Nestle Bringing Haute Swiss Chocolate to the Masses


While regular chocoholics are spending their nickels and dimes on such treats as Kit Kats and Crunch bars, one global leader that specializes in such treats is looking at a new market to make a little extra: high-end, customized chocolates.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the Swiss-based Nestlé started inviting “Internet shoppers in Switzerland and Liechtenstein (to) order a taster pack from the Nestlé-owned Maison Cailler line of luxury Swiss chocolates” in January. 

Once the consumer has a taste of the different “Ecuador-sourced chocolate(s)” inside, they can figure out their “chocolate personality,” allowing them to order boxes with the fillings they desire. Chocolate filling choices include peppercorn (yes, peppercorn), vanilla, raspberry, and verbena.

With sixteen pieces of personalized Maison Cailler chocolates costing about $30, can the concept — however delicious — work in these tough times? Mais oui, argues Nestlé.[more]

“It may sound counterintuitive, but what’s happening in the [global financial] crisis is a quest by consumers for value, for more-affordable product, but also for products that overtake their expectations,” said Laurent Freixe, head of Nestlé’s European business about the Maison Cailler brand, which has been around since 1819.

Nestle used the same strategy to build the luxury home-coffee market when it sold its Nespresso capsule in two countries in 1986. That’s now a $3.3 billion brand, Businessweek reports. (We all should be so lucky.) More details on Nestlé’s Maison Cailler brand strategy below: