservatives, artificial dyes, casein, soy or gluten, Burke said.
The tins have a suggested retail price of $3.99 to $4.99 and are available eight per case with 12 cases to a master case. The four original flavors also are sold in bulk and are available in a handbag gift package with a suggested retail price of $7.99 to $8.99. More information is available by calling 1-888-826-9554 or online at www.TorieAndHoward.com.
Mrs. Prindable’s hand-selects extra-fancy apples based on crispiness, juiciness, and size. The Gourmet Jumbo Apples are an impressive 4.5 inches tall and 1.5 pounds. These enormous apples are available in eleven flavors and serve up to 10 people. While smaller than the Jumbo Apples, the Petite Apples are still sizeable at 3.5 inches tall and half a pound. These beauties are available in seven flavors and serve one or two people.
Each orchard-fresh premium apple is dipped by hand in creamy, smooth caramel cooked that same day. Then, depending on the flavor chosen, the apple is hand-rolled in the finest nuts and toppings. Gourmet caramel apples ordered from Mrs. Prindable’s are made to order to ensure freshness and are delivered without delay.
Natural Caramels combine the creamy caramel Mrs. Prindable’s is famous for with exotic flavor combinations to deliver a uniquely delicious bite-size indulgence. Each decadent treat offers a sophisticated visual experience in addition to satisfying caramel and chocolate cravings.
A Canadian chocolatier has made a big splash in Ireland and Ghana in recent months with her plans to open the first Fairtrade bean-to-bar factory in Ireland.
Allison Roberts, now a resident in Clonakilty, Ireland, started her first chocolate business at age 12 in King City, Ontario, Canada. In 2014 she was awarded a trip to Ghana as a Fairtrade representative and has since been on a mission to draw attention to, and create more business for Fairtrade cooperative farmers in Ghana, West Africa.
”The impact of Fairtrade in these rural communities is remarkable, we’re talking about the basics – introduction of water facilities, toilet blocks and schools,” Roberts explains. ”Fairtrade also provides education for farmers around crop rotation and safety and the Fairtrade premium nurtures the development of other industries such as batik or palm oil production in these areas of high unemployment. One of the major problems with the chocolate industry is widespread child-slavery,” she continues. ”Fairtrade means farmers get a fair price for their crops, ensuring no child is ever taken from their family or forced to give up education.”
Roberts has been running her business, Clonakilty Chocolate, for six years and is now the process of buying her first set of manufacturing machines with the ultimate goal to reproduce her Irish factory in Ghana so that Ghanian farmers are able to add value to their products. ”This is all part of a much bigger issue; there is an urgent need for a greater understanding around the impacts of food choices in the West. Large corporate control in the industry means we’re often not shown the reality behind the products we consume,” she said.
For more information and to watch videos from Ireland and Ghana visit www.clonakiltychocolate.com.