hf Chocolates supply fine quality chocolate and confectionery to the retail trade and others who wish to buy wholesale quantities. You can order from our Easter & Valentine's Day 2017 and 2016-17 All Year range on this website. Our 2017 Easter & Valentine's Day Brochure is now available for download.
If you are a logged in user, you can download PDF versions of all our brochures from our Brochures page, including our 2016 Christmas Brochure and 2016-17 Main Brochure, both with new prices effective from 22 August as well as our 2017 Easter & Valentine's Day Brochure. Our website is up to date with our full range of seasonal and all year products which can be ordered online, over the phone or by email.
If you would like copies of our brochures, please contact us and we will be happy to post them to you and email you a spreadsheet of the new prices.
We aspire to supply high quality chocolate that tastes great and is attractively packaged. Our wide selection of wholesale chocolates and sweets will give your confectionery range that little something extra.
Value & Quality
As chocolate wholesalers who offer good value and top standards for all your confectionery orders, you can source luxury wholesale chocolates, exceptional sweets or charming chocolate novelties from us at great prices.
Expert chocolate wholesalers: Fabulous confectionery to suit your business
We are a UK supplier specialising in confectionery products sourced from the more niche and independent manufacturers of wholesale chocolates and sweets. Our extensive range provides you with great quality at attractive prices.Read more
As specialist chocolate wholesalers we source our confectionery from manufacturers worldwide. With hf Chocolates you can access confectionery supplies from America, the Netherlands and Spain among others. We supply some of the best Italian, French, German and Belgian products to our customers and we also provide chocolates that are manufactured here in Britain. We very much believe that the high quality and sensitivity to the local market offered by these suppliers make buying British a superb option for confectionery businesses.
At hf Chocolates we consider our supplies to be that little bit special to give your business the edge in confectionery sales. Our product range is frequently refreshed to include different products to delight your customers. However this quirkiness never comes at the expense of the traditional favourites. We are a one-stop confectionery and chocolate wholesaler who can offer you a way to balance the new and the familiar confectionery products that you offer your customers.
We do everything in our power to make sure that your wholesale chocolate and sweet orders reach you in good condition. From allocated delivery slots, minimal handling and text message alerts, we do our utmost to protect your order while it is in transit.Read more
With years of experience in managing wholesale chocolate and sweet orders, we are well aware of the challenges presented by shipping such delicate products. Our warehouse staff are fully trained to handle your confectionery order with care and skill. The hf Chocolates premises is equipped with climate control features that enable us to keep all our products in the optimum industry storage conditions (16-18 degrees Celsius). Certain products that require even cooler environments, like nougat, are stored in a specially designed cool area.
Specialist Packing Area
In addition to storing products in optimum conditions, our packing facility has the capability to deal with your bespoke packaging requirements. We can design bespoke labels or put together pre-designed products that will give your confectionery displays the panache and individuality that will make you stand out from the crowd.
If you want your order (both large and small) to be packaged with your logo or to have your brand printed on the wrapping of certain lines of wholesale chocolates and sweets, please consult with our team at hf Chocolates and we will be delighted to help you out.
We are sweet and chocolate wholesalers who are committed to nurturing good relations with our clients by sharing with you the knowledge that we have amassed over the many years we have been in business. Our experienced team members offer their expert advice on what will help you sell more confectionery.Read more
To assist you to focus your efforts on selling your confectionery products, hf Chocolates' customer service and sales teams are committed to helping you succeed. With a buying team that is devoted to discovering those unique wholesale chocolates and confectionery that you covet at good prices, you can be sure that the orders you place with hf Chocolates will not disappoint your customers. Over many decades hf Chocolates has been serving the needs of its customers by giving them the support they need to maximise their profits by advising them on how to choose the best confectionery ranges.
The journey to become fine chocolate wholesalers began in 1957 when the founder Hans Flatauer (whose initials are remembered today in our brand name hf Chocolates), started to sell the chocolate novelties that were so loved in Germany to the UK consumer.
Over the decades hf Chocolates has evolved and grown to become a wholesale chocolate company on whom our retail and trade customers depend for the confectionery that satisfies and inspires their own customers.
Storing Chocolate in Summer Conditions
Summer may mean carefree holidays for school children, but for chocolate vendors hot weather and humidity can spell ruin for highly delicate products.
