Premium ‘n Playful

There’s no law that says that good chocolate has to be deadly serious. Here’s a small sampling of an emerging crop of products with a sense of fun.
Playboy Chocolate.
You’ve heard of chocolate bunnies, of course, but how about chocolate bars decked out in wrappers that feature the iconic bow-tied Playboy bunny?
Such are the new Playboy Chocolate bars recently unveiled by Salem, Mass.-based Praim LLC, a licensing and private label chocolate company. Praim inked a three-year licensing deal for rights to the label “Playboy branded chocolate,” and the company is presenting the bars to retailers, focusing primarily on alternate channels, says W. Paul Pruett, CEO.
The 3.5-oz. milk and dark chocolate bars are designed to appeal to mainstream tastes; the milk chocolate bars are 34 percent cocoa; the dark chocolate, 55 percent cocoa. The suggested retail price range is $3.99 to $4.99, says Pruett.
And if you think you know who the bars are targeted to, think again. The primary target audience is not males, but women, says, Pruett, who describes the brand as “fun and flirty.” One bar carries the tag line, “I’m a girl … chocolate is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.”
Coco-luxe Confections
Just the product names for the three new chocolate bars from Sausalito, Calif.-based chocolatier Coco-luxe Confections convey a sense of fun.
There’s Monkey’in Around, which is milk chocolate with banana chips and cocoa nibs; Happy Trail, which is dark chocolate with an “upscale” trail mix of toasted pumpkin seeds, goji berries and a dash of sea salt; and Good Fortune, which is dark chocolate with candied ginger and fortune cookie pieces. Note that we said playful here, not inexpensive; the 2.5 oz. bars have a suggested retail price of $4.95.
In both the bars and its boxed chocolates line, Coco-luxe strives for formulations that are a bit sophisticated and exotic, but still familiar.
Theo Chocolate
Just because the folks at Theo chocolate are extremely serious about their pursuit of organic, Fair Trade Certified chocolate-making doesn’t mean they don’t have a playful side. Witness the whimsical wrapper designs on Theo’s line of 3400 Phinney Chocolates (named for the address of the chocolate factory.).
The 2-oz. bars have a suggested retail price of $3.29. Milk chocolate bar varieties include Vanilla, Coconut Curry and Chai Tea. Dark chocolate varieties include Bread & Chocolate, Nib Brittle and Coffee.
Chuao Chocolatier
You’ve heard about iPods no doubt, but how about ChocoPods? It’s the latest in premium, portion-controlled chocolate goodies, available from Carlsbad, Calif.-based Chuao Chocolatier, which describes the new treat as “slim but satisfying.”
The ChocoPod is an 11-gram chocolate bar shaped like a cacao pod with a filling that features flavors like passion fruit, picante, candela and strawberry. The compactly designed ChocoPod box contains six pods and has a suggested retail price of $4.95.