The 6.35-ounce product is available for purchase on the company’s website, and in select grocery retail stores across the US including Earth Fare, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, NCG Co-op, New Seasons and Nugget Markets with a suggested retail price of $5.49 each.
US sales manager at Tony’s Chocolonely, Peter Zandee, told ConfectioneryNews the chocolate bar was designed to be more than a seasonal item.
He said consumers could find unequally divided chocolate pieces surrounding a large holiday tree that sits in the center of the bar. “They can enjoy the bar as-is or break out the tree and hang it as an ornament.”
Zandee added the unequally-sized pieces are meant to symbolize unfair practices and worker treatment in the chocolate industry, such as child labor – an issue that Tony’s Chocolonely was initially founded to address.
“[Tony’s Chocolonely] started in the Netherlands about 12 years ago by an investigative journalist while he was doing research on food issues including child labor on the cocoa farms in West Africa. Eventually, he ended up launching the brand, hoping to end child slavery,” Zandee said.
“We have now have become a large chocolate company in the Netherlands, growing from €2.45m ($2.89m) in our first year to €45m ($53m) in sales this fiscal year,” he added.
The rapid growth also prompted Tony’s Chocolonely to expand its international footprint, according to Zandee. “People love the chocolate and the packaging around the world,” he said. “We recently also started selling our products in Scandinavia, Belgium and some other European countries as well.”
The brand has experienced nearly 400% year-over-year growth since it was introduced to the US market two years ago, said Zandee. In 2016, it generated $2.5m in sales in the US alone.
Despite seasonal products only make up a small percentage of Tony’s Chocolonely’s overall sales, Zandee said, “they are a vehicle to get [our brand] on display in the store, and engage with consumers in a fun way.”
Tony’s Chocolonely is expected to grow 300% in 2018.