Summer weather means any number of wonderful things: sunbathing on the beach, shorts and sandals, sleeping with the windows wide open, and the like. But while summer puts many of us in a dreamy mood, for anyone in the chocolate trade, warm weather can be a major headache.
A Delicate Product
Chocolate is beloved the world over for its creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture. But those same qualities that make it such a delight to eat can also make it a huge liability once temperatures rise. If you’ve ever left a chocolate bar on the top shelf of your cupboard in July, you know what we mean. A little heat and humidity can render chocolate bars squidgy and shapeless. And if you’ve left chocolate in the backseat of your car on a hot day, you might as well forget about it.
For chocolate suppliers and vendors, these aren’t just sticky inconveniences – they’re a real business problem. Repeated heating and cooling can throw off the organised structure of cocoa butter crystals that keep chocolate in temper. When chocolate goes out of temper due to excessive heat or humidity, it can be rendered cloudy and grainy in appearance and texture – and hence not suited for sale. So if you’ve got chocolate in stock this summer, it’s worth double-checking and triple-checking that your storage conditions are just right.
In order to keep your chocolate supplies in tip-top shape, you should maintain dry, dark conditions. It may be tempting to put your chocolate display front and centre by the shop window, but you may end up with a sticky puddle instead of a product.
As a rule of thumb, you should never store your chocolate in a refrigerator, as the humidity can cause unsightly fat and sugar bloom on the surface. However, if your premises are not air conditioned and you need to refrigerate your product in order to keep it from getting soft, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to lock out the moisture. Do advise your customer not to eat the chocolate until it has come to room temperature – otherwise he or she will be missing out on the full aroma and flavour experience.
Lastly, keep an eye on your chocolate timeline and check the ‘Best Before’ date on the chocolate. After that point, the product begins to break down and will not be nearly as fresh of flavourful as it once was – though it is still perfectly safe to consume.
By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure your entire stock makes it through the summer. For more advice on how to store and care for delicate chocolate products, contact a member of our team who will be happy to assist you.
Chocolate with a Mediterranean Flair
You might not associate the Mediterranean region with chocolate, but one of our newest manufacturers is aiming to change that with help from the delicious Marcona almond.
For many of our manufacturers, chocolate is a canvas on which to express ideas and passions. From our fair-trade brands working to give cacao farmers their due to our novelty products that bring a little whimsy into your life, the products in our selection acknowledge that everyone’s favourite treat is endlessly innovative. In keeping with that, we’re thrilled to now stock products from Mi & Cu Gourmet, a company which aims to share its passion for the Mediterranean with the world.
When you think about chocolate, your mind might jump to the great cacao plantations of South America and Africa, or maybe to the fine confections made in Switzerland or Belgium. It’s less likely, however, that you’d associate it with the Mediterranean – seemingly the land of olive oil, wine, and pasta.
However, Mi & Cu Gourmet (based in the coastal city of Barcelona, Spain) is aiming to bring its passion for the Mediterranean to the upscale chocolate world. Their range of products is branded under the name Mircus, and at hf Chocolates we are excited to add them to our expanding catalogue.
Key Ingredient: The Wonderful Marcona Almond
The fusion Mi & Cu Gourmet seeks between chocolate and the Mediterranean is accomplished through a key ingredient in the regional diet: the Marcona almond. You’re probably acquainted with almonds from California and Australia, which form the bulk of world supply, but the Marcona almond is a Spanish staple that is quickly gaining in international popularity. Shorter, rounder, sweeter, and more delicate than traditional almonds, Marcona almonds are traditionally served lightly fried in oil or alongside Spanish cheeses.
Marcona Almonds Meet Chocolate
Chocolate-covered almonds are a mainstay in the confectionery world, but Mi & Cu really takes it to the next level. Their Marcona almond creations are available coated in dark and milk chocolate, gianduja, praline, and even strawberry yoghurt! Other products include Mi & Cu’s ‘stones’, coated almonds made to look like beach pebbles you might find on a Mediterranean shore. Luscious, eye-pleasing, and undeniably addictive, these bite-sized confections pack a whole lot of indulgence into a small morsel. If you’re intrigued about the possibility of stocking some of our newest products, get in touch with us and ask about Mi & Cu Gourmet.
Chocolate for Men
If your customers think chocolate is a woman’s world, they should think again. One of our newest brands excels at making sweet treats especially for men. .
When it comes to selling chocolate, women are often the target audience for vendors and retailers. All you need to do is glance at a Valentine’s Day chocolate display – all pink heart and flowers – to confirm this.
This is not to say that men do not enjoy chocolate (because really, what’s not to love?) But the fact of the matter is that much of the chocolate industry is geared toward selling to women.
But one of our newest brands is changing all that. If you’re looking to get a man’s attention, you might be interested in some of the new products we have in stock.
Chocolate and Gender
Think about how many times you’ve seen chocolate advertised on television and in print. Many of these ads feature women indulging in a chocolate treat as she lounges in silk pyjamas, giving into a moment of pure luxury. In these advertisements, chocolate is depicted as a ladies-only indulgence. Reinforcing the special women-and-chocolate relationship is the persistent Victorian custom of men giving sweets as gifts to a wife or lover.
But do women really enjoy chocolate more than men? Not by much, according to a UK study by research group Mintel, which revealed that 91% of women admit to eating chocolate, with men close behind at 87%. Clearly, the market for chocolate is strong among men. Retailers can give themselves a better chance with products aimed specifically at men.
Schokolat: Changing the Game
We’re excited to welcome products from UK manufacturer Schokolat to our wide and varied catalogue. Schokolat specialises in chocolate novelties so realistic that you might need to take a bite just to confirm that yes, that hammer really is edible! The company is particularly clever with its chocolate gifts aimed specifically at men. From the aforementioned chocolate hammers to edible horseshoes, nuts and bolts, pliers, pocket knives, wrenches, and chisels, Schokolat has assembled a whole chocolate tool kit. For men with both a sweet tooth and a handy DIY attitude, these unbelievably realistic chocolate tools are bound to be a hit with the guys.
The company also produces more traditionally romantic chocolate gifts, such as heart-shaped padlocks and keys, lucky horseshoes, and a very cheeky pair of chocolate handcuffs.
If you’re looking to cater to more masculine tastes with your chocolate selection, it’s well worth perusing the new products we’re stocking from Schokolat. Alternatively, get in touch with a member of our team to ask about our new and exciting options.
Italian Luxury: The Velvety Appeal of Gianduja
Rich, creamy, and distinctively hazelnutty, the Italian delicacy gianduja is a taste of real luxury. But what’s behind this confection’s unique appeal?
You’re probably familiar with a lot of Italy’s sweet culinary contributions: tiramisu, gelato, cannoli, and the like. But here at hf Chocolates, we’ve got a soft spot for a lesser known delicacy – gianduja
A Nutty, Chocolaty Delight
Gianduja, (pronounced Jan-DOO-yuh) is a sweet spread of chocolate and hazelnut paste. Like many great creations, its invention was something of an accident. During Napoleon’s rule in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Mediterranean was under blockade by the British navy, making it immensely difficult for Italy to receive supplies.
One chocolatier, Michele Prochet, had a solution. He stretched his chocolate supply by mixing it with ground hazelnuts from the Piedmont region, of which Turin is the capital. Gianduja was born. Later, the confection would spawn gianduiotti, a hazelnut-chocolate Turin speciality shaped like tiny upside-down boats.
Maybe the mention of a chocolate-hazelnut spread has brought to mind Nutella, that chocolaty spread that features on many a European breakfast table. True, Nutella was once called pasta gianduja, but today its chief ingredients are sugar and palm oil. Gianduja is the real deal. Rich and luxurious, about a third of its mass comes from pure hazelnut paste. It may be sold in solid or spreadable form, and is often used as a filling.
We are proud to stock two gianduja from two manufacturers that hail from the Piedmont region, the birthplace of this Italian delight. Venchi has been making Italian confectionery for over 120 years, and specialise in confections that include the famous Piedmont hazelnuts. We’ve fallen head over heels for their gianduja bar studded with whole hazelnuts. Another Piedmontese producer, La Suissa lso excels at working with this sweet and nutty substance moulded in the traditional shape. Their gianduja-filled chocolate Santas, snowmen and stars have become a favourite during the Christmas season. Their gianduja-filled hearts are a perfect gift for a loved one so make sure you stock your shelves with them around Valentine’s Day. If you’re keen to sample this Italian specialty, give us a call to ask about these special products.
Chocolate as an Artistic Medium
Chocolate is an infinitely mouldable treat – the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating moulded and coloured novelties. But how do manufacturers produce chocolate masterpieces?
Over the years we have never ceased to be impressed by those who treat chocolate as an art form. From inspiring flavours to skilled craftsmanship, we see true creative flair in chocolate-making. Some of our manufacturers are literally raising the bar when it comes to artistic chocolates. With new technologies expanding the possibilities of appearance and shape, we’re seeing some astounding chocolate masterpieces.
From the classic chocolate coin to chocolate animals, there are plenty of moulded chocolates to delight old and young alike. Confiserie Weibler makes a wide range of beautifully and precisely decorated moulded novelties that are excellent gifting options.
Weibler milk chocolate lollies are as fun to look at as they are to eat, while the milk chocolate smartphone will give anyone a chuckle. We also have a new range of chocolate reliefs, featuring shapes of steam trains, vintage cars and motorbikes each in a beautifully illustrated gift box. Whether you want to display them or eat them straightaway, they are certainly a talking point.
New technologies are making it easier than ever to colour chocolate without compromising on flavour. New food dyes in powdered or gel form eliminate the risk of causing chocolate to seize with water-based dyes.
Obviously, white chocolate provides the best canvas for dyes to have an effect. Again, Confiserie Weibler has used the new dyes to great effect in combination with printing software that can produce true and vivid colours. Weibler’s bright red chocolate Santas and yellow Easter ducklings never fail to enchant us.
In 2011, the University of Exeter caused a stir when they announced the development of a 3D chocolate printer. While it may be a while before manufacturers are using such technology, the next best thing is readily available.
Printers that transfer design onto a flat sheet of chocolate are regularly used commercially. Using edible inks, chocolate printers can render stunning, personalised designs on tempered chocolate. Confiserie Weibler uses a décor of sugar, cocoa butter, and food dyes to render its designs, which range from personalised messages to printed chocolate playing cards!
If you’re captivated by chocolate’s artistic side, get in touch with us or browse through the ‘Fun Chocolate’ tab on our website to see what we can do for you.
Best of Both Worlds: Dark Milk Chocolate
Milk chocolate often gets a bad rap for being less refined than its darker cousins – but quality milk chocolates are on the rise, especially those on the dark side!
As experienced veterans in the wholesale chocolates business, we’re well acquainted with chocolate partisans. Some of our customers prefer the bold, fruity undertones of dark chocolate, while others swear by the creamy texture of milk chocolate. Those in the former camp believe that the dark stuff provides a more sophisticated and nuanced flavour experience, and may look down their noses at milk chocolate as lacking in complexity. But those of the latter persuasion tout milk chocolate’s velvety smoothness on the tongue, and may find the dark version to be too bitter.Who is right? Of course, we don’t take sides, and provide a range of wholesale chocolates to suit any and all tastes. But lately we’ve noticed a growing trend – one that just might bring dark and milk lovers to a state of compromise
Dark Milk Chocolate: Meeting in the Middle
As ever-darker chocolates continue to rise in popularity – partly attributable to the antioxidant and other health benefits contained in cocoa – milk chocolate has benefited something of a makeover. Dark milk chocolates, with their high cocoa content and creamy richness, have burst onto the scene as a tasty midpoint.
Most commercial-grade chocolate bars you buy at the corner store have a cocoa content of less than 30% (in other countries, it may be even less). But dark milk chocolates are changing the long-held belief that milk chocolate is overly sweet and mostly for children. This new breed is all grown up, with cocoa content ranging well into the 50% range. With its melt-in-your-mouth-texture and complex cocoa notes, dark milk chocolate is the perfect way to meet in the middle..
Many of our favourite manufacturers who we use to supply wholesale chocolates have added dark milk chocolates to their line-up. At the lighter end, try Dolphin’s 38% milk chocolate. Or, for an interesting twist, consider Meybona’s 36% milk bar studded with cacao nibs – a fantastic blend of sweet, bitter, and fruity.
Towards the dark end of the spectrum you’ll find Madécasse and Willie’s Cacao, both of which produce sublime 44% dark milk chocolate bars. For even deeper flavour, there’s Willie’s Cacao new “Milk of the Stars” made from Indonesian 54% intense milk chocolate and Montezuma’s organic 54% ‘Milk On the Dark Side’ bar.
Any of these delicious bars will delight customers looking for a halfway point between sweet and bitter. If you’d like some advice on how to stock, market, and sell dark milk chocolate, get in touch with a member of our team who will be glad to assist you.
How to get your Vitamins and enjoy them
Customers increasingly want and expect more from their sweets. Find out how you can deliver them both great taste and a healthy dose of vitamins!
It’s one of the most constant refrains in the world of nutrition: get your vitamins! From A to K, vitamins are essential for growth and nutrition – especially since the human body can’t make these compounds on its own. Responsible for everything from disease immunity to cell regeneration, vitamins are the behind-the-scenes powerhouse that keeps everything ticking. The more we learn about vitamins, the more we look for new and better ways to get them. To meet this demand, some manufacturers are getting creative with products that are not only nutritious, but downright tempting
Vitamins on a Stick
If you’re looking to draw customers who are health-conscious with a sweet tooth, YumEarth’s vitamin-filled lollipops strike a perfect balance. Founded by two fathers dedicated to giving their families ‘delicious, honest foods’, YumEarth has gained international recognition for their great-tasting all-natural treats. Their organic lollipops, which come in enticing flavours such as Perfectly Peach, Strawberry Smash, and Mango Tango, are made with real fruit juice and contain 100% of your daily Vitamin C needs. The lollipops are also available in a 300% Vitamin C version.
YumEarth’s other products include Pomegranate Pucker fruit drops and Anti-OxiFruits drops, which are loaded with antioxidant compounds as well as another dose of Vitamin C. Though these products were created with kids in mind, you might well find that your adult customers will buy them for themselves too!
You might also want to check out our new range of sugar free mints from fréshactive. Each flavour is selected for its positive health benefits and includes açai berry, acerola cherry, aronia berry, eucalyptus and honey.
A Changing Market
The modern consumer is increasingly health-conscious, so it’s a good idea to diversify your stock to appeal to those who give labels a little extra scrutiny. Organic, nutrition-focused manufacturers like YumEarth are growing fast in the confectionery world, so you’ll have plenty of delicious and nutritious products from which to choose. Need some assistance navigating the changing market? Give us a call and we’ll be happy to offer some guidance.
The Milk Chocolate Phenomenon
During its relatively short history, milk chocolate has come to dominate the retail and wholesale chocolate market. But how did the addition of just one ingredient launch a phenomenon?Read more
There’s no question about it – Britons love chocolate. They eat an estimated 660,900 tonnes of it per year, an average of 11kg per person per year. Much of this total is likely to be milk chocolate. When you consider that milk chocolate has only been in existence for 140 years of chocolate’s four-millennium history, its rise to international fame seems absolutely astounding.We at hf Chocolates have long been aware of milk chocolate’s overwhelming popularity in the wholesale chocolate market.
An Ancient Drink: A New Food
Chocolate was first consumed as a liquid drink by the Mesoamerican cultures and then in Europe, not making the leap to solid form until 1847 when Joseph Fry made the first chocolate bar from cocoa powder, sugar and cocoa butter. Though it would have been grainy and bitter by today’s standards, it was a revolution.
Do You Take Milk?
Thirty years later, a Swiss chocolate manufacturer named Daniel Peter added milk to his recipe, thus making the first milk chocolate bar. It took Peter a little time to get his formula just right. Water is chocolate’s eternal enemy, and milk contains a huge amount that causes chocolate to seize – that is, to curdle into a grainy, stiff mess.
Peter’s recipe was rescued by Henri Nestlé, who helped to found the food and beverage company that now bears his name. Peter added Nestlé’s powdered milk to his chocolate mixture, and milk chocolate was born.
Modern Milk Chocolate
Our chocolate novelties are all made from high quality milk chocolate – Storz foiled figures taste every bit as good as they look, containing 33% min. cocoa solids and 26% min. milk solids.
We believe that milk chocolate is an ideal product for a bit of flavour experimentation, and we have added a selection of manufacturers to our wholesale chocolate range who have perfected an innovative twist on this old favourite. Dolfin bars are true gourmet inventions with milk bar flavours which include Moroccan Apricot and Indian Masala Chai. Simon Cóll almond bar contains 20% almonds, roasted to perfection, and perfectly balanced with the milk chocolate. Montezuma’s Milk on the Dark Side bar and Willie’s Cacao Milk of the Stars bar from our new 2016-17 brochure, both with a 54% cocoa content, make for deeper, more mature milk chocolate than one normally tastes.
The Rise of Dark Chocolate
In the chocolate world, the mood is darkening. Smooth and luxurious, varied and complex, dark chocolate is increasingly stealing the show in retail and wholesale chocolateRead more
In corner shops and wholesale chocolate warehouses across the country, Britain’s favourite treat is increasingly indulging its dark side. Though milk chocolate still reigns supreme according to industry reports, dark chocolate is rising in popularity among true cocoa fanatics.Dark chocolate’s rise is attributable to two separate but related trends: the popularity of ‘superfoods’ and the rise of chocolate connoisseurship.
Dark Chocolate: The Newest Health Craze?
Over the past few years, several studies have suggested that chocolate may carry significant health benefits, with some even claiming that everyone’s favourite treat deserves the status of ‘superfood.’ Researchers have found that chocolate does contain helpful plant compounds called flavonoids, which have been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce blood clots. Chocolate is also rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, along with being an excellent source of healthy fats. These findings have caused skyrocketing sales of the dark stuff, and this demand is reflected in orders of wholesale chocolate.
The Artisan Wave
In addition to the boost of good publicity dark chocolate has received from published health studies, it has also become a highly fashionable and artisanal food. Like wine and coffee before it, dark chocolate is increasingly valued and judged based on its origins and the methods with which it was produced. Single origin and bean-to-bar dark chocolates are more popular every year, and some manufacturers offer tasting notes very similar to those found with wine. Dark chocolate might have fruity, earthy, smoky, spicy, nutty, caramelised, or a whole host of other flavour tones – tones that are masked by the dairy and sugar of less intense, lighter chocolates.
Willie Harcourt-Cooze, of Willie’s Cacao, is one such manufacturer seeking to draw attention to the unique flavour profile of every batch of cacao beans. His single-origin, bean-to-bar chocolates are named simply after the country from which they hail: “Indonesian Gold” and “Venezuelan Gold” are two examples. We have included Willie’s in our wholesale chocolate range to meet the growing consumer demand for bean-to-bar products.
As the consumer palate becomes more and more sophisticated and their appetite for ethically sourced chocolate grows, the appreciation for dark chocolate is a phenomenon that no retailer can afford to ignore.
A Unique Way to Market Chocolate: Lily O'Brien's Chocolate Box
One of our most popular chocolate brands Lily O’Brien's ran an inspiring marketing campaign in 2015 that put a unique spin on selling chocolate to the public.
It’s not hard to persuade people to buy chocolate – the product usually sells itself, but in a market saturated with massive brands backed by massive corporate budgets, the more boutique and niche chocolatiers can struggle to find a voice for their products. We added Lily O’Brien’s collection to our portfolio of brands after we were impressed by the innovative combination of classic dessert flavours with superb quality chocolate. Based in Ireland, this brand has been growing in popularity in the UK market and many of the retailers we supply have reported that their customers are attracted to these chocolates. From August 2015 to December 2015 Lily O’Brien ran a marketing campaign to raise its brand profile in the UK. We are delighted to see how successful this has been and expect to see many more orders coming through in 2016.
Targeting women specifically, Lily O’Brien launched The Chocolate Box, a giant chocolate box hiding a mini video studio inside it, which toured some of the country’s shopping centres. Passing female shoppers were invited into the box where they were offered chocolate samples and a gossip session. The conversations were videoed and published.
With discussions ranging from ‘Is chocolate better than sex?’ to ‘Can a woman really have it all?’ to ‘Do you think you’re pretty?’, the videos show women having some fun and revealing their thoughts to the public. With the strap line ‘Share your thoughts, share our chocolate’, Lily O’Brien’s marketing campaign went straight to the heart of the iconic female experience of chocolate.
The agency behind the campaign reported that the videos were viewed by millions, and we certainly hope that raising the profile of this superb brand among UK shoppers will encourage retailers to stock some of our favourite Lily O’Brien products to tempt their customers.
In Good Temper - The Key to Perfect Chocolate
Our years in the wholesale chocolate business have taught us that everyone’s favourite sweet treat can be very temperamental.
Making chocolate can be a long and complicated operation, and one of the trickiest steps in the whole process is the careful heating and cooling involved in tempering this product.Imagine the chocolate bar you are selling. Your customer unwraps it, revealing a shining, glossy slab. He or she breaks off a piece with a crisp snap, and then places it in their mouth, feeling the smooth, silky texture as the chocolate melts evenly over his or her tongue. All of these sensations are made possible by an essential process in chocolate-making called tempering. Without tempering, chocolate would not be the smooth, firm, and shiny confection your customers know and love. During our years in the wholesale chocolate business, we’ve come to appreciate the importance of this key step in the chocolate-making process
What is Tempering?
Tempering is a process that improves the durability, texture, and appearance of solid chocolate. This is done by gently heating and cooling the chocolate to achieve the right alignment of cocoa butter particles. Cocoa butter is crystalline in structure. When all the crystals are even in size and organized neatly, the chocolate is glossy, firm, and breaks cleanly.
Traditionally, chocolatiers tempered their product by working melted chocolate on a stone slab until it thickened to the ideal consistency. Today, in large wholesale chocolate operations, many manufacturers use tempering machines, which heat, cool, and then heat the chocolate again to achieve optimum cocoa butter crystal conditions.
A Bad Temper
Once you know what to look for, it’s easy to tell when chocolate is or isn’t in temper. If your chocolate has a mottled or dull appearance, and crumbles instead of snaps when broken, it’s likely to be out of temper. This means the cocoa butter crystals are scattered unevenly in all different shapes and sizes, rather than tightly stacked and uniform in shape.
If you’re purchasing wholesale chocolate from a reputable manufacturer, it’s safe to assume the product has been properly tempered. However, it’s important to know what to look for, in the event of a temper tantrum!
London's Chocolate Houses
The wholesale chocolates industry rubs shoulders with the strange and wonderful in the chocolate world: Here we throw a spotlight on the historical London Chocolate House and its rowdy members.
One of the major perks of spending years in the wholesale chocolates industry lies in the seemingly infinite cultural and historical stories that relate to the product we trade. In London, the historian Dr Matthew Green has set up an alternative tour of London that introduces its visitors to the world of the eighteenth-century chocolate house.
The Cacao Bean Arrives in London
By the 17th century the demand for chocolate was raging among the elite in their palaces, estates and even wealthy religious institutions. Described in 1797 as ‘the drink of the gods’, the consumption of chocolate was the ultimate sign of high class.
However, when a Frenchman brought the hot chocolate drink to London in 1657 he faced initial suspicion from the local population which had only recently encountered coffee, let alone drinking chocolate. The major marketing drive was to position chocolate as a cure-all - from indigestion to infertility, the cacao bean was a true panacea. It was even claimed that chocolate could reverse aging.
Once chocolate was established as not only safe and healthy but also delicious, its cost made it the preserve of the wealthy. In the tradition of coffee houses, a series of ‘Chocolate Houses’ was set up in the exclusive address of St James Square, catering to the rich and elite.
Hanging Out in Chocolate Houses
Traditional activities for chocolate house members included gambling and reading newspapers and, of course, drinking chocolate. Ozinda’s, Whites and the Cocoa Tree were the most renowned establishments in Pall Mall – associated with luxurious decadence they featured Queen Anne sofas, valuable paintings and effeminate and elegant waiting staff.
Interestingly, these Chocolate Houses were not always benign venues. The Cocoa Tree was where the Jacobites regularly gathered to plot against the monarchy and in 1932 a tunnel was even discovered from the site of the old shop under St James Street to enable the rebels to escape easily.
Drinking Chocolate Today
While sadly these chocolate houses no longer exist, we make sure that our wholesale chocolates range includes some of the best drinking chocolates available to supply the more varied modern venues that serve this product to their customer.
We can’t claim that the chocolate will cure your customers’ indigestion or reverse the process of aging, but we can guarantee that they will have a moment of flavoursome bliss when they sip the hot chocolate drinks that we supply.
If you are interested in this Chocolate House phenomenon you might enjoy one of Dr Green’s tours. Please click this link for more information.
Bean-to-Bar: The Rise of a Novel Trend
The bean-to-bar product has become a popular twist on traditional chocolate. We look at how we incorporated this trend into the range of wholesale chocolates available from hf Chocolates.
In the last few years the media has been highlighting a growing phenomenon in the UK: Small scale cottage industry chocolatiers who have set themselves up as bean-to-bar manufacturers. This contrasts with the majority of chocolatiers who buy their chocolate ready made from one of the huge cocoa processing companies who mostly produce chocolate which is carefully blended to maintain a consistency of taste year after year.
The bean-to bar idea is a quirky and personal approach to the regular chocolate industry and it has advantages for the consumer. While these small producers don’t necessarily outgun their bigger competitors in terms of quality, they can often bring out the different flavours of beans from different areas in the chocolate that they produce. The flavour may also change a little each year, depending on the weather where the beans are grown and on how the beans are fermented and dried. This novelty and diversity is appealing to many chocolate lovers.
Bean-to-Bar & the Wholesale Chocolates Industry
We have been fortunate to find a way ‘to have our chocolate and eat it too’. It is not generally practical as a supplier of wholesale chocolates to work with such small manufacturers, but we have succeeded in sourcing some larger artisanal operations that have honed the bean-to-bar process in a way that provides our customers with unique variety at reasonable prices.
Taste the World
In Spain we found Simón Coll, who makes his chocolate from scratch using beans from Ghana to give some of his products a strong, consistent flavour and beans from the Americas to give others that aromatic taste that many crave.
Meybona in Germany are another bean to bar manufacturer, making all their own chocolate from the raw beans. Their chocolatier is so talented he can tell how a cacao needs to be processed and what the finished product will taste like simply from the aroma and taste of the bitter raw beans. He has perfected a range called Origins using beans that take the consumer on a chocolate taste tour of the world. We loved sampling the Ecuador, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania and Dominican Republic bars.
Closer to home we added Willies Cacao to our list of wholesale chocolates so that retailers can choose single origin bars made from beans sourced in Venezuela, Peru, Indonesia and Madagascar. In fact Willie goes one important step further and sources his beans from specific cocoa estates in these countries for the most authentic chocolate experience.
Madécasse’s chocolate bars are made solely with locally sourced beans in Madagascar, which results in a beautifully fruity flavoured chocolate.
A Unique Stock for your Customers
There is no question that a bean-to-bar product is something that your customers can enjoy for its novel twist on the classical chocolate, and the real connoisseur will be delighted to detect the distinctions between flavours in chocolate made from beans that are sourced in one geographical area.
If you’d like to discuss the best selection and presentation of the bean-to-bar product for your customers then feel free to contact our team.
Own Label Coins
We are the UK’s leading specialist in supplying own label chocolate coins and medallions. We look at the traditions that have made these treats so popular.
Novelty coins have always been a favourite with retailers who source wholesale chocolates from us at hf Chocolates. Wrapped in gold or silver foil, they are traditionally moulded or stamped to resemble a real coin with a face side and tail side
Our chocolate coins not only look the part but we go to some length to make sure that the quality of the chocolate meets our usual high standards, with a high quality continental milk chocolate. Today the coins are used for many special events but these treats have an interesting historical background too.
The Jewish festival of Hanukkah includes the tradition of giving money as a gift to children. Known as Hanukkah gelt (the Yiddish word for ‘coin’), these presents symbolise the coins that were minted in the second century to commemorate the victory of the Jewish sect, the Maccabees, over the Greeks.
The gift giving can be traced back as far as the Middle Ages when children would use the coins as a pot of money for their dreidel games – a game that was traditionally played over the Jewish holiday period.
In the early 20th century, however, American chocolatiers were inspired to create replicas of the coins by wrapping chocolate in gold and silver to give as presents instead of real money. The manufacturer Lofts was the first to produce these novelty chocolates, which they packaged in mesh pouches to resemble money purses.
St Nicholas Day
The continental European Christians were also delighted by the chocolate coins and they soon became incorporated into their celebrations of St Nicholas Day. Celebrated on 6 December in Belgium and Germany and on the eve of 5 December in the Netherlands, this festival commemorates the third century martyr St Nicholas.
One of the Nicholas legends tells of how he secretly tossed 3 bags of gold coins down the chimney of a poor man so that his daughters could have a dowry for marriage to avoid a life of prostitution. The coins allegedly landed in the girls’ stockings as they were drying over-night and this became the origin of the tradition of hanging stockings out for St Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, to fill with chocolate coins for children who had behaved well.
Our wholesale chocolates range includes a wide choice of different novelty coins so if you are supplying customers who need to fill stockings this winter or are organising a corporate or special event and want an excellent means of publicity, then please give us a call for some coins that are as convincing as they are tasty.