Craft Chocolate Packaging

Before ever tasting a craft chocolate bar, I was hooked. It was the packaging. I still vividly remember the República del Cacao chocolate bars my friends gifted me.

By just looking at the packaging of the chocolate bars, I was being told a story. The packaging took me to Latin America, it felt as if I was in the twilight zone. If it wasn't for their packaging, I might have never taken an interest in the chocolate bar, never became interested in craft chocolate, and never started Kekao!  

The more makers I tasted, the more amazing packages I discovered. Each extremely unique in its own way. It wasn't just the design or artwork of the chocolate bar, but also the feel of the wrapping paper and the story being told on the packaging. 

Republica Del Cacao

The craft chocolate market is becoming seriously competitive, as craft chocolate continues to grow in popularity newer chocoholics are becoming indecisive of what maker to try for a taste. If you browse our wonderful growing collection of chocolate bars, you will discover delicious bars, each with a unique and compelling story. 

It is the design that first captures the chocoholic. It's the first of the 4 steps chocoholics experiences when buying chocolate bars.

Design

When browsing a collection of chocolate bars, it's the packaging that sets itself apart from other brands.

Feel

When the chocoholic picks up the bar, how does it feel? The right wrapping paper can go a long way, using cheap wrapping paper might mean a loss in sale.

Story

Every craft chocolate maker and bar has a unique story, it can be sometimes found on the chocolate bar, this is the opportunity for the maker to pitch it and tell the chocoholic why they should choose their bar over others. 

Taste

If the design, feel and story all lineup, the chocoholic will try out the bar. Ultimately it's up to the taste of the bar to determine if the chocoholic will repurchase the bar and try other bars in the maker's collection. 

How to buy chocolate bars 

Mirzam Chocolate

One of the makers in our July 2019, Kekao Craft Chocolate Subscription Box was Mirzam Chocolate, with their Mirzam Chocolate 85% Cuba Bar.

Mirzam Chocolate is inspired by the maritime spice route that took merchants around the world to buy delicious spices. They have selected cacao plantations located along this historic trail (Vietnam, Indonesia, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, India, and Cuba) to create their single origin chocolate bars. 

Their bars are beautifully hand wrapped and are designed to reflect the maritime spice route Arab merchants took and the stories they told. It's a beautiful reflection of the companies story with the fusion of Arabic culture. 

To help us understand the mindset of a craft chocolate maker, we asked Chief Chocolate Operator, Kathy Johnston, to contribute her thoughts on the importance of craft chocolate packaging. 

Mirzam 85% Cuba Bar

What are your thoughts on the importance of packaging for Craft Chocolate bars?

The packaging is extremely important for any food product for the practical purposes of protecting the food and providing customers with detailed information about the product inside. For craft chocolate, we have a more considered battle, as we all have to use packaging to also help the customer to more deeply understand the difference between mass market and a craft product, as well as to somehow give a little gift-ability, as many people like to gift craft chocolate.

What is Mirzams process from selecting a design to wrapping the paper?

We don't really select designs, as we work with artists to develop each piece - but the process starts with historical research into the details of the spices we are using, or the area of the spice route we are focusing on. From there we will search for a suitable artist and see if they are interested to work together!

Mirzam has three collections of chocolate bars, "Single Origin Bars", "Spices Bars", "Monsoon" & "Winter in Morocco" what stories are you looking to tell with the packaging for each collection? 

Winter in Morocco is a great example here, as we were creating recipes that explored the history of trade in North Africa, and ended at the Marakech souqs or markets. We worked with a talented artist, Aziza Iqbal, who specialized in Islamic patterns and tessellations - and she explored patterns for our wrappers that are actually used in architecture in the same areas as the markets, and also infused her paints with the spices we used.

Mirzam Winter in Morocco Chocolate

What is the most challenging aspect of creating high-quality packaging for Craft Chocolate Bars?

Trying to fit all of the information you are required to show legally, as well as the information we want to share as makers, and then translate that into two languages!

Besides Mirzam's packaging, are there other Craft Chocolate Makers packaging that is your favorite? 

So many makers have fantastic packaging. I love Dandelion Chocolate's labels and block-printed papers - they are really special. 

Dandelion Chocolate Bars

Designing for a craft chocolate maker

If you are an artist and want to put your work on craft chocolate, Mirzam Chocolate is always looking for talented artists! Kathy mentioned to us what Mirzam is looking for from artists.

"We are looking for artists who create work by hand, and also are either based in the region or have a connection to the heritage of the ingredients we are using."

If you think you fit the criteria, you can submit your portfolio on their website!

If you have any questions regarding this blog, our Kekao Box or premium specialty craft dark chocolate bars, feel free to contact us! Keep up with us by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.