Paint it choc: Sulpice Chocolat enlists Chicago artists to enliven samely candy aisle

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Painting chocolate bars adds visual appeal other brands lack, claims Sulpice Chocolat
Painting chocolate bars adds visual appeal other brands lack, claims Sulpice Chocolat

Related tags Chocolate bars Candy bar Snack food Chocolate

Artisan chocolate manufacturer Sulpice Chocolat plans to launch a hand-painted chocolate line at the upcoming Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago.

The company’s founder and president Anne Shaeffer told ConfectioneryNews she had walked the aisles of a Whole Foods store a few years ago and thought many chocolate brands looked the same on shelf.

She thought painting the chocolate bars could add a visual component other brands lack.

Hand-painted chocolate bars

 “... We are going to be launching a new bar line which will be a collaboration between us and local artists that we are really excited about," ​she said.

Sulpice Chocolat’s claims the range are world’s first designer-painted chocolate bars. The products are also Fair Trade Certified.

Shaeffer said consumers often ask if the painted coloring affects the taste of the chocolate bars. It does not,”​ she said.  “Our flavors are infused throughout our bars. The coloring is an all-natural decoration (extracted from vegetable juice).”

Peanut Butter Bites

The company is also due to launch Peanut Butter Bites at May's Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago

The product is a one-to-two bite sweet snack in a stand-up pouch, said Shaeffer, which differs from Sulpice Chocolat’s current boxed chocolate bar

Sulpice Chocolat solely sells artisan chocolate bars, which are distributed to grocery stores in the Midwest, including Mariano’s and Kroger. Each bar is sold for $3.99.

“The new peanut butter bite will fill a real void in our portfolio,” ​said Shaeffer. “We love our bars, but adding a more typical snack product will allow for much more brand exposure and recognition.”

“[Peanut Butter Bites] is similar to a peanut butter cup but with a more intense peanut flavor and less sugar,”​ she said.

Crowded chocolate market

Sulpice Chocolat is still in the growth stage of its business, Shaeffer said, and its market share is difficult to determine.

“However, we do have some internal growth metrics we want to hit, especially with our new product,”​ she said. “We have spent a lot of time making sure that our infrastructure is set to meet those targets as smoothly as possible.”

Shaeffer said the US chocolate market is extremely crowded making it challenging for her business.

“The chocolate industry is obviously very competitive, both in the bar and snack space,”​ she said. “Our goal is to bring artisan-quality products to mainstream grocery while embracing a family-friendly and community-oriented outlook.”

